"Unlocking the Power of Active Reading and Developing a Mental Framework for Effective Thinking"

Hiba Makhlouq

Hiba Makhlouq

Aug 08, 20233 min read


"Unlocking the Power of Active Reading and Developing a Mental Framework for Effective Thinking"


Consuming information is not enough to acquire knowledge. The process of learning involves active engagement and reflection. By actively reading and developing a mental framework for effective thinking, we can make the most of the books we read and expand our understanding. This article explores strategies for remembering what you read and developing a versatile thinking approach.

Active Reading: Making Connections and Setting Intentions

Active reading involves thoughtfully engaging with a book at every stage of the reading process. It includes setting intentions, making connections, and reflecting on the content. By being active readers, we can enhance our retention and extract valuable knowledge from the books we read. When choosing books, it's beneficial to focus on those that stand the test of time, pique our interest, or challenge us. The more interesting and relevant a book is to us, the more likely we are to remember its contents.

Making Notes and Visualization: Building Lasting Knowledge

Taking notes while reading is crucial for reflecting and integrating what we read into our thinking. The blank sheet method, where we start with a blank sheet of paper and add to it after each reading session, helps prime our brains and shows us what we're learning. Another effective technique is summarizing each chapter and transcribing meaningful passages. Building vivid mental pictures through visualization enhances memory retention. By connecting ideas and visualizing concepts, we create a lasting part of our thinking.

Teaching and Contextualizing Knowledge: Developing a Mental Framework

Developing a mental framework for effective thinking involves understanding the way we think and approaching problems from multiple perspectives. Mental models, built on various disciplines, allow us to see reality from different lenses. By combining ideas and thinking through problems backward, we can gain a deeper understanding. Decision trees help in evaluating different courses of action and assessing risks and rewards. Teaching others what we've learned is a powerful way to embed information in our minds and contextualize knowledge.

The Impact of Search Engines on STEM Education:

In today's virtual world, the use of search engines has become prevalent. However, in STEM fields, traditional directory structures remain crucial. Students who grew up with search engines may have difficulty grasping the importance of directory structures. Professors struggle to explain this concept due to its intuitive nature for them. However, as technology evolves, it's essential to adapt and accept that approaches to information organization may change. Students will bring new perspectives and tools to the field, and it is crucial to embrace these changes.


Remembering what we read and developing an effective thinking framework are essential skills for acquiring knowledge. By actively engaging with books, making connections, and setting intentions, we can extract valuable insights. Taking notes, visualizing concepts, and teaching others help solidify our understanding. Additionally, understanding the impact of technology, such as search engines, on education allows us to adapt and embrace new approaches. By combining these strategies, we can enhance our learning journey and expand our intellectual growth.

Actionable Advice:

1. Embrace active reading by setting intentions, making connections, and reflecting on what you read.

2. Develop a mental framework for effective thinking by understanding different mental models and approaching problems from multiple perspectives.

3. Adapt to technological advancements and be open to new approaches to learning and organizing information. Embrace change and stay curious.


  1. "How to Remember What You Read", https://fs.blog/remember-books/?utm_source=pocket_saves (Glasp)
  2. "Developing a Mental Framework for Effective Thinking", https://fs.blog/mental-framework/?utm_source=pocket_saves (Glasp)
  3. "Students who grew up with search engines might change STEM education forever", https://www.theverge.com/22684730/students-file-folder-directory-structure-education-gen-z (Glasp)

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