Advice On Background Reading

 

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to university! In your time here, you will likely do some reading. Here are some tips for when you find yourself with a long list of recommended texts in hand:

1. Should I read background/secondary texts?

Ask yourself what you want to accomplish through your reading. This should help you decide. Background texts provide an overview of the main themes of a module – they help you start the course with a foundation of basic knowledge. Secondary texts usually delve further into ideas you have already studied in class – they complement the assigned primary texts.

Maintain a balance and always set an aim when you read, and you should be set!

2. How do I choose which books to read?

Your main aim determines what you read. For a general introduction, you might study the most relevant texts. If you’re new to an aspect of your course, your reading may focus on that. When doing secondary reading, concentrate on themes or texts that you will likely explore in essays and assignments. This will give you more perspectives to discuss. Ultimately, the more you read, the more ideas you will gain. That said, don’t try to read everything.

Maintain a balance and always set an aim when you read, and you should be set!


Image Credits: Pietro Bellini / Flickr (Header)

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