How to effectively study novels

How to effectively study novels

[ez-toc]Most students do not know how to effectively study novels or do not see the value in doing so since they are lacking the necessary skills. They find themselves skimming through it like a sports or fashion magazine, attempting to get everything, which is impossible. To study a novel, you must be able to grasp and break down the material contained in it into digestible chunks so that you can handle the essay questions with ease.

Tips on How to effectively Study  Novels

1. Conduct some research

When you spend time researching the background of your work, you will have a better knowledge of the characters, themes, and storyline. To learn more about the author, read the bibliography first. This will allow you to understand why the work was produced and what message it has. This will just take a few minutes of your time before you begin reading.

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2. Read

Because you are selecting it for the first time, you should concentrate only on reading rather than attempting to comprehend it from the first page and becoming bored by taking several notes. Take some time to visualize the characters, then put yourself in their shoes and make an opinion about their actions.

Finally, ask yourself some questions and attempt to imagine what will happen next. It is essential that you are not distracted by any activity since they will need your whole focus and the capacity to thoroughly absorb the novel you are reading. It is also not necessary that you finish the novel in one sitting; take breaks as needed to prevent boredom.

3. Time to create note

After you have completed the first reading as discussed above, the second reading requires you to create a study of all the main aspects of the story, beginning with a timeline of events that occur throughout the book, ensuring that you have a clear documentation of how the study began. Following that, you compile a character study of the main character, and as you continue reading, make sure to update the characters.

In a novel, the first chapter discusses the main character, who is the play’s hero. What you do is write down your first feelings about them, the kind of person they are, and what caused them to be that way based on what you have read about them. Then you do the same for the topic; the way they appear in the work, by giving citations that explain why. Love, hatred, chaos and order, death, and other themes are examples.

The alternative way will need you to either utilize separate sheets for various subjects or purchase an extra note book to keep track of the characters, sequence of events, significant themes, quotes, and, of course, narrative tactics. Though this strategy is time-consuming, it provides detailed information about the novel you are studying.

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4. Examine your note

This is where things start to get interesting; when you’ve successfully created your note, discover some samples of essay questions relating to your novel; you may ask your instructor or tutor to assign you some questions, or you can construct your own themes for discussion regarding the tale and its hero (characters).

Then, go over the note you successfully produced and look for materials that will help you answer the question. You may also add extra evidence in the form of quotes, and don’t forget to explain portions of the text as you read.

Finally, after you have done accumulating your answers in the form of notes, you will be able to create essay-style responses to the questions you prepared earlier. When you’re finished, don’t be afraid to show it to your instructor, tutors, or friends so you can see how they rated your work and utilize the required corrections to enhance your replies. As you practice this on a regular basis, your responses will improve and you will get a higher grade.

5. Take note in the books

This is another basic way that includes using a soft pencil; avoid using a pen as much as possible since the ink will be distracting on the paper. It is not required to highlight the whole paragraph, but if a word tickles your attention, underline it and make a little note explaining why or how it is that way; this is a speedier method that allows you to study a text without much stress and gets the task done in a short amount of time.

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6. Take note of quotations

Quotations are vital for supporting points; make a careful note of the pages on which they appear, and if feasible, highlight them while reading so you don’t forget to do so afterward. When taking notes on quotes, be sure to record the page number as well as a brief description of the topic before writing down the quotation precisely as it appears on your note, and make sure you only write the short once.


In conclusion, there is no one standard approach for studying your novel. All that is expected of you is to create an interest in the novel you are reading, since you will very certainly have to read it more than once, and to take some notes. Though it is preferable to rapidly read the book at first to acquire a sense of what the novel is about before beginning the second reading, this time you must read it again and take notes.

However, for those who are already used to reading and comprehending novels, you should be aware that while reading a novel for the second time, you may combine comprehension and note taking, which saves time.

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