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Reading the technical information and articles

Technical information is typically less friendly than other information. It is often complex and assumes a high level of initial knowledge.

Manuals are often badly written - a manual is often supplied with a product purely because it is expected. In many cases it will have been given to a junior member of staff to prepare, and will not have been properly edited or reviewed.

Before wading into technical documentation, assess who it has been written for. Is it too basic to meet your needs, or is it so advanced that you cannot understand it? In the latter case it may be more cost effective to bring in an expert to do the job.

If referring to specific information, it is most effective to use the table of contents and index to find the appropriate section. Some sorts of material may be most effective to skim before reading it in depth. If you are reading large amounts of the material, it may be effective to copy the glossary. It will probably also be useful to scribe the key of concepts in your own words. Usually the most effective way of making notes is to use a graphic explanation of the text or Mind Maps.

Do you need Speed reading skills?

I fell into speed-reading at a young age. Some things I've seen help:

Try to look at chunks of text, not words, don't worry about retaining it all, just flip through it all.

Do tests where you time how fast you read a page and keep trying it.

Use a piece of paper with a square cut into it to isolate a paragraph at a time and push it as you go along.

Try to learn to read common word combinations as single words. The cat should be read as thecat.

Try visualizations as you go along, not words.

Just a few that work for me.



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