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- Check out the author’s bio online to get a sense of the person’s bias and perspective.
- Read the title, subtitle, front flap, table of contents. Figure out the big-picture argument of the book, and how that argument is laid out.
- Read the introduction and conclusion word for word to figure out where the author starts from and where he eventually gets to.
- Read/skim each chapter— read the title, and the first few paragraphs or the first few pages of the chapter to figure out how the author is using the chapter and where it fits into the argument of the whole book. Skim through headings and subheadings to get an idea of the flow. Read first sentence of each paragraph and last. Once you get an argument, move on as it may repeat itself.
- End with the table of contents again, summarise each.