Understanding your academic reading

Student tips on how to get the most out of your reading and ensure that it really contributes to your learning

Learning at Lincoln - Someone sat cross-legged on a bed reading a book.

Here are a few tips on how to get the most out of your reading and ensure that it really contributes to your learning.

This will help you gain a much better understanding of academic journals, articles and textbooks and improve your research when preparing for essays and exams.

Here are some tips from Katie, a 3rd year journalism student that should help you:

Make a list – it can be helpful to pinpoint the parts of your reading that you’re struggling with. So, once you’ve completed your reading, make a note of what you did and didn’t understand from the text. You can then use this to go back over those more difficult areas and do some additional research.

Develop tactics to help you to understand areas you struggle with – for example: If you’re reading part of a text and don’t fully understand what the author means, try to explain it in your own words.

Clarify exactly what you’re looking for – when searching for information within a text, start by writing a list of questions which you want to find the answers to in your research. This will help you not to lose sight of what is and is not relevant. It will also help in keeping your notes clearer and more concise.

Visit Katie’s full article on Student Life, Independent learning: academic reading, for more details and then think about the extent to which you would follow her advice or whether you would approach academic reading differently.

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