Academic reading skills

Reading is one of the core activities of university study. In some courses you’ll focus on a textbook, in others you will be expected to read more widely using course materials, journal articles, online sources, chapters in books, etc. Your instructor will indicate the specific reading expectations for your course so that you are clear about the amount and range of reading.

You may find reading academic books or articles difficult for a number of reasons. Sometimes the concepts may be complex and challenging or you may encounter unfamiliar words or terms. Focus on the main message and use any associated diagrams or other visual aids to help you understand. Dictionaries or glossaries can help you interpret unfamiliar words or terms.

Sometimes you may find it difficult to maintain your concentration. To stay focused on the material be an active reader by asking yourself questions, by turning headings into questions and noting answers in your own words.

Use the resources on this page to develop the skills to handle the amount and complexity of reading in your courses.

Resources in PDF

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