entertaining - friendly - informative - funny - useful - popup free - less annoying than chem lab!


Main Categories

> academic resources
> apparel
> backpacks
> college life
> comics
> computer resources
> credit cards
> deals & sales
> diversions
> downloads
> employment resources
> financial aid
funny pictures
> gag gifts & pranks

> game day signs
> games

> humor
> music resources
> NCAA fan stores

> posters
> sexuality

> student discounts
> student guides

> tee shirts
> textbooks
> travel resources
> videos


> anthropology
art & art history
art & graphics
> astronomy & space
> biology
> chemistry

> community colleges
> dating services
> economics
> four year schools (USA)

> geology
> grad school info
> help & support
> history
> knowledge base
> mathematics
> music webcasts
> news & views
> online learning
> physics
> podcasting

> reference shelf
> science
> sociology
> statistics

> study abroad
> web development
> the written word


> arcane & trivial
> book recommendations
> college radio
> comedic
> curiosities
> events & festivals
> featured websites

> film & video
> funny pictures
> gross-out
> links
> movie recommendations
> movie trivia
> music downloads
> people
> photography
> satire
> sport
> spring break

> take a survey
> tv or not tv
> weirdness


> apparel
> backpacks
> deals & sales
> gag gifts & pranks
> game day signs
games & gaming

> NCAA fan stores
> posters
> tee shirts

Add a Link

  We are always looking for the best sites on the web to recommend to our core group of visitors: college students. You can help by recommending websites that you feel are educational, amusing, interesting or even controversial. We are also open to link exchanges with quality websites in any category. To suggest a link click here  




Web Fat Campus

Site Directory


A Guide to Reading and Understanding Difficult Material

It's bound to happen at one time or another. Your instructor assigns a text that is so dense, poorly written or follows a train of logic that you never got on. You know that there is information in there that is important to the subject. You will be required to discuss it in class, write about it in a paper or, heaven forbid, understand it well enough to deal with it on an exam. With that in mind, we have constructed this step by step guide to help you make sense of difficult material.

Narrow Your Objective
It's best to concentrate on a moderate amount of material at a time and once that is understood, move on to the next chapter or section. For very dense material a paragraph at a time may be the best way to go.

Get an Overview
Scan the material. Look at the chapter titles, headings, sub-headings and anything that's in bold face type. Look at any graphs, charts, diagrams or pictures to get a sense of what they might convey. This step primes your mind to focus on the material before you start to read it.

Make Your Own List of Questions
Write them down and allow space for the answers. These questions should paraphrase the title, headings, subheadings and topic sentences. This will help you to concentrate on the material.

Look at the End
Many times there is a summary. Read It. Look for exercises and review questions. They will give you a good idea of what the text is trying to convey.

Give it a Read Through
Don't try to get it all the first time. Keep reading for the things you do understand.. Ideas often become clearer the more you read. Don't take notes the first time you read. You will likely take down too much information, copying without understanding.

Use the Reference Shelf
Look up difficult words and terms whose meanings are important to your understanding of the material and which you cannot get from the context. Our Fat Campus Reference Shelf and Information Index likely links to an online source where you will find these definitions.

Re-read the Material
As you read and as the answers to your questions become clear, write the answer down in the space you allowed. You should find that as each question is answered that answer is reinforced in your memory.

Go Over the Questions and Answers
Cover over the answers and ask yourself the questions. Recite the answers out loud or to yourself. This recitation reinforces the material. For questions you can't answer, go back over the material until you are sure of each answer.

Consider It Math
Long, convoluted sentences sometimes obscure the meaning of the passage. It may help some learners to substitute = for the verb "is" and + for the word "and" and then rewriting the sentence as an equation. Take out the descriptive adjectives too and you might find it much easier to understand.

Sleep On It
Many times things become clear when you put them aside for a while and then come back to them. This is especially true if you sleep between sessions. There is even a name for this: Distributed Reading. Your brain continues to process information even when you are thinking of something else.

Review the Material
The essence of understanding is repetition. When you are finished with difficult material it is important to go back over it several times, reviewing your questions and answers. At some point the goal is to discover that it is no longer difficult. Eureka!

Get Help
Your Instructor is the best source for clarification. He or she is there to help. Just don't approach your instructor at the last moment. That would be counter productive. Be prepared to discuss your problems and the material calmly and logically. Just because you're frustrated doesn't mean that you have to act frustrated. Bring your notes and questions and answers with you to show your progress up to that time. Fellow students can be good resource people also as long as it does not turn into the blind leading the blind


Reading Skills Resource Books


Our Other Websites  /  Our Policies  /  About Fat Campus  / Contact Us  /