How to read academic texts

There are ways of approaching your academic reading that can break it down and make it more manageable.

  1. Don’t read everything: You don’t have to read everything on your reading list – identify the most important texts and then base further reading on your particular interests in the topic or what is required for the assignment.
  2. Use an active reading strategy: Active reading is about getting the most from a text as efficiently as possible. Below we link to two Active Reading Strategies – they are actually fairly similar, but you may find you prefer one over another. Follow the links to find out more about how to use them. You can download and use our Reading Template to help you to record your reading – or you can copy and paste it into One Note in your section for that module’s reading.
  3. Your set-up for reading: Whilst it is lovely to curl up in bed with a good book, that is not usually how we read academic texts. The reason for this is that we often need to be taking notes at the same time. The way you choose to work will very much come down to your personal preferences, but the majority of what you read will probably be digital – so, on a screen. It can be useful to have two monitors / screens. It is possible to pick up second-hand monitor screens very cheaply. Take some time to think how you will work most effectively – and talk to your course mates about what they do.
Dual monitors (laptop and screen) allow you to read on one and take notes on the other.

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