Would you read the phone book for pleasure?

Few of us would; it is not exactly poetry after all. Similarly, few of us would read academic literature entirely for the pleasure of it. Even though the idea of “reading for a purpose” is similar for the phone book and academic literature, however, the process is more complicated and requires more practice for academic texts.


While most of us open the phonebook to search for a number, there are numerous reasons why one could consult an academic text: it could be

  • “to obtain information (facts, data etc.)
  • to understand ideas, or theories etc.,
  • o discover author’s viewpoints
  • to seek evidence for their own viewpoint (and to quote)” (Grasso, 2005 ).


The following pages guide you through the process of reading for your studies, giving advice on choosing your reading and different reading techniques, such as skimming or scanning. They also suggest how you could formulate questions to guide your reading and explain why it is important to read critically

(footnote: Grasso, Sorina. 2005. Academic Reading: How do we Teach it and Test it in EAP Courses? 18th Annual EA Education Conference)