Assigned reading–it’s the homework that makes you want to cry, fall asleep, and maybe do a bit of binge eating. Once in a while, you’ll get a book that is enjoyable and you don’t mind reading. This will happen once, maybe twice, a year. The only thing worse than having to read two chapters of the worst novel ever is having to read two chapters in that awful history textbook. While there are sites such as Spark Notes and Shmoop, they won’t always be helpful come time to write that ten page paper. Reading the material is almost unavoidable. The real issue is how to get through the rest of year without wanting to sit in a corner and cry. Lucky for you, there are some ways to power through and make sure you get the reading done.
Actually Take Some Notes
Taking notes can be one of the best ways to make sure you’re actually reading the material and not just zoning out. By writing down the material you will not only learn, but remember the information. You’ll also thank yourself later when your teacher assigns a paper and you’ve already got a stack of notes.
Reading aloud may seem like an awkward or embarrassing thing to do. It has a ton of benefits though. To start, you tend to read slower when you read aloud. This means you going to retain more of the information. This also allows you to make sure you are actually paying attention and not just reading as fast as possible. Not only will you benefit from retaining the material, but if your teacher asks you to read aloud during class, you’ll be prepared.
Get Some Help
Hold on! I’m not telling you to just read the Spark Notes page. You should make sites your friends though. They come in handy, especially when reading Shakespeare and other old English plays. It is a great way to look up lines you may not understand. These pages will also give you a better understanding of themes and allegories in the book. Again, this is not a substitute for actually reading the book. Let’s be honest–teachers are going to ask questions not mentioned on these sites to see if you read the book.
Create a Schedule
This can be helpful for summer reading assignments. Nothing is worse than having to read a 300 page-book in two days because you didn’t manage your time well, not to mention that paper you probably have to write on the book. Also, reading in shorter increments can help you stay focused and not get too bored. Create a schedule so you can break up the reading and not have to waste the last of your summer reading a terrible book.
Rewarding yourself can be a great form of encouragement. By giving yourself something to look forward to, you are giving yourself a reason to finish the reading. Rewards can be as simple as watching hours of YouTube or eating a slice of cake. It’ll help you from distracting yourself while reading. Remember to actually complete the reading before rewarding yourself.
You are never going to complete your assignment if you have Tumblr open on your computer in the background. Do yourself a favor and find a nice quite place to do your reading. It might seem boring without your computer and TV, but without distractions you will be able to complete your assignment faster and do the things you want.
Doing boring assigned reading can be a pain. It’s usually the last thing you want to do, but it has to get done. If you don’t do the reading you’ll probably see a few F’s in you near future. Instead of falling asleep or binge eating, try managing your time and taking notes instead. By changing up your routine you might find that reading isn’t so bad after all. Don’t forget to actually read the material and not just use Spark Notes.