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Thread: How can I improve my reading comprehension?

  1. #1
    Hubble's Avatar
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    How can I improve my reading comprehension?

    My problem:

    It is hard for me to put together 'complete thoughts' on the 'same topic'. For example, I have to retype a sentence multiple times and read it over multiple times before it 'registers' or 'makes sense' to me, to an extent. I can't just read a sentence, or create a sentence on the go and comprehend what I am reading/writing, I have to do a double take (at least) most of the time and even then I forget the concept of whatever I was reading/writing 10 minutes later.

    Not only that, but I was wondering if my social issues could be related as-well. When in social situations with people, my problem is I just don't know what to say in response to what people are talking to me about. Say someone just tells me their dog has died (sad example I know but it's the best I can come up with right now) I know to be sympathetic and show empathy, but I don't know what words to say other than of-course, sorry your dog died I feel sad for you. Anyways.

    What I want to (be able to) do:

    I want to be able to 'think clearly' and be able to read books and know what I am reading. I can 'read' at a college level, but my reading comprehension is horrible. I want to be able to also construct sentences that convey the same thought throughout the sentence, rather than switching halfway through.

    I've never really read books before, I've probably read only 1 book completely in my life and that was "Where The Wild Things Are" when I was a kid... I read articles online sometimes and used to write music, but other than that I'm not very articulate and I would like to improve that so after I'm done reading a book, I understand and can remember exactly what I just read and the whole book doesn't just go over my head.

  2. #2
    Aura's Avatar
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    I think you should try to read more books, and really take it slowly. Read one page at a time, read it over as slowly or as much as you need to. Read it aloud to yourself, too, to try and understand the meaning completely. Make sure you're in a quiet place, too, where you can give it your full concentration.

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    Hubble (03-15-2017)

  4. #3



    Urbex's Avatar
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    I find I have this issue to some extent when reading textbooks, especially textbooks on dry topics (such as Organic Chemistry).
    One way to help improve this is to just read more, and really put all your focus into what you're reading. Turn off electronic devices, remove distractions and just focus on the text.Another thing you can do is read the text out loud to yourself.

    Sometimes I ask myself questions about what I just read, which helps deepen my understanding.
    For example:
    Why does this make sense?
    How does this fit in with what I already have read?
    Can I put this in my own words? (If not, try rereading it until you can)
    Could I explain this concept to someone else?

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Urbex For This Useful Post:

    Hubble (03-15-2017)

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    Katie Mama Bear's Avatar
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    Highlighting or underlining key words is a suggestion that hasn't been mentioned yet.

  7. #5
    Rowling's Avatar
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    As someone in school for NP, I would recommend, depending on your age, getting looked at for ADD. It's nothing bad by any standard - it can simply mean your brain chemistry is a little different than someone who doesn't have it. I know where I live, usually your pediatrician gives you a packet for your teachers and for your parent to fill out. Like I said, I dunno your age, but there can also be adult onset. Always something to consider, from a healthcare professional's point of view.
    Either way, I hope that you figure it out and work towards your goal!

  8. #6

    70spurple's Avatar
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    Practice makes perfect.

  9. #7

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    Maybe try printing your reading on different coloured paper on in different fonts which you may find easier to read from?

  10. #8
    kior's Avatar
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    @TandN I recommend you to read "The Art of Thinking Clearly"

  11. #9

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    I think the problem is that you're trying to understand a sentence within a paragraph. Don't just read one sentence, read the whole page/chapter and get the gist of it. No one remembers every single thing when they read - you will miss parts that you read the first time around. Re-read, but do that in large chunks, not sentence by sentence. The context helps you better understand the individual sentences.

  12. #10
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    All the suggestions are pretty much what I thought of.

    Have you ever been tested for dyslexia? The reading issues that you described are very similar to the ones my dad has. When he fills out forms, often he has to read them aloud or re-read them a few times to get the sentence to ''click" in his head. He enjoys fantasy novels but trying to read a book frustrates him too much so he listens to audio books. He can read news articles and the like, maybe sometimes reading a word wrong and being all "wtf no way that doesn't make sense"

    Might be something else to check into.

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