Efficient reading is about reading in a way that allows you to understand the writer's message without spending too much time in the process.

It's also about reading with a clear purpose in mind so that you only read material that is relevant. When you're reading in preparation for an essay or for understanding generally, remember that good reading strategies go hand-in-hand with good NOTE TAKING skills.

Have you ever found that you've read a text without really understanding what the author was saying?

Have you ever read mountains of books without being any wiser about what the answer to your essay question might be?

You read it but you just don't get it?

If you have ever had these problems, then you have been reading inefficiently.

Efficient reading starts with choosing a strategy to suit the kind of text you have to read because your purpose in reading and the nature of text to be read will determine your strategy.

Your purpose in reading might be to:

bullet gather information for an essay
bullet learn about a particular topic or understand a particular theory
bullet prepare for an exam

In all of these cases, the nature of the text will help you decide how to read. The strategies for reading a text book, for example, are different from those used when reading journal articles. Choose more information about the following types of reading and do the activities in each for practice:

academic reading


reading typical textbooks


reading magazine/journal articles


Last modified: Thursday, 2 June 2011, 2:05 PM