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ELISE | Informing your studies: Reading effectively


Quiz question There may be a quiz question related to the information on this page.

Reading difficult material

The Academic Study Skills website has some effective tips on how to read material that seems to be above your level of understanding.

It includes a list of references.

Speed reading

Review the Learning Speed Reading course on LinkedIn Learning to improve your reading speed and comprehension.

Effective reading

Reading widely on a topic will help you write a better essay. Try to find a balance between reading enough to understand the topic and reading too widely and becoming overloaded and confused by too much information.

The Academic Study Skills website has a guide to effective reading strategies. These include:

  • previewing
  • skimming
  • scanning
  • intensive reading

These pages also offer advice on how to read more critically, to help you develop active reading skills and gain a deeper understanding of the material you read as well as tips for effective reading at university.

Active reading

Active reading means reading critically so as to gain a deeper understanding of what you are reading. It involves reading in depth and actively questioning what you read. Active reading requires concentration, so find a place where you can read and focus.

Some tips for active reading include:

  • read with a purpose
  • be selective about what you read
  • focus on the question or task
  • before reading, establish what you already know
  • break your reading into manageable segments
  • keep track of what you read

The Academic Study Skills website provides more detailed information on active reading

Synthesising information

Your reading strategy should include the awareness that as well as reading to understand a topic, you are also aiming to present an academic argument of your own, based on your examination of a range of views from a variety of sources. This is called synthesis.

The ability to synthesise information is an important part of your reading, helping you to develop your point of view on a topic. This helps you to demonstrate your learning and to present your viewpoint in written work.

Learn more about reading strategies on Dr Sarah Elaine Eaton's blog Literacy, Languages and Leadership

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