Want to Remember More of What You Read? Do These 4 Things, According to a Linguistics Professor

Do you wish to have to bear in mind extra of what you learn? If so, many ways of studying are higher than others. That recommendation comes from Naomi S. Baron, professor emerita of linguistics at American University, and the writer of more than one books and research on studying and finding out. In a work for Big Think, she explains why many ways of studying, and soaking up knowledge generally, are higher than others and result in larger retention and likewise larger comprehension, particularly of summary ideas.

Here are some methods drawn from her insights. Try them out and spot in the event that they allow you to be mindful extra of what you learn.

1. Read, do not concentrate.

Audiobooks are an excellent invention. Many a force from Upstate New York to Florida was once a lot more a laugh than it will were as a result of my husband and I spent our hours at the Interstate paying attention to novels. But I’ve to confess that I will’t inform you a lot about the ones novels lately.

If you wish to have to bear in mind what you learn, in fact studying is healthier than listening, Baron says. It’s additionally higher for comprehension as a result of your thoughts is much less more likely to wander, and likewise as a result of it is more uncomplicated to return and reread the rest that you do not relatively perceive the primary time.

2. Read on paper, now not digitally.

For the rest longer than a couple of hundred phrases, Baron says there’s a “cascade of research confirming that we learn better when we read words printed on paper than on a tablet, reader, phone, or computer. Why? One reason is that our memory of the material is tied to the physical world–we’ll recall where something was on the page or how far along it was in the book, she writes.

But there’s also a subtle attitude shift when we read digitally, she says, which researchers call a “shallowing speculation.” She explains, “According to this idea, other people means virtual texts with a mindset fitted to informal social media, and dedicate much less psychological effort than when they’re studying print.”

3. Stop multi-tasking.

I have to admit it–the news that people remember more when they read on paper was very bad news for me. I love to read, but I am just over paper. If you’d moved as many times as I have in the past few years with as many books, you might feel the same way. Besides I love the convenience of having my entire library in my pocket at all times, and of being able to download a sample of any book I come across or hear about the moment it strikes my fancy. I’m never going back to paper.

But Baron’s research suggests that if I want to retain what I read, I have to approach it with some seriousness. And I can see for myself that if I interrupt my reading every time a text or other notification comes in, it has a negative effect on my concentration and ability to absorb information. So whether you’re doing it on paper or digitally, when you read, just read. Silence the notifications if you can. That’s what I plan to do from here on out.

4. Review often. 

There are several practices common to digital media that make it harder to learn, Baron writes. Among them are less use of annotation, and less frequent reviewing. That’s a shame, because e-reading is designed to make both annotating what you’ve read and reviewing it a very seamless experience.

In fact, one of the many reasons I prefer digital books to paper books is the search function. If I encounter something that refers back to an earlier point, or to a person who appeared earlier in the text, it’s so easy to do a search on that person’s name or that term so you can quickly find previous mentions.

Reviewing what you’ve read is often the key to both greater understanding and greater retention. So review a lot, and take advantage of the power of search.

There’s a growing audience of readers who receive a daily text from me with a self-care or motivational micro-challenge or tip. (Interested in joining? Here’s more information and an invitation to an extended free trial.) Many are entrepreneurs or business leaders and they tell me how important it is to keep learning throughout their careers and their lives. Reading is one of the best ways of doing that, and these four tips will help you do it better.

The critiques expressed right here by means of columnists are their very own, now not the ones of

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