Step 2: Structuring

In the exploratory stage, you thoroughly studied the table of contents. Now we can focus on one part of learning content.
The objective is to understand the broad lines of the learning contents and to structure the paragraphs. By focussing on ‘main issues’ and structuring these, you will already remember a large part of the learning contents.

How to get started?

Step 1: Highlight (parts of) titles &  subtitles. This way, you immediately get an idea of the structure of your text.


Step 2: Thoroughly Read the Text for the First Time per Paragraph.

  • Understand what you read! Activate your prior knowledge and ask yourself aloud if you already have any knowledge on this subject. If you are able to link new information to information from your long-term memory, then you immediately process the learning contents actively, so you will memorise it more easily.
  • Search for difficult words in a dictionary or in the glossary at the back of your syllabus.
  • www.digitalewoordentrainer.be is a tool to create personal word lists in different languages. Click on 'en' in the language choice on the home page and register for free. Afterwards, you can practice and study the words online.
  • Recognise the different types of signal words. These will help you to interpret a text correctly and to discover its structure.


Step 3: Ask Yourself: ‘What Am I Reading?’  

  • Ask yourself a WH-question for every subtitle (WHo, WHat, WHere, WHy, WHich ... )

  • If the text is long or treats different aspects, then add a subtitle in the margin.


Step 4: Read the Text a 2nd Time and Mark the Answer to Your Question.

  • The answers from the WH-questions often point you to the main issues from a text.
    Careful! Do not highlight entire sentences, but only the most important words.

  • How can I find out what the essence of a text is? 


Step 5: Create a Structure with the Selected Titles & Text.

Additional Tips

  • Keep asking yourself questions!

    • Do I understand the learning content? What is this exactly about?

    • Which links do I find?

    • Which questions might be asked about this?

  • Establish links with practice and current events. Try to find your own examples!
  • Discuss the content with yourself and your fellow students.
  • Do you take a course which offers mainly digital study materials? Then check our digital learning study tips

Getting Started ...

This stage of ‘structuring’ and distinguishing main and side issues asks lots of practice!
You can download some practice texts here and compare them with the answer key.

Is the learning content elaborate or complex? Draw a scheme!