Strategies for an Effective Reading Process: Outlining and Graphic Organizing

Outlining and graphic organizing can be effective tools for helping students with reading comprehension and retention. These strategies, because of the variety of options, appeal to the many diverse learners we have in our classrooms. They can help shorten the amount of time it takes for some students to get an idea, as visual and kinesthetic learners often experience "Aha!" moments when organization becomes more clearly visible. In addition, they can serve as a springboard for innovative instructional approaches by inspiring new ways to organize presentations, quizzes, exams, and/or supplemental study materials.

While course content, the textbook, and goals for reading will determine the most appropriate types of outlines and graphic organizers, faculty can help students use the following strategies to get started.

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Outlining with headings

Locating and using graphic organizers

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Creating graphic organizers

Using quick integration

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Creating a course overview