• The summary has to contain all the main ideas in the summarized text.
  • Just like a diagram, it has to be based on the outlining, and it has to be personal.
  • Ideas have to be in a hierarchy, and they have to be related to each other.
  • As a guideline, the summary shouldn’t be longer than a fourth of the summarized text, although sometimes it depends on the complexity and conciseness of the text, its technical character, etc.
  • It must go from general to particulars, and it shouldn’t include many details.
  • It’s useful for students who have a good audio memory.
  • The summary should be formed with very few points, and they don’t have to be close together, because they make it too long.

Types of diagrams

Braces diagram: each brace has ideas in the same category.

About its inconveniences:

  • Buildup on the right-hand side happens when there are too many subdivisions. In this case, it’s better to use a different type of diagram.
  • When you’re out of practice, it’s difficult to calculate the size of the braces. To begin with, it can be useful to first write the ideas, and then draw the braces.


About its usefulness:

  • It’s a well-known, tried and true model.
  • It’s more useful when it doesn’t have much content.

Learning techniques: Diagrams

With a diagram, we summarize information. With it, we try to organize, classify and put the different ideas in the text in order.


What advantages come from applying this technique?

  • Helps active studying
  • Favors attention
  • Facilitates an easy overview of the hierarchy of ideas
  • It forces precision, briefness and clarity of ideas and contents
  • Improves content memorization and the expression of it, because it offers a logical sequence
  • It forces mental structuring of content
  • It helps in reviews, saving time and effort



To correctly apply this technique, you have to use the previous outlining as the base. It will give you the main ideas in the text.


Besides, it’s really important that, before making the diagram, you choose the type or model that better adjusts to the content of the text.

Don’t forget the following practical ideas:

  • It’s really important that the material you use can be filed, this way it will help you get better organized.


  • Remember that this is about expressing the main ideas, so you need to write using the fewest number of words. This way, when you are using the diagram to study, you won’t get overwhelmed with all the words, giving the impression that the entire piece of paper is full of text. It’s better if you can see lots of blank spaces with no writing. There should be more blank space than text.


  • It’s really useful to use your notes for help.


  • Lastly, check to see your diagram does have the main ideas, and that they are well-organized by their order of importance and/or relationship.

Advantages after doing an outline

  • Saves time when reviewing
  • Facilitates better reviewing
  • Facilitates writing graphs and summaries

Rules of the outline:

– Never outline during the first reading.

– Don’t outline anything you don’t understand. Use the dictionary.

– Don’t outline too much, only the key words.

– What you outlined must have an individual sense, even if it’s not grammatically correct.

– Find the main and secondary ideas. Highlight them with a different code.

– It’s important that the outlined part doesn’t interfere with reading. A rule can be helpful, use meaningful colors


The most important thing about the outlining technique is that it helps us highlight the most important ideas, and there are several different procedures to do it.

You might think that outlining slows down your reading, and logically, it’s true, but it also helps you get a better comprehension, and it keeps you active during your reading.


Lastly, outlining is personal: you outline according to what you know and what you want. Two classmates can outline different things in the same subject, because, for example, one of them might know a lot about a subject, and so she outlines fewer words. than the one who doesn’t know about it.

Because of this, you shouldn’t study from texts that have been outlined by other people, and you shouldn’t outline texts that other people will use.


Outlining is about highlighting; highlight the points, ideas, details and important notes in the text, using a personal code (lines, highlights, signs, etc.).


Widen your vocabulary

– Read a lot: reading a lot helps you widen your vocabulary, and when you do that, it improves your reading, both in speed and in comprehension. This premise is essential.

– Consult dictionaries: It’s not about stopping your reading every time you find an unknown word or something whose meaning you don’t know, because this would make your reading slow and tedious. You must mark the word and continue reading, because most of the times, you’ll find the meaning in the context, without the need to use a dictionary. Nevertheless, once you’ve finished reading the paragraph or the text, you should use a dictionary to look up the words you found. Lastly, read the text again, and this time it won’t be difficult.

– Use the new words you learned: It’s important to get a full and real understanding of a word, using it in different contexts.

– Handle your synonyms and antonyms: you can use synonym and antonym dictionaries to widen your vocabulary.

– Solve crosswords, Swedish-style crosswords, etc.: With them, apart from being entertained, you’ll widen your vocabulary.

– Know the most common acronyms: This way, you won’t stop during your reading every time you find one. There are more every day: UN, NATO, NAFTA…

Mistakes to correct while reading

You must try to correct these mistakes:


  1. Body movement: Some readers use a finger or a pencil to signal their reading. This is an unnecessary mechanical movement that slows down their reading. This is easy to correct: hold the book with both hands while you read.


  1. Regressions and setbacks: You might make stops while reading, and you might go back and reread what you already read, whether it is to make sure what you read is right or because you didn’t understand something. These things hurt your reading speed, and even your comprehension. You shouldn’t do it unless it’s absolutely necessary.

How to correct it? By covering the text, as you read, with a card or a piece of paper.


  1. Reading aloud: It’s a waste of time to move your lips or tongue, because you read with your eyes.

How can you know if you’re making these mistakes? Put a pencil between your lips, and if it moves as you read, then you’re making that mistake. Put your tongue on the ceiling of your mouth when you read, or eat something while you read.


  1. Mental repetition: It consists of mentally pronouncing the words when reading. It’s as if we were reading the text to ourselves.

To see if you’re doing it, put a finger softly on your throat, and then you can see if it’s moving or not.

The best way to correct this effect is by reading so quickly that you can’t do mental repetition.




Reading is really important when studying. Think, for example, about how many hours you spend in front of a book.

You should think about reading not only as a basic study tool, but also as a source of fun and entertainment, something that can help you have a good time.

For example, reading lets you: choose and select from among many subjects like adventure, mystery, crime, etc. It can help you imagine and create many situations described in books, even making you a character in the story.


► Reading constraints.


– Vision: you need to first ask yourself if you need glasses, and if you wear them, you need to determine if you’re using the right graduation.

Specialists recommend having a yearly checkup, but there are also other signs that make sight problems obvious. For example, check to see if you see blurry letters, if you blink too much, if your eyelids get swollen, if you get frequent headaches or if you have trouble concentrating.


– Eye fatigue: it happens when you’ve been reading for too long, and so your performance obviously worsens. To fight it, you can do one of these things:

– Look through a window and into the distance.

– Blink frequently for a while.

– Wet your eyes with fresh water or a chamomile infusion.


– Lighting:

– Have enough intensity

– Natural light is better

– If it’s artificial, it has to be indirect and blue

– It should come from the opposite side of the hand you use to write

– Avoid reflections

– Avoid shadows


– Text position: The book must be inclined and not laid flat on a desk. Use a lectern for this. Keep in mind that the text shouldn’t move, so you shouldn’t be reading in a car, on a bus or a train, etc.


– Distance of the text: It shouldn’t be too far away or too close. It should be between 25 and 35 cm. It has to be at just the right distance for you to feel comfortable reading.


– Body position: It’s important for concentration and to avoid fatigue, without forgetting the problems that can be caused to the spine. It should be a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that makes you sleepy. The spine should be straight and so too should the head.


– Type of letters and paper: The most appropriate letter size is medium. The type should be clear. The paper shouldn’t be shiny. Black type on white paper is the one that best catches the eye.