Reading critically

  1. Target your reading to the assignment brief - use your resources list or Library subject guides
  2. Begin by reading something general to give you an overview of the subject or check your lecture notes
  3. Write down some rough ideas or questions - just a couple of sentences as a starting point or draw a mindmap to connect thoughts
  4. Make a list of more things you need to find out in order to develop your ideas or questions and look for more specific material to read,
  5. See also Research on StudyHub
  6. Always analyse your reading:
    • What is the author saying - can you summarise in a sentence or two?
    • What evidence or examples is the author using?
    • When was the evidence produced? Is it still relevant?
    • Is there sufficient evidence?
    • Are you convinced by the author's ideas or argument - why? or why not?
  7. How do the ideas from different texts fit together? do they overlap or contradict each other? can you draw a mindmap or diagram to show the different ideas?

(based on an idea from : Stella COTTRELL. 2008. The Study Skills Handbook. 3rd edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan)

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