Step 3 – develop reading muscles

University study in the 21st century is not all about books and reading.  But understanding text and developing your writing skills is still a significant part of most degree courses.  Everyone studying at university can read, of course! But you are probably going to need some practice to read quicker, think harder and make more connections. 

You may find reading or concentrating difficult – most of us do! Check out the links below to help develop your reading skills and remember it takes time to develop any skill.   If you think you might be dyslexic, have a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) or physical difficulty or illness, you should contact the Accessibility service who can advise on extra support or adjustments to your course. 

There are lots of ways to use technology to support reading so now is a good time to find what works for you. 

It can help to think about developing reading like training for a sporting event, competing at elite level.  You have to put in the work week by week, even if you have bad days, and keep building up the stamina and speed, developing reading ‘muscles’.  There are lots of tips and ideas about how to keep engaged and active when reading on our StudyHub lectures, reading and note-making pages.

Ready to go deeper?

It’s really important that you read (and make sense of) as many of your module readings as you can.  If you struggle with reading, ask your lecturers to identify the most essential.  Take time to make notes and discuss what you’ve read – the aim is to activate your brain and not just passively take in the text.  Look up the meanings of words you don’t understand and make yourself a glossary.  These words will be so useful when you need to do writing or presentations.

Tip: don’t ignore reading and hope it will go away.  It won’t!  Seek advice from our study experts if you need it – it’s what we are here for!