Reading Strategies for Non-Fiction Text

Most of the emphasis in school and on the standardized tests has been on non-fiction reading. Non-fictional informational texts can be beneficial in preparing students to write reports and complete research projects. Although we shouldn’t completely disregard fiction, we need to remember that reading non-fictional texts can be paramount to learning. When a student is reading about historical events or scientific facts, they are building their vocabulary and knowledge simultaneously.  The Language Arts skills that the students need are integrated into the non-fictional text, much in the same way that the fibers of a basket are woven together. Here are some strategies to use when reading non-fiction text.


  • Activate your prior knowledge, thinking about what you already know about the particular topic you will be reading about. This will make it easier to connect the information you read with the information you already know.
  • Preview the text, reading the heading, captions, and anything that may be bold or highlighted. Make note of pictures, graphs, etc. that may be included in the text.
    This will help activate your brain and will prepare you to better understand the information that you are about to read.
  • Break the text into small sections, take your time and slow down and re-read if necessary.
  • Take notes and jot down any observations or connections you have made regarding the text, as well as any questions you may have that need clarification.


Non-fiction text can present a huge amount of information, facts and ideas. Learning from such text can be difficult and you may feel overwhelmed at times. These reading strategies can help you to stay focused and as a result increase your understanding and comprehension of non-fiction texts.

Reading Strategies for Non-Fiction Text

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