Resources on improving reading skills

General reading resources

Academic Reading for Maximum Effectiveness
Method and suggestions for particularly difficult reading assignments.

Reading Guide (handout)
The reading guide is designed to help you read more efficiently and effectively by focusing your attention on what to look for anytime you read anything.

Note-Taking from Reading Video (University of North Carolina, 3:46) - Covers the basics on how to take notes effectively from your readings.

Taking Notes While Reading (University of North Carolina) - Provides additional information to the above video, and also links to many other useful resources on subjects like annotation, Cornell notes, concept mapping, highlighting, skimming, and improving reading comprehension.

Concentration Strategies
Helps you identify what usually distracts you and suggests new concentration strategies.

Techniques for Skillful Reading (Cal Poly Pomona) - Links to resources on several aspects of reading.  "Reading with and Against the Grain" may be particularly valuable for critical reading.

How to Read a Book, v. 5.0 (University of Michigan)
Comprehensive resource with many concrete suggestions applicable to both Undergraduate and Graduate students.

Active vs. Passive Textbook Readers (City College of San Francisco linked from Trump University)
The "active" section contains great tips for increasing your reading effectiveness.

A Guide to University Learning
Interactive online university preparatory workshop that, among other things, includes a guided exercise on learning from a textbook.

Learning From Texts (University of Guelph)
Covers active reading, speed & comprehension, concentration, and dealing with difficult texts.

Exam Preparation through Lectures and Readings
As you complete the lecture and reading for each topic in a course, go through this checklist to enhance your learning and begin the process of effective exam preparation.

Academic Success-the Curve of Forgetting (SLC Video)
Ever wondered why you can't remember material that you have read? Watch this short (2:20) Student Learning Commons video to find out why regular review is SO important, and how you can improve your memory, and your grades. 

Reading articles to prepare for writing or discussion

Reading research-based journal articles
Tips for faster and more effective reading. Focused on articles found in Science and Social Science disciplines.

Critically Analyzing Information Sources (Cornell University)
Gives an idea of questions to ask when reading. 

Taking Notes from Your Reading (University of New South Wales) - This resource is particularly useful for thinking about and taking notes from research sources.

How to Read a Journal Article (ICPSR) - Tips and tricks to make reading and understanding social science journal articles easier.

How to Read a Paper (University of Waterloo)
Focuses on "the three-pass approach".

How to Read (and Understand) a Psychology Journal Article (
The advice here is applicable to research-based articles in disciplines other than psychology as well.

Reading for specific courses

A Short Guide to Close Reading for Literary Analysis (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - A guide outlining a process for reading and analyzing literature such as poetry.

The Writing Process: Guidelines for Critical Reading (Hunter College) - Instructions for how to read literature/ fiction, followed by instructions for reading non-fiction such as textbooks.

How to Read a Scientific Article (Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication)  Strategies discussed include selecting main points and asking questions while reading.  The article includes a template for taking effective notes from a scientific article.

How to Read (and Understand) a Psychology Journal Article (
The advice here is applicable to research-based articles in disciplines other than psychology as well.

How to Read a Math Textbook (Cuesta College)
Several appropriate steps to read a math textbook. 

Reading a Math Textbook (Arizona State University)
Tips that can help you understand the material better.

E-reading: Reading from online sources

Learn more about how reading from electronic sources such as tablets and phones can affect reading comprehension.

The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens (Scientific American)
The bottom line is that reading on paper leads to better comprehension and retention than reading on a screen and is less tiring.  You can read the full article for the details.

Scientific American: Why the Brain Prefers Paper
A summary of the article above showing that reading on paper leads to better comprehension and retention than reading on a screen and is less tiring.