Reading in Grad School

Reading in Grad School

I’m going to admit this: In college I was a bit of a slacker when it came to reading. Textbooks were a killer, but articles were even worse. Like most students I found the content boring and/or it was just too long that I didn’t bother finishing.

Things might have been different if I had learned how to read a college level book/article. I, like most students, didn’t learn this and read like we did a book for leisure–one page after another. Cover to cover.

It was funny that I hated reading for (some) of college because I was an English major, but the books were STORIES. They were interesting!!

Now that grad school is approaching, I need to learn how to read. I googled “reading strategies in grad school” and was very overwhelmed. I need to learn how to actively read. I want to put these strategies into practice before school starts.

For those in grad school, how do YOU read? Any tips?

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3 thoughts on “Reading in Grad School

  1. If you have the time, take notes. It might seem to make the process more tedious at first, but it will give you a much better understanding of the material. I find that when I have the most relevant pieces of the article laid out in front of me, it’s a lot easier to find connections and subtext that aren’t immediately obvious. Plus, if you have to put it down for a while, you save a lot of unnecessary re-reading by just consulting your notes.

    You will find, though, that some articles just take a couple of readings before you can absorb the material. I find that’s especially true when I’m reading outside of my discipline.

  2. You have to almost do a meta-reading. That is, read beyond what’s actually there. Who is the author writing for? What is the author’s intent? Is it persuasive? Why or why not? What assumptions does the author make and are those reasonable assumptions? Be able to identify the author’s main argument and supporting claims/evidence. Be able to critique the author’s findings based on logic (not necessarily an in-depth knowledge of the topic). Yeah.. too much for this space, but let me know what you find… I’m always looking for more tips!

  3. In college if I had time I tried to read all of it and divided the readings up. If I didn’t have time, I read enough to write my papers and participate in class. If you have a ton of reading before the next day, you gotta skim. But, that’s the last resort. Read enough to get an idea of what’s going on. Read the beginning of paragraphs and the ends. The middle sometimes is just fluff. Hmmm….I think I should write my own blog post about this 🙂

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