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Homepage / Want to improve your reading skills?

Want to improve your reading skills?


Are you starting to wade through the mountains of reading that you have discovered for your project?

You’ve searched the library databases, journals and printed collection and now have a reading list that stretches to the summit of Everest! Where do you start? How do you extract the key facts you need? You are probably thinking, “Do I have to read *everything*?” and the answer is probably ‘yes’. (Sorry!). But there are strategies to make this less painful and more productive for you.

We have collated some effective reading strategies in our Study Skills Hub. These include skimming the abstract summary and conclusion to get an overview, or scan reading in order to find something specific.

Whichever method you choose, while you are reading, it essential that you take notes so that you can return to the sources if you need to use them later in your writing. Have a look at the various note-taking methods to find the one that works for you.

Should you be critical or not? Applying critical thinking techniques while you are reading is an important precursor to writing critically. As you read you must analyse and critique the argument and assess the evidence. Is there anything missing? Does the author’s view differ from other authors’ work? You can learn more about this process and examples of the critical questions you should be asking in the Study Skills Hub too.

Further information

If you’d like to explore these topics further, why not register your interest on the Lunch+Learn “Critical thinking and reading” workshops in the New Year? And if you struggle with the mechanics of reading, you can find Learning support online provided by the Student Wellbeing and Disability Support team.

Louise Woodland

Written By: Karyn Meaden-Pratt

Louise is Education Enhancement Lead in the Study Skills team within Library Services.

Karyn is the Library Communications Manager and University Archivist.

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