Academic reading is different from normal everyday reading. It requires concentration and understanding, and you are often required to read a large number of texts and publications. Here are some reading strategies for getting the most out of your time reading.
Before you start to read, consider what information you require and determine what reading technique you need to use. This will depend on why you are reading. You might be reading:
If you are collecting information on a topic you might want to consider:
If you are wanting to form your own opinion on a piece of writing consider:
If you are wanting to question the reading you might want to consider:
Skimming is reading something quickly to get the main ideas. You should skim at least twice as fast as you usually read and make sure to not read every word. It is a great way to gain an overview of material and familiarise yourself with a chapter/article or understand the structure of it. Consider the following when skim reading:
If the material is useful, decide which sections are most relevant or whether you need to read it at all.
Try this easy four-step technique when skim reading for your next assignment:
Scanning means reading a subject more carefully and slowly. You want to be scanning for specific information, keywords, essential details, and quotes or supporting facts in an argument. Restrict scanning to about 20% of the text. Identify topic sentences and evidence in each section.
Scanning together with a sense of context gained from skimming, and careful thinking will make you see the text more clearly.
Try this three-step technique when scan reading for your next assignment:
Critical or reflective reading involves analysing what you're reading and actively thinking about the content. It means you move beyond understanding what the text says and identify its strengths and weaknesses and how it fits into the larger context of the topic area.
When you read critically or reflectively, you can be actively thinking about the questions you want to answer while also thinking about: