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Home > Resources > Reading Improvement

Reading Improvement

Many students don’t realize how important it is to be able to fully comprehend what you read. Being able to completely and accurately comprehend what you read is essential to you ability to learn, perform well on tests and ultimately succeed in college and in a career. This section introduces the REDW Strategy for Finding Main Ideas. The REDW strategy is designed to help you find the main idea in each paragraph and help you comprehend the information contained in your assignment. REDW stands for Read, Examine, Decide, Write.


Read the entire paragraph to get an idea of what the paragraph is about. As you read you might find it helpful to quietly read out loud if you are an Auditory or if your are a Visual Learner (see Learning Styles section) you may want to draw a picture to represent what you are reading.


Once you have idea of what the paragraph is about, examine each sentence in the paragraph to find the words that tell what the sentence is about. The easiest way to find the words that tell what the sentence is about is to cross out the words that are not needed in order to understand what the sentence is about. On a piece of paper, write the important words that tell what each sentence is about.


Now examine the words you wrote on the piece of paper and determine which sentence contain the words that best describe the main idea of the paragraph. These words are the main idea of the paragraph and the remaining words simply provide support for the main idea.


The last step is to write the main idea of each paragraph in your notes. This will help you remember what you learned and provide you good study notes to prepare for exams.

Online Resources

Spreeder is an online speed reading trainer/utility to help train you to read faster. It does this by flashing words at a rapid rate, which helps in three ways:

Reduce subvocalization
Increase chunk comprehension
Eliminate backreading

You can read more about it here. To read more about spreeder's specific settings, a good blog post is here.

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