Refining Our Comprehension

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Refining Our Comprehension by Mind Map: Refining Our Comprehension

1. Find a quiet place where you can read without getting distracted. Being in an area without any distractions can help improve productivity. Turn off your phone/MP3 player and focus.

1.1. A local library can be a great place to study. Some libraries offer smaller reading rooms.

1.2. A park, porch, or the breakroom at work can serve as quiet places (at times).

2. Music is a powerful art form that can bring up emotions, inspire motivation and alter your mood. "Students frequently listen to music while studying to make the process less painful and, in some cases, because they believe music will help them learn." (SeattlePi 2015)

2.1. Spotify, the digital music service, provides many pre-made classical/lyric-less playlists. I've found them to be very helpful

2.2. Classical/lyric-less music has been proven to cause the "Mozart Effect". The "Mozart Effect" is the belief that listening to classical music can improve intelligence. (SeattlePi 2015) Instrumental and classical music won't make you smarter but, can have a relaxing, soothing effect and is less distracting than music with lyrics. Here is an example:

3. There are two great ways to remember key words or important sentences. (i.e., key vocabulary; main ideas).

3.1. Highlighting is a proven way to help comprehend key text words/phrases. Feel that a certain sentence/paragraph is important? Highlight it or write it down in a note pad. This makes it much easier to go over later.

3.2. Underlining can help with longer phrases, sentences, to paragraphs. Underlining has the same effect as highlighting. You can you both techniques for different instances. Such as underlining an area that you don't fully understand.

4. Give your book or paper a quick skim through to understand the topic.

4.1. Start off with the table of contents and then the introduction. This helps you gather an understanding of what is ahead and what subject will be covered. Skim every chapter before reading it. Once you are done reading that chapter, skim the next chapter.

4.2. When you skim through text your eyes will only pick the most important words in a line and then your brain does the rest. There is no point in wasting your time reading material that you won’t get real benefit from. So, avoid the filler text and try to find the main chapters where the most valuable information is presented. (InformED 2015)

5. Conclusion: We all have different tools at hand. It's up to us to understand what helps us the best. Once you have found your strategy or technique, stick with it. Whether it is a digital tool like Quizlet or a reading technique like using short bursts, we all have a way that best fits us. Take your time, don't rush yourself. We often tend to want to speed things up, it's not always a good thing. There are digital tools and several effective strategies to further our reading comprehension and overall educational success.

6. Reading for short bursts can serve as a motivator in trying to really focus on the material at hand.

6.1. Focus on a higher quality reading and take your time. Don't focus on getting the book or reading requirement for school done. Focus on maintaining a good understanding. Set a reading schedule that best fits your day to day routine.

6.2. The small bursts of reading can really help. For every commercial break while watching TV, read a little bit. Or at the end of an episode, read a chapter or two. If you're doing chores around the house; after every chore, ready a chapter.

7. Quizlet is a great digital tool that offers online flashcards. You can create an account and create your very own flash cards tailored to your focus subject.

7.1. Flashcards are a proven strategy to help with comprehension. Flashcards help break up the subject into manageable portions.

7.2. Flashcards help make the subject feel less overwhelming.

8. References

8.1. Does Listening to Music While Doing Homework Affect Your Grade in School? (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from

8.2. All About Adolescent Literacy. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from

8.3. Adult Literacy: Better Reading Comprehension, How to Speed-Read, and Some Life-Changing Literature to Improve Your Life. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from

8.4. Office of Academic Services. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from

8.5. (n.d.). Retrieved April 26, 2015, from