Strategy #1: Introducing the reading process

Many students are unaware of their reading process. By giving them a framework to understand this process, faculty can help them improve their reading comprehension. Ask students to write about or map their current reading process for your class. Then, for discussion, provide the following chart to introduce the three stages of the reading process. Ask them to consider how their individual process compares and contrasts.

The Reading Process




is what readers do before they read to create expectations, focus, and a plan for the best approach to the reading.

  • to activate prior knowledge as a framework for understanding
  • to stimulate interest in the topic
  • to identify the purposes and goals for the reading
  • to provide language preparation for the text

Active Reading

is what readers do while they are reading to stay focused and comprehend the material.

  • to build knowledge within the context for reading
  • to self-monitor comprehension and correct as needed
  • to make material more memorable for recall and application


is what readers do after they have finished the text to enhance understanding and enable long-term retention.

  • to "fill in the blanks" by checking knowledge, finding answers, and taking additional notes
  • to integrate lecture notes with book notes to form complete study guides
  • to increase vocabulary

We suggest doing this fairly early in the semester and collecting it for a completion grade. If you are using online discussion boards, it can be useful to have students post their reflections and then respond to one another.