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Managing Your Studies: Reading techniques


Academic reading involves a variety of different literacy sources for example textbooks, journal articles, research and other documents relevant to your discipline. Academic reading differs from casual or leisure reading because it requires a more focused and analytical approach. When reading academically, individuals typically aim to extract key information, critically evaluate arguments, and assess the relevance and credibility of the sources. The purpose of academic reading is often to gather information, deepen understanding, conduct research, or support one's own scholarly work.

In order to use your reading time effectively, it is important to apply purpose and strategies.


Due to the volume of material in academic texts, readers often employ skimming and scanning techniques.

Skimming involves quickly reviewing the text to get a sense of the structure of the literature, the main idea, key words.

Scanning involves searching for specific information, like facts, data, answers and relevant information within the literature.

Survey, Question, Read, Recall and Review

Survey: Use scanning and skimming technique to gain an overview of what you are reading.

Question: Think critically while you read- what is being said and why?

Read: Apply active reading skills and take notes.

Recall: Apply critical thinking skills- how does this relate to other information? Does this apply to your assignment? Can you make any links or comparisons? Does this provide evidence?

Review: Using your notes, can you summarise main points, key ideas? Paraphrase information into your own words.


The CRAAP test: Use the prompt table below to apply a questioning approach to your reading. Reflecting on the Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose of the information


Currency- The timeliness of the information.

When was this information published? When was the research conducted?


Relevance- The importance of the information to meet your needs.

How does this relate to my topic? How can I use this in my assignment?

Who is this information written for?


Authority- The source of the Information.

Who is the author/ organisation/ publisher?

What is the author’s background (experience, qualifications, affiliations)?


Accuracy- The reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content.

Where did I find this information? Where is their evidence?

Is it peer reviewed? Are there any biases?


Purpose- The reason this information exists.

Why has this been written?

Are they objective? Are there any altera/ hidden motives?


Further Reading