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"The activity of reading does not stop with the work of understanding...It must be completed by the work of criticism, the work of judging..."

- Adler & Van Dore, 1940, p. 137 [Reference

Reading Effectively explores strategies that increase comprehension and recall, including critical reading and active reading.

What are the challenges of university reading?

At university you will read and learn from a range of sources: lectures, lecture notes, textbooks, journals, and web-based resources. They will differ in text structure, content organisation and writing style. It is therefore important that you can quickly select the most appropriate reading material for your needs and get the information from it effectively.

Here are some common challenges identified by students:

  • Too much to read and not enough time
  • Too slow getting through the material
  • Not locating relevant or important information
  • Not understanding content and vocabulary
  • Not remembering or recalling

How effective a reader are you?

Answer YES or NO to these questions:

  1. Do you read advanced texts infrequently?
  2. Do you get easily distracted when you read a book or article?
  3. Do you find the material you read usually hard to understand?
  4. Do you read without knowing the purpose of your reading?
  5. Do you start reading before you have thought about what you need to know, or what you are looking for?
  6. Do you read without having questions about the topic or text in mind?
  7. Do you repeatedly reread a sentence or paragraph without having worked out the main point of the text?
  8. Do you look up the meaning of an unfamilar word as soon as you encounter it?  

If you answered ‘YES’ to any of the questions, you may find reading for academic purposes a challenge. Work through this module to find out how to get more out of your reading.

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