Reading Tips

Completing a Bachelor degree requires you to read, read and read some more! You will need to read material the lecturers designate for each class each term, as well as conduct research for assignments and examinations. Some subjects require more reading than others. The more you read on a topic, the more knowledgeable  and confident you become. Relying on and only reading material placed on Moodle is NOT enough to pass at UBSS.

Reading large volumes of information can be overwhelming, particularly if English is your second language. Tips for effective reading include:

  • Initial scanning – when you open a journal article or eBook, look for key words, headings or chapters.  Then decide what  sections or chapters appear relevant for your topic and start to read them;
  • Take notes – writing in your own words helps you understand the information and remember it;
  • When taking notes, make sure you keep details of the publication such as : the author, title, publication date and place, and page number for any direct quotes you make; this ensures you can recall where you obtained the information, and avoid plagiarism when writing up your work;
  • Look for key words and phrases – this helps to keep your reading focussed on the topics you are investigating;
  • Read critically – is what you are reading relevant to the question/topic you need to address? Does the author provide evidence and examples for his/her arguments? Do you agree with them? Have you read other material where the author has a different opinion? It is often useful to mention this in your work, but make sure you quote and reference the authors correctly;
  • Build your vocabulary– you will encounter words and terms that are repeated as your read in a particular topic area – repetition helps you remember the words and also increases your vocabulary;
  • Look up new or unknown words - If a word keeps appearing that you do not understand, look it up in a bilingual e-dictionary and keep the meaning in your notes. Reading the words repeatedly will help you remember their meanings and build your vocabulary;
  • Take breaks when reading – you are concentrating and absorbing a lot of information hence breaks every hour or so will help keep your mind fresh.  

Referecne was made to the Charles Darwin Universeity study skills webpages.