Hello, again! Sorry for the lateness. I have had a stressful March + April and making posts with pictures is super difficult work! Anyways…
Have you wondered why your professors have told you to buy a $200 book that is probably going to give you arthritis in your back? The truth is that it is a treasure trove of resources that will probably boost your grade, understanding, and self-esteem. How? Once you read the textbook and understand it, it will feel like an accomplishment. You understand the material better and you might even help other students too.
The Textbook. The big scary monster book you probably never opened. Well maybe after this advice you may want to reconsider…
What most textbook have:
- Table of Contents
- Chapters with a set-up of their own
- Study questions or main idea checkpoints
- Vocabulary terms
- Useful resources like websites or other references
How to use it:
Use the glossary to look up a certain topic. I cheat like this all the time. Who has time to read 50+ pages? Some people may think this is reasonable but on top of a paper, studying for a test, and other 50+ page readings. NO ONE thinks it is possible.
Look at the diagrams throughout the readings. They often summarize a whole chunk of a page then after you look at the diagram, skim the paragraph.
Use your notes to your advantage. Take notes in class? Use them as an outline to the textbook. The professor knows where to focus his or her information. Use it as a guideline of reading the tex. Look for keywords and play ‘find the words in the text.’
Study the vocabulary. If you know the lingo then when you are reading, it will click in your head. Oh, that is what polyphenol oxidase means and then you can apply the functions and importance of this enzyme, for example. Don’t browse over the vocab either. I always get similar words confused and switch them on exams. Don’t let this happen to you. Give each vocab word a distinct personality so you don’t confuse Sally with Sarah.
Look at the study questions. I use to gloss over these but now I find them helpful. The textbook authors include these because they help with your information recall. You just read an interesting paragraph on gram-negative bacteria. You read the question and have no clue how to answer it. Read the paragraph again and try to answer the question. Study hack: read the questions before you start reading so you know where to focus your attention.
Look for color. Making textbooks bright and beautiful cost money. Lots of it. So if you can’t possibly study anything. Look at all the diagrams and photos. It is usually where the authors want you to focus most of your attention. I mean, we are easily distracted college students and anything remotely colorful will draw our attention.
Hopefully these tips help!