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Improving Involvement and Focus in Learning

Leslie's training manuals are not romance novels. If they were, she could read them in a leisurely manner, without any anxiety. These are technical manuals that require an aggressive reading style. Reading aggressively implies becoming involved in and focused on the reading activity. In Leslie's case, after previewing, she needs to attack this technical reading project.

Reading Aggressively = Involvement + Focus

You cannot lapse into the passive student role that is common in high school and college. You cannot simply stare at the words as if you were staring at the clock or your high school math teacher.

Reading is a thinking process. You must become involved with the words on the printed page, so that you can improve your comprehension and retention.

The main reasons for comprehension problems are lack of proper concentration and a passive reading style. You must become involved with the task at hand—i.e., reading technical material—by actively throwing yourself into the reading activity. You need to develop certain habits and techniques to become an aggressive reader. These techniques include the following approaches.