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date: 28 February 2024

8. p. 193Readinglocked

8. p. 193Readinglocked

  • Sarah Birrell IvorySarah Birrell IvoryLecturer in Climate Change and Business Strategy, University of Edinburgh Business School


This chapter considers why reading at university is an essential tool in becoming a critical thinker, what it means to read actively, and how to become an effective active reader. Reading at university moves you beyond reading-to-know and into reading-to-think, which is known as active reading. Active reading comprises seeing, comprehending, analysing, interpreting, and evaluating to make meaning from text. Your own interpretation is necessary because a text has three different authors: the human author, the imagined author, and the reader as an author. Reading is an essential part of university in part because texts allow authors the time and space to develop complex, carefully constructed arguments and ideas which are well reasoned. The chapter then looks at selective reading; the CBD active reading strategy, which focuses on Context–Breadth–Depth; and note-taking. Obstacles to active reading include time and focus, reading ability and accuracy, and the style and difficulty of texts.

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