Step 3: Setting questions and aims
Before starting to read, you need to set as many specific questions and aims as possible: ask yourself what the aim of reading the textbook actually is. Consider whether there are specific questions you’d like to address.
If you read a book about trend forecasting, for example, your aim may be to get to know the most important methods used by trend forecasters and be able to describe them.
If you’re a school pupil or student, you’ll often be given specific questions by your teacher or tutor and have to answer them after reading a book. For example: ‘According to theory XY, what are the main factors that explain how financial crises occur?’.
You should write down these questions and aims and keep them to hand when reading. Questions and aims are a sort of filter that help you focus your attention during reading and know what you should bear in mind. They’ll also help you to take more targeted notes.
Of course, it may be that your aim is simply to read the whole book and understand its content. But even then it’s useful to have come up with specific questions which you can answer.
Honing the Reading Process
Now you can actually start to read. The technique is designed rather like a Russian matryoshka doll – you read the text from the outside inwards. Depending on the text and reading aim, you can use the entire procedure or just the first couple of steps.
The reading process set out below also requires you to take notes in Mind-Map form, as demonstrated ...