Reading and Notetaking
These pages will provide some useful information to help you develop your academic reading skills. It includes:
- What should I be reading?
- What is critical reading?
- How do I find books from my reading lists?
- What strategies can I use for effective reading?
- How do I take notes?
Academic reading is very different to everyday reading. Whilst studying at University you will have a higher quantity of reading and you will need to be able to grasp the main ideas, theories, key themes and arguments. Academic reading introduces you to new ideas and enables you to think in a different way.
To help you to focus and make your reading more active, identify what you want to find out from your reading before you start. Depending at what stage you are at, you may be reading to find out:
• Wide background information or context
• Previous or most recent research on a defined area
• Theories or methods to underpin your work
• Evidence to support your ideas
Academic reading is all about being selective, you are not expected to read every book on your reading list – but choose the texts you do read carefully.
There’s also a good, basic introduction to reading at University, created by Napier University.