Throw out your highlighter or at least hide it. It promotes less critical reading.
Keep an eye out for keywords or specific terminology in the text. Try to write your own definition for each.
Abstractions (larger ideas or themes) are usually tied to the reason the author is writing. What is the author’s motivation?
Differentiating High level Ideas vs. Specific Details is a key task for reading-to-write.
Select details from the article or relate details from your own background knowledge to explain these higher level ideas.
Question - How does the author approach the subject matter? What kinds of words are used? (What is the methodology? How are conclusions validated by university research techniques?)
What is the overall structure of the author’s work? How do the separate parts fit together?
Look at points in the article that feature repetition or summary; these are moments when authors often focus on their larger argument or thesis.
Giltrow, J. (2002). Academic writing: Writing and reading in the disciplines. Peterborough, On: Broadview Press.
Enhance your Wellness
Build your self-awareness to determine the optimum length of a study session and what times of day you are most alert, creative, and motivated. To explore your unique patterns and flows, track your days and note your energy level and feelings throughout the day. The better you know yourself, the more you can structure your time for efficiency and ease.
To develop your capacity to learn successfully, check out services offered by Student Success Coaches and the Learning Strategist. https://www2.viu.ca/studentsuccessservices/index.asp
For more wellness resources, see https://services.viu.ca/counselling/health-wellness-resources.
Value for Me?
Higher-level interpretive processes are required in reading and writing university research papers.
Learn how to critically approach your research reading by varying your note-taking to include concrete details and abstract concepts.