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Skip to 0 minutes and 5 seconds Bob has found a book which relates to a lecture he went to, but he doesn’t know where to start. It is a very large book with a lot of information in it. The best way to approach a book like this is to start asking yourself questions. Bob thinks back to his lecture and remembers questions he had before the lecture and questions he had after the lecture. So he asked himself how the information in the book might relate to all these questions. Will it help him find some answers? But the book looks big and complicated. And he is not sure whether he’s going to be able to cope with the information in it. Does he know enough to understand it?

Skip to 0 minutes and 44 seconds Is he going to understand the vocabulary used in the book? So Bob opens up the book and is confronted with a mass of information. But he needs to find a few key points to read about. He asks himself how he can find what he wants amongst all this information. He’s worried that he might have to read the whole lot, and he doesn’t have time to do that. He gets very concerned, so makes an appointment with a lecturer to get some help. His lecturer talks him through a process which will help him develop a reading strategy. So Bob goes back to his book and asks himself some key questions. Why do I want to read this book?

Skip to 1 minute and 23 seconds And he thinks that the answer to this is that he wants to find answers to specific questions he had from the lecture. This helps him to think about how he will read the book. But where can he find the answers? His lecturer told him to find key words in the index and contents pages, in a similar way to using such terms in a search engine on his computer. And that will take him to relevant pages in the book. The book is not easy to read, and he needs a subject-specific dictionary by his side to look up words he does not understand. But he finds that doing extra reading is enjoyable. He is discovering more about the subject by himself.

Skip to 1 minute and 59 seconds He is building up his own unique knowledge base, which helps reinforce the information he has been given. This gives him extra information which he can add to his revision notes. He finds the whole subject even more exciting than before. And he feels more confident in himself and in his learning as a whole.

Finding information from a text

Have a look at this video in which Bob is trying to find material in a book.

You need to assess what you might get from a book and consider what questions you have and how you might find answers to those questions.

Use the comments to discuss how your own experiences compare with the problems facing Bob.

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Preparing for University

UEA (University of East Anglia)

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