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Academic Reading Toolkit

Strategies to strengthen your academic reading abilities

The Art & Science of Academic Reading

Welcome! Within your first semester at college, you’ll likely be bombarded by reading assignments that demand a high level of concentration. While you come to college with a wealth of reading experience, college level reading materials can differ from those you’ve encountered in high school. Academic texts such as scholarly/peer-reviewed articles and textbooks are typically written by experts with an audience of experts in mind. As such, reading and absorbing these materials can seem overwhelming.  By experimenting with a range of strategies for reading academic texts, you can develop and fine-tune a set of personal strategies that help you maximize the time you devote to reading and get the most out of what you read.

Librarians at UIC created this toolkit to compile a range of resources to help you build upon your academic reading skills, focusing on the following areas:

  • Reflecting on your reading style, strengths and challenges in order to build upon pre-existing skills 
  • Strategies for reading and processing textbooks and academic articles (e.g. note taking, annotation, and reading in various disciplines/subject areas)
  • Setting up your space in a way that optimizes your concentration as you embark on your reading sessions
  • Efficiently  managing your time when you read

Featured Video: How to Read a Scholarly Article

What's the best way to get started with reading a scholarly article? How do you deal with jargon? How do you engage with a text in a tactile way? How do articles and reading strategies vary by scholarly discipline?

In this seven-minute video, faculty from North Carolina State University (NSCU) share insights and suggestions for reading scholarly articles. This video offers a great summary of a range of techniques for meeting the challenge of academic reading!