August 12, 2012

A7 Follow–Up 4: The Final Review: See the words WHIZZING PAST!!!

Follow-up to Follow Up 3: Jumping the hurdles, glimpsing the light at the end of the page ! from Melvin's blog

“The early development of speed reading can be traced to the beginning of the (20th) century, when the publication explosion swamped readers with more than they could possibly handle at normal reading rates.” - Tony Buzan

speed_reading_1.jpg

I can’t believe how fast the time has gone…. One moment I was worrying about reading for the dissertation and another I am coasting through them without worry. I really does make me realise how effective using the different techniques have been. The initial boost in speed from 180 to 410 wpm was the biggest of motivators in my endeavour to achieve the result and reading skill.

Over the weeks and months my practice framework for reading included everything from little articles to paper to long journals. For the last month it has included a plethora of journals and articles for the dissertation. THE ABILITY TO READ FAST is made up of lots of little skills. You can use as many or as few of those skills as you want. The more of those individual skills you use, the faster you’ll be able to read. Add all the skills together, and sure, it’s dramatic. But who needs dramatics? A small improvement is cool enough, paving the way for a bigger feat of achievement.

Of course, when you learn to read faster, you can read more. But there’s another benefit that’s not so obvious: Reading will become more interesting. Same thing I found with listening to a lecturer who speaks too slowly versus one who speaks at a comfortable but lively pace. It’s more interesting. It’s more fun. It keeps you awake. And by reading faster, you’re making the process more challenging in a controlled way. And a challenge that is under your control is enjoyable. Making reading interesting adds to the amount you retain and thus is a win win situation.sr1

Some key avenues that I ventured other than the well known and personally valued ‘GREEN POINTER’ are as follows.

DON’T LET YOUR EYES REGRESS, keep them moving forward. They will have a tendency to go back a few words occasionally. That continual little movement backwards adds up. I realised that if I stopped doing it, both my speed and comprehension increased.

Additionally I ensured a state of ‘Constant Practice Of Picking Up Speed’ as you read. Reading is a skill, and like any other skill, the constant effort to do it a little better keeps you getting better and better at it as time goes on.

Another area I established was to ‘TAKE IN MORE WORDS AT A TIME’. If you normally see two words at a time when you read, your eyes look at two words, move to the next two and stop to look at those, move to the next two, etc. I began taking in two words at a time so my eyes make fewer stops, increasing your speed.

A main point I focused on whilst reading development and one which I would share with every one attempting to develop their reading is :

“Increase Your Challenge Only As Your Skill Increases. Keep It Fun. Don’t Push Yourself So Hard It Becomes Stressful!”

Another pointer for anyone hoping to improve their reading with techniques is one I would add from personal experience :

“WHEN YOU FIRST practice a technique, you’ll be conscious of using it and that may very well distract you a little from comprehending what you’re reading. But keep practicing and the technique will become automatic, no longer requiring your conscious attention, allowing you to put your full attention on the content of the written material. At that point, you will have gained an increase in reading skill to enjoy for the rest of your life.”

An Update on Dissertation method:

My personalised technique for dissertational reading proved to be a success overall . Although trying out the technique initially proved to have flaws.reading_fast.jpg

The first few points seemed to fit well with efficient reading for the dissertation. However, the fifth point seemed to pose significant issues.

5. After reading the whole article, ask myself what did I get from it, does it meet my expectation, which part should be useful for my study, etc. “Question understanding to analyse how effectively you have read!”

After trying out this a few times I become conscious of the time consuming aspect it harboured. After reading the whole article and then assessing it proved to inefficient as on numerous occasions after spending time reading an article, then assessing it and realising it didn’t meet my expectations seemed to be a waste of time. Realigning it with my initial target of speeding and effective reading as well as with time management, I modified it to be an ever running process, regardless of where I am in the article. After finding strategic points in the article I went about assessing it, thus establishing whether the article is worth reading and is it useful for the dissertation.

It also helped with the other important factor of assessing whether my reading was effective. The article could have been very useful for the dissertation, but if I had not read effectively I would have initially taken too long to read and if the comprehension was not up to scratch will have to spend more time re-reading it. This is a very costly aspect with respect to the dissertation ( SO little TIME, so Much WORK!). Always keeping in mind what I hoping to gain or which bits will be useful to add to the dissertation really helped me to add signposts throughout the articles. Some areas I have highlighted and left notes on the side giving overview of the paragraph and which part of the dissertation it could be useful for.

Overall I would say my improved and realigned process of speeding reading for dissertation has been working really well and will be something I will utilising for the next 20 days J. However, this style/methodology of reading is universal as it could be implemented into anything . But in some cases it is not as useful, such as reading a novel. Always assess what your going to read and why before establishing your personalised technique, as something that works for someone in one situation might not work in another, or as a matter of fact for another person.

All in all “WHERE I AM NOW?

A question I can proudly answer. I have gone from being fearful of the number of words to read, to seeing it as something interesting , something I can sink into without worry how long I take. Nevertheless, I do believe making this perfect is something of a long term goal and will require a lot of practice, something I will be ensuring to do. But for now I am happy with the little habits I have formed and the success, little in the eyes of some but highly significant in the eyes of others.

Moreover the fun is about to begin in about 20days, once I finish this dissertation. I have already built a stack of interesting novels to read. Nonetheless, the interesting factor is in everything you read whether it be fantasy book or a cutting edge paper on the development of stem cells into an off the shelf therapy. Always personal interest could state something to be more interesting to read in comparison to another, but it is our reading styles that could make even an interesting article boring, by the way we read it.

For now this is it the FINAL REVIEW for the Speeding reading Portfolio, however the future is still full of surprises and something I hope to blog about in the future, once I graduate J

“The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade.” - Anthony Trollope

“I can read a book twice as fast as anybody else. First I read the beginning, and then I read the ending, and then I start in the middle and read toward whichever end I like best.” - Gracie Allen

A big thank You to Han-Na for all your support and words of wisdom.

Before I finish this post here is a challege...... CAN YOU READ this post in 1minute????

Dare to take the challenge:) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>sr34

Kind Regards

Melvin


- 2 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Han-na Cha

    Hi Melvin,

    Well, I must confess that I didn’t read this one in 1 minute, this time round. I always find it more difficult to speed read on a computer screen, which is why I like spreeder.

    this is a great final entry on speed reading and how you have incorporated this skill into your dissertation. Looking back at your previous entries, I can really see how you have objectively taken a step back from your reading practice and analysed how are you going to improve and improve! Well done and I hope that you continue to find opportunities to keep this skill going. But perhaps not with your holiday novel reading!
    You can use this towards your wSPA.

    14 Aug 2012, 01:34

  2. Melvin Jose

    Thank You So much Han-Na :) I do agree reading on a computer screen is much harder particularly later in the day. That is one of the main reasons I actually changed my study times, keeping reading to earlier times in the day especially as I have to read all the journals online. ....... ..............Novel reading is just there as a treat after all the reading for the dissertation, which I can’t wait to finish!

    Kind Regards
    Melvin

    14 Aug 2012, 01:51


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