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12 Ways To Successfully Read Academic Texts

Reading can be tough. Here are a few steps that will help a student like yourself become successful in reading scholarly texts.

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1. Getting the assignment

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It all starts off with your teacher/ professor handing you that dreadful textbook/article that will make your life miserable for the next few weeks.


3. Context Clues

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Once you start reading, make sure to look for context clues within the passages. Looking for keywords, repeated ideas/ concepts will help you achieve a better understanding of the content and know the definition of terminology you don't know. PUT TWO & TWO 2GETHER.

4. Resort to the InterNet

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Can't put TWO&TWO 2Gether? Then resort to GOOGLE. Yes, google. Context clues not working out for ya? Google. There is nothing wrong with googling a word you're unfamiliar with. If you really have to, do it. Just do it. ALSO, there is always a dictionary if you're looking for a more accredited source to find definitions.

5. Re-read!

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This is totally okay! U R Not Dumb!! It can get pretty difficult to read a passage that contains complex ideas that are hard to grasp and tough terminology. Re-reading a passage will help you better understand the ideas the author is presenting. Sometimes it helps to reread, so the ideas stick and eventually come together.


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Highlight key concepts, words, or ideas that seem useful and important to you as a reader. Highlighting content that makes you better understand the passage is really helpful. Plus, it stands out and makes it easier for you to find the key concept within all those words. You can also annotate! By adding notes and giving an explanation or a simple comment next to the parts highlighted can help support your reading and understanding of the text. They can serve as reminders to refresh your memory of the content you read in that paragraph(s).

7. Visual Notes

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Drawing pictures can be helpful in understanding a certain concept or method. Many students draw visuals to help them better understand the entirety of a book. Plus, who doesn't like visuals? They are easy to understand and remember.

8. Watch Academic Youtube Videos

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Sometimes watching youtube videos can help the visual learner comprehend a certain topic. Many students resort to YouTube to learn mathematics, economics, chemistry, etc. Well you can also use it to learn a few things about reading and writing effectively. It is helpful to see videos based on the main topic of a book, can be the genre, to learn and see different perspectives.


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FOCUS. Find the main topic by focusing on the abstract which gives a brief summary of sources. This can include the authors background, purpose for writing pieces, etc. Focusing on the main idea will help you understand the bigger picture.

10. Engage In Different Ways

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There are many ways to approach a book, article, newspaper, etc. In some instances, it is better to start reading from the end to the beginning and vice versa. Developing different methods in which to approach a particular passage can be beneficial for the reader. Many people function differently, some methods work for most and for some it doesn't work at all. By approaching a passage in a way that best suits you can change your stance on how you receive the information.

11. Conclusion

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In many passages, especially books, the overall purpose and context of the authors ideas are usually wrapped up for the reader in the conclusion. If you really didn't get anything out of your reading(s), you can seek the authors conclusion to better understand the overall meaning and information.

12. Review

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After writing down your annotations, crazy highlighting, and visual pictures you can always review what you have done. Reviewing your reading notes is key to fully understanding the overall content within the texts. It refreshes your mind with the information you found most important which will help you in discussion groups and interactions with your professor. You will be an even brighter cookie with all of your reading notes!

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