Academic Reading

Assigned Readings

As you read each article in the modules, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is the author’s main claim?
  • How does the author develop and support this main claim?
  • What do you take to be the author’s purpose in writing the piece?
  • What kind of relationship does the author establish with their audience or reader?

Active Reading

To practice active reading skills, it’s recommended that you define key terms and also pay attention to how the authors define them.

Whether you complete the course readings on a tablet or good old fashioned paper, consider incorporating active reading strategies like the student above. The good news is, if you can plan for a trip, you can learn to read actively by incorporating three simple steps:

To learn more about these steps along with active reading strategies to apply in this course, download the Academic Reading resource:


The Academic Reading resource provides instructions to download, a social annotation tool. Consider downloading this tool so you can personally annotate course readings.

Note: Downloading is not a requirement of the course. It is a suggested tool to strengthen your academic reading and critical analysis skills.

Extending your Reading Skills

As you progress in the course, you may learn new strategies to engage with materials ranging from chapters and articles to podcasts and videos. Any way you can personalize the material and build your knowledge is a step in the right direction. Watch out for the fluency illusion and remember that it takes time to build critical analysis skills.