Get an overview of complex topics through accessible sources e.g. video, TV, podcast, simpler book or discussion with friends.
- Have questions in mind.
- see Critical Thinking
- SQ3R method.
- Read in short bursts (stay focused).
- Keep checking it makes sense.
- Be prepared to read texts several times.
- Reading text out loud.
- Tinting the screen.
- Changing font, spacing and size.
- Learning to speed read.
- Annotating texts.
Take smarter notes
- Re-format texts as bullet points, mind maps, diagrams or audio notes.
- Make quotations stand out from your words.
- Use abbreviations.
- Make glossaries of new words.
Use Immersive Reader in Word, Outlook and OneNote to read text out loud, change the font, spacing and background colour and use a reading ruler. Watch the video to find out more.
Selection Reader is a simple Chrome extension which will read aloud any text you highlight in webpages when using the Chrome browser.
Writing annotated bibliographiesUseful guidance from the University of Leeds.
Reading SkillsAdvice and interactive exercises from the University of Sheffield to improve reading skills.
SpreederFree online tool to help you develop your reading speed.
OutreadSpeed reading app for iOS (under £5).
How to use your reading in your essaysHow to quote, paraphrase and summarise sources. Has real examples of students' writing and information about common errors.
41 of the best podcasts for curious mindsGreat list of educational podcasts to aid research and broaden knowledge.
Reading and lectures
Take notes that help you learn