Working with your reading

There seem to be two major difficulties that students have when they are reading academic books and materials. One is struggling with the ways in which things are written. The other is the length of time that things can take to read. Many students express surprise at the need to make repeated readings of the same material. We cannot stress enough that you are likely to find yourself having to read things more than once, and this is in no way to be seen as strange or unusual. Academics themselves find it necessary to 'repeat-read' articles and books. This is in part due to the dense nature of such texts and the fact that so many ideas are packed into the text. To put it another way, ideas are embedded in the text and it can take a lot of rereading to unravel them so that they appear clear and understandable. The first activity in this chapter is designed to help you to see the differences between types of text and identify what you might find particularly hard work about an academic text that you have to read.

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