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
Advance check: suitable support literature for your identified reading purpose 

Before you start reading for your identified purpose, it is worth making yourself aware of the support literature that could help you - whether in gaining an introductory overview or troubleshooting if you come across ideas that you find difficult to understand. A useful preparatory exercise is to check in advance what relevant texts are available, so that you can turn to them easily.

One way of recording this information ready for use later on is to use the form below.

Give brief details of your reading purpose. Then write down the reference information and access details for one or more support texts from amongst the different varieties that seems most likely to help you achieve this purpose. Refer to the list whenever necessary as you proceed with your reading.

What is my reading purpose?






Key support text reference(s) and access details (e.g. library code)


Subject textbooks




Skills textbooks




Specialist encyclopedias or dictionaries


Academic handbooks









To download and use this document – click  here