ECONOMIC & SOCIAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Productive reading
Why spend time and effort reading a particular text?
Distinguishing between support and ‘front-line’ literature
How can you identify fit-for-purpose support texts to read in full or selectively?
Advance check: suitable support literature for your identified reading purpose
How can you identify fit-for-purpose front-line texts to read in summary or in depth?
Advance check: suitable front-line literature for your identified reading purpose
Scrutinising the efficiency of your academic reading habits
How efficient are you as a reader in your academic studies?
Reading strategies: scanning, skimming and intensive reading
Taking risks with your reading time and effort
Making the most of your reading time and effort: towards an effective compromise
Scanning a short text for specific information
Skimming long texts
Writing effectively
Arguing convincingly
Mapping your field
Literature reviewing
Reviewing the literature systematically
Developing proposals
Making the most of your reading time and effort: towards an effective compromise 
 

Consider how you could work consciously towards an effective compromise in the choice and sequencing of your reading strategies for different reading purposes in your academic study. Try answering these questions.

 

  1. Could you make more use of scanning as a way of checking rapidly whether a new text is likely to have some relevance for your reading purpose, or whether it can safely be rejected?

 

 

  1. Could you make more use of skimming to establish how centrally relevant a new text is to your reading purpose, or whether you can safely just summarise what you have skimmed?

 

 

  1. Could you make more use of intensive reading for centrally relevant texts, to explore in depth the content and the development of the authors’ argument?

 

 

  1. How could you minimise your chances of investing the time to read intensively texts that turn out to be only marginally relevant to your reading purpose?

 

 

  1. How could you minimise your chances of missing important content or steps in the development of authors’ argument in a text?

 

 

  1. How could using a sequence of two or all three main reading strategies help you to achieve some of your reading purposes more effectively than relying on one strategy alone?

 

 

  1. Overall, what is the single most important thing you could do to achieve a more effective compromise with your reading strategies in your academic studies?

 

 

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