Reading Scholarly Books and Articles

As I’m sure you know, reading a scholarly book or article isn’t really the same as reading for pleasure. If you’re frustrated, you’re not alone! This kind of reading is actually a skill, and like any skill, it has to be learned and practiced.

When you read for research, you’ll skip around a lot, skim, and hunt for arguments. Sometimes this process of reading for the argument is called “gutting” a book.

Here are the slides I presented in class on Monday, October 16, 2017. They are mostly a distillation of the very helpful articles that appear below.

Paul Edwards, “How to Read a Book”
A much-loved short guide to reading an academic book or article.

Shannon Mattern, “Reading Effectively”
Some really great advice on getting through difficult texts, even in the face of frustration and confusion.

Paul Kramer, “Reading and Note-Taking in Graduate School”

A 25-minute video with a lot of wisdom about how to read when you have too much to read.