3 Things I Ask Myself When I Read A New Novel I Oxford Open Learning
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3 Things I Ask Myself When I Read A New Novel


Whenever I read a new novel, I always ask myself 3 questions that helps me synthesise and pick up the key points in the book. This is called active reading, which means that I am actively trying to summarise and memorise what the book is trying to teach me. Active reading is always better than passive reading, because it allows you to absorb more information and learn important things from the book.

Why would these questions help? Because these questions are incredibly useful and important tools to let you understand even the most complicated of books. They should help you understand what the author is trying to convey, what you should take away from the text and how to analyse what is happening behind the words. There are so many questions you should ask yourself, but these three should act as a starting point to improve your learning. Keep reading to understand what these questions are!

1) What is the goal of the writer and what motivated him or her to write their book?

This important question gets behind the text in a fundamental way. Essentially, it asks whether the writer has a motive in writing the novel and whether he or she is trying to persuade you of a certain point of view. Understanding why someone wrote a novel is important because it can allow you to better understand what the book is trying to achieve and whether the author has any inherent biases that you should be wary about.

2) What are the main ideas of the text?

I always like to ask this question because it helps to summarise the main arguments of a book. This is a great way to condense information, by distilling the most important points into something you can memorise and store in your mind. I like to write down in three bullet points what the main arguments of the book is each time I read something new.

3) What parts of the novel did you like and not like?

This question allows you to critically assess the book’s content and situate it within your own realm of knowledge. By picking out the parts that you agree and disagree with, you are actually learning about how to form a more enhanced and personal opinion of important topics that would be useful in your everyday life.

There are so many questions that you can add to the list, but these are just a few to get you started!

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