Remember What You Read? Write to Remember

Reading and Memory

(Photo Credit: Blavity)

Although you may think you have the best memory, and maybe you do, after reading so many pieces, you need a strategy to aid your memory about the pieces read. One of the most important strategies for helping you to recall what you read, including remembering some sophisticated analyses and observations made, is to write a summary and/or critical review of each text read. Write the summary or critical review immediately after reading a text. This type of focused writing strategy benefits all readers.

Yes, taking notes about the works one reads is a traditional method that is useful in aiding your recollection. Taking notes, however, does not involve the serious level of focus and engagement that writing summaries and critical reviews necessitates. This greater level of focus and engagement will not only ameliorate your ability to recall what you read but also significantly enhance your comprehension.

You can compose your summaries and critical reviews in a regular notebook or journal, but you might find it more fun to capture your summaries and critical reviews through blogging. By using blogging as your method of penning your summaries and critical reviews, you are able to share your writing with the world and engage and receive feedback from a global audience.

Blogger, Weebly, and WordPress are three excellent blogging platforms that you might consider using to blog your summaries and critical reviews of the pieces you read.

Most of us live busy lives. When you’ve invested your time and energy in reading a work, especially a long book or lengthy essay, do you really want to forget most or everything about the book or essay 6 months or a year after reading the book or essay? Let your summaries and critical reviews of those books and essays support your memory.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison       

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2 comments

  1. Great post! I find that highlighting as well as marking up the margins in the books I’m reading help with recalling things later. Using a journal is always the better. Just a few sentences in my journal eventually end up as a new blog post for me or a great starter for writing practice.

    1. Thank you very much! When you turn those things you are reading into blogs or pieces in your journal, I am sure you are able to gain such a greater understanding of those things, and the pieces you read are likely to have more value to you. What an excellent way to remember what you read by revisiting a piece you wrote on your blog or in your journal about it.

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