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Academic Reading Toolkit

Strategies to strengthen your academic reading abilities

Finding your Optimal Reading Environment

Being mindful and deliberate about how and where you read most effectively and efficiently will help you maximize your reading time. An optimal reading environment will look--and sound--different to different people. Some people prefer complete silence, while others thrive surrounded by other people and background noise or music. Research has shown that none of us are as good at multitasking as we might think, so cutting out distractions in your environment, whether visual, digital or sound-based, is a good start for many. When you don't have complete control of your study environment, think about minor adjustments that might improve comfort or concentration. When studying on campus, think about available spaces that work best for you. For example, the Daley Library has collaborative study spaces on the first and second floor and quiet zones on the third and fourth floor. You can also take advantage of the Circle Reading Room on the first floor, another quiet space.

In this brief video, a student describes their optimal reading environment.


Minimizing Distractions