6 Quick Tips on Improving Reading Recall

Do you find yourself having to re-read a paragraph you just read? Do you have trouble remembering what you read just yesterday? Here are some easy exercises you can do to put a stop to this time wasting endeavor of information overload.

1. Turn to the editorial page of your daily newspaper. Read the lead editorial. What’s the major point the editor is making? Is it reflected in the title of the piece? Rewrite the title to reflect your understanding of the writer’s point of view. The key is using your own language.

2. Read two different letters to the editor in your newspaper. Have the writers made their points of view clear? Are there parts that are not clear to you? What questions would you ask these letter writers to clarify what they have written? This forces you to pay better attention and be more purposeful in your reading. By you deliberately focusing your mind this way, you automatically start the brain’s process of creating a memory for the material.

3. For this exercise you will need a nonfiction book on any subject of interest to you. Examine the table of contents. On a piece of paper list the three chapters that interest you the most. List them in order of importance or priority to you. Paraphrase the chapter titles in your own words. Hopefully, you are beginning to see a pattern here.

4. Read the book jacket. Write down the two major selling points the publisher gives for buying the book.

5. Read the preface, or foreword, or introduction. Reduce this piece of writing to one sentence. Again, reduction and simplification are two powerful memory builders.

6. Assume you are writing a book review on this book. Your editor tells you to devote one paragraph to your recommendation for buying or not buying the book. Write that one short paragraph with your recommendation – of course this one seems to require that your read the book, but even if you don’t read the book look it over well and try to write the paragraph.

By applying these kinds of questions to all of your technical or nonfiction reading, you will find that not only do you understand it better (a prerequisite for recall), but you will also recall the information longer with more accuracy. The basic principles you are applying are:

• Reduction
• Simplification
• Personal Interpretation

Of course there are more, but these strategies will pay big results.

Author's Bio: 

Ed Caldwell is the creator and publisher of the “Masters Online Program: Dynamic Reading, Memory, and Recall” and other live and web-based learning programs. As former National Director of Instruction and Certification for the world famous Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics program, Ed has 30 years experience teaching and testing new strategies to help people from all walks of life learn more efficiently. You can learn more at www.productivelearn.com/srt , or by emailing ed@productivelearn.com.