The best readers read actively. That is, they engage the material and consider the implications of each statement as they read. They also use their involvement in the material to constantly anticipate what will occur next in the passage. This type of reading takes focus and a positive attitude, but it also takes practice. As a reader, anticipating what will come next in the passage is a habit you should seek to cultivate. By constantly thinking about the possible directions the author can take, you will develop a better perspective on the story being told by the author.
Active reading also means getting to know the author as you read. On the LSAT, of course, you will need to be able to answer Author’s Perspective questions, and understanding the author is integral to a full understanding of any passage. Beyond the LSAT, however, the better you can detect subtle directional shifts and tonal cues in language, the better you will understand any given author or journalist.
These are some of the reasons we discuss Active Reading in the Reading Comprehension Bible, and why we include Active Reading drills in our RCB Workbook; developing an understanding of author’s shifts in direction helps you to predict what might come next, helps to increase your involvement with the passage, and gives you a better understanding of the author’s opinion and purpose in writing the passage.