Reading at University

Reading is a fundamental element of university study, whether researching or revising. When faced with reading lists from several modules , remember (as students and lecturers have explained in the podcasts) that you are not expected to read every book/journal in detail which appears on your reading list. Instead, it is up to you to identify which sources are most useful for your research topic.

Your academic life will also be easier if you are able to develop the ability to read effectively and make use of reading strategies.

Reading at University Advice

When reading for academic purposes it is useful to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Why am I reading this?
  • Do I need to read it all?
  • Where should I start?
  • Which parts will be most useful?
  • How can this text help me?

These questions should help you to start to engage with the material from the outset and become a more focused reader.

Reading tips

  • Always have a purpose for reading as this should help you make effective notes.
  • Try to read critically; ask questions while you are reading and make. comparisons/evaluate information rather than simply accept what you are reading.
  • Be aware of topic sentences (the sentence which contains the main point of a paragraph) – as if you are able to identify this sentence, you will save yourself time.
  • Note down the details of the text you are reading (as this will help you with referencing at a later date).
  • Take care to make notes using your own words. 

Listen to our Podcasts

Listen to our Podcasts

Our podcasts give you firsthand advice on academic study from students and staff

Student Profile

Student Profile

Marija Kuosite

BSc Sociology Student

"I found the Learning Development Centre very useful. People helped me develop ideas which I didn't have before. After, my marks improved"