reese07

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Do you guys have any tips on how to get the most comprehension out of reading? I heard that refraining from moving your lips and tongue while reading will help increase speed but does it increase comprehension as well?
 

Trexate

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Do you guys have any tips on how to get the most comprehension out of reading? I heard that refraining from moving your lips and tongue while reading will help increase speed but does it increase comprehension as well?
Read more, and more often.
 
Dec 18, 2009
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For me, it helps to read stuff out loud. I read a lot for pleasure so I can read pretty fast and get the overall gist. But when reading my notes or a textbook, my eyes will tend to also read over it really fast so I need to slow myself down and focus in on the words by saying them. In general I think speed may lower comprehension.
 

rxlea

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When I am dealing with a dense topic, I HAVE to read slower otherwise I will just waste my time. I have heard that the trick to "speed reading" is reading whole sections of a sentence at a time rather than focusing on each individual word as you move along the line. I tried it and sucked at it. I just had to accept that it would take me a longer amount of time to get through the reading. :(
 

reese07

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Would it be safe to say that slower, mouthing or vocalizing out words = increased comprehension?
 

Practitioner

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Hey,

It's hard to explain this because I don't know how it developed, where it came from, and its largely subconscious. It certainly wasn't my own doing, it had to be a class or something.

Anyways, if I'm reading a novel for fun or a news article, I sort of "glance" over the words, without really "reading" the text. Short term comprehension is great, long term sucks, and if I try to recall an article or parts of the novel it's very general and ends up in terms like: "they found that amoeba grew veins linking the oats so that the veins mapped out the metro system in Japan" and "the wizards had a big battle and Sirius ends up dying by falling into a black hole thing". Details are lost and I'd have to re-read to get them. I do remember very well where certain pieces of information were. eg if I'm showing someone the article and need to find exactly where they said the basic conclusion I have an idea which paragraph its in, usually. Dissipates fast though.

On re-reading to pick up details, or if I'm reading something in philosophy (Karl Popper, Avital Ronell, even R. Dawkins, and J. Diamond's books), I actually read out the words in my head (not lips). I do this too as I type on forums, but "glance" as I read posts. That takes much more time to read through a text, but I retain a lot of it long term and have a deeper understanding of it.

Now, if I run into something (Karl Popper) very dense, I slow down further. Or if there's a hard word I'm not familiar with. Then I actually mouth the words out. If it's a concept I want/need to memorize I read it practically in whispers.

Tips on what might help: meet a friend who has similar interest, give yourself a few minutes to read an article of interest/benefit, discuss it after reading it "fast", then go back and read it slower and see what kinds of concepts you missed or pulled out. Practice further.

[edit] - as an example how details are lost I entirely lost the point of OP, reese.
Read slower, rephrase what you read in your head, and ideally rewrite it is the best way.

The first post is understood something like this on first "read".

_________ any tips ___ how ______ ___________ refraining from moving your lips _______ reading ______ increase speed _________ comprehension as well?
 
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Think about your reading as you read. Actively synthesize the information in your head as you go. Draw conclusions as you gain information. This may sound sarcastic, but it's easy to just start wandering off with your thinking about "that girl/boy I like" or "how hungry I am;" this is not really reading, it's just moving your eyes.
 
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This may not work for you but it is very beneficial for me. I nearly always listen to music when I read; nothing with lyrics though. Energetic instrumental music keeps me alert and I think it may play a role in me retaining information. When reading, I listen to a little classical, and some instrumental stuff from various rock bands (Orion by Metallical is a current favorite), but mostly stuff along the lines of Ratatat, Kronos quartet, etc. I am honestly convinced that having stimulating music in the background increases my comprehension and retention. I think it has to do with how stimulated your brain is in general when listening to music; nearly every part of it is active. I think the absence of lyrics is very important though because words can be distracting even if you're not consciously trying to process them. I know some people require absolute silence in order to read though. This is just what works for me.

I also tend to read slow. I can read pretty quickly if I need to but slower reading helps me to really integrate the info. and remember it long-term.
 

specialK32

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Use your finger...doing this alone can increase reading speed 3x with the same comprehension. Sounds dumb but you would be surprised how much it helps! Reading faster also helps prevent you from moving your lips, saying words aloud, etc. (since you won't have time to do so) and allows your mind to focus on understanding what you are reading (sounds counterintuitive but it works with time). Just some ideas I found in a speed-reading book...
 

ArkansasRanger

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It depends.

If it's something like people's names, a list of something, or something procedural like steps in a process then I have to slow down and reflect on it after I read it. If I think about it for about 20-30 seconds (weird I know) it converts from short-term to long-term memory, lol. Other than that I go over a page rather quickly.
 

orthomyxo

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I just read until I feel like I know what I just read. It's not that hard. There are no special tricks that will instantly make you a garbage disposal for information.

As for memorizing things, I can usually read things very quickly and recall them simply by word association or picturing the page in my mind.