Of course, you know how to read! However, we all know that the volume and complexity of academic literature at the doctoral level far surpasses expectations at the bachelors and masters levels. It can be VERY hard to manage, and strategizing is important. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to this, but there are some universal strategies that are a good starting point until you figure out a rhythm that works best for you. There is a corresponding “Reading Strategies” folder in the group files with all of the documents referenced below.
If you find yourself being confused by what you read, there are things that you do to fix your understanding. You reread, annotate, look up definitions, etc. Reading specialists who work with adolescents often refer to this set of taken-for-granted habits as fix-up strategies. Look at the document 10 Fix Up Strategies for Reading Comprehension. Review the strategies on the sheet. Which ones do you use most often? Which ones could be useful to try? You can use the Fix Up strategy tracker for 10-15 minute intervals to record what strategies you used and the frequency of usage. You may want to try different strategies to improve your comprehension of challenging texts.
Related to the fix-up strategies is close reading. There are a myriad of definitions for close reading that you are welcome to dive into if that’s your research interest, but generally, close reading is reading with the purpose of gaining deeper understanding and analysis of a text. We can analyze any written text for both structure and content. The Close_Reading_Routine provided is one way of doing both kinds of analysis and easily can be adapted for electronic annotation.
Have you ever been in a class and thought to yourself, “I don’t even know what I don’t know…”? Great. Join the club. As we quickly discover, we can not expect that foundational knowledge will be covered in any course, but we still are accountable for understanding the history and major discourses of our academic fields. The Disciplinary Understandings Course short version chart provides the essential understandings, skills and discursive modes of social studies/history, science, and literature. Although it is based on a K-12 framework, it can be helpful to orientate interdisciplinary research and serve as a starting point for course design.