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Reading and writing are closely related skills that form the core of academic work. In order to write a good thesis, you need to be a good reader, and you need to be conscious of how as well as of what you read.


The most important thing about reading is to actually read. People who read a lot on a regular basis will usually develop good reading skills automatically. Our top tip for anyone who needs to read for the purposes of their studies is simply this: get reading! There is no other way to become a good reader.

Learning a subject involves getting familiar with texts that communicate scholarly insights as well as information about research methods and current areas of debate. Of course, reading is not the only way to learn about a subject: you will also attend lectures, discuss and debate at seminars and study groups, and write research papers.

In this section you find some basic advice about reading strategies, as well as some suggestions to bear in mind. You can adopt a pick-and-choose approach to the following advice – the same strategies will not suit everyone.

The verb “to read” is linked etymologically to the verb “to pick”. The Latin word lego means “I pick”, as well as “I collect” and “I read”.

Happy reading!

Last updated: June 19, 2019

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