Via lifehacker I came across a really nice post by Ryan Holiday: How to Digest Books Above Your “Level”, and I think I am going to recommend it to students. Of course, some of the suggestions can be found elsewhere as well, but especially the first point (“break out of the school mindset”) is something that is not really routine; especially if someone is just starting university, she or he is likely to conscientiously record names or statistics that aren’t really relevant to understand the principal message.
Of course, many people (including me) already have difficulties to comply with the more obvious tips like previewing and reviewing, because it takes more time to go through a paper or book two or three times, but it really helps. I actually have started to try to take notes on each and every scientific article I read, and with books at least I try to write a short summary of the most important things I have learned (that is not necessarily a summary). And now I am going to add Ryan’s tip
Type Out the Important Quotes and Passages
to my list.