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In incremental reading, an extract is an portion of a longer text that assumes independent existence. An extract is placed in a separate element and can be scheduled and prioritized independently of the main body of the original text.

The prime functions of extracts are:

  • memory: choose important text highlight for independent review and long-term retention in memory
  • focus: choose important texts for more focused reading
  • speed: postpone less relevant portions of text for later reading
  • reference: separate reference material
  • convergence: dismiss or delete processed texts so that to never read them again

For example, while reading about longevity, the reader might extract a highlighted phrase about the importance of sleep for the brain health.

This glossary entry is used to explain SuperMemo, a pioneer of spaced repetition software since 1987

Incremental reading with SuperMemo 17
Incremental reading with SuperMemo 17

Figure: A typical snapshot from an incremental reading process in SuperMemo. While learning about leptin, the student extracts important portions of the text (in blue), and marks keywords that will be used to form questions that will enhance memory in the long term (in dark orange). The questions are reviewed along a spaced repetition schedule. See this video example for an explanation. The brain picture was taken from here