The Elements of Academic Reading Workshop

Reading academic articles is never going to be as much fun as reading Harry Potter, but it is an essential part of your university career and even beyond. So it makes sense to develop your critical reading skills, both so you can read faster and more efficiently, and (even more important) so you can get more out of the material you read by understanding its broader research context, being able to critique its arguments and counter-arguments, and being able to perceive (and critique) how authors build up and present these arguments. This workshop series will help you to become a quicker, more efficient, and more discerning reader—and since reading and writing are intimately linked, it will also help you become a better academic writer yourself.

Description: Participants completed a series of interactive training modules that provided them with a core set of critical reading skills and knowledge of reading strategies that enabled them to enhance their understanding, retention, and critical assimilation of scholarly articles in their fields of study.

Total Number of Hours: 21-40

What is required: Participants must attend each of the six modules, topics listed below; these modules are offered in both Fall and Winter terms, and participants can attend modules in either term. The modules comprise 12 hours of instruction, and the participants must complete 5 of the 6 homework assignments (1 for each of the modules) and a Reflective Writing Assignment. The 5 required homework assignments and the Reflective Writing Assignment will take a minimum of 11 hours to complete. Global commentary on each of the homework assignments will be provided.

Time Frame: All 6 modules are offered once each in both Fall and Winter terms.

Registration is required. Register here!

Module topics:

1) Why Do Academics Write Articles

Understand why articles get written and what they are (and what they aren’t) intended to do; learn to see articles as elements of the ongoing academic discussion and to approach articles critically and with regard to your research project; learn about peer review.

2) Quick and Efficient Reading Strategies

Learn how to quickly and effectively get the information you need from an article through efficient reading strategies.

3) The Article in the Context of its Field of Research

Learn to pick up the clues in the article that let you know how it fits into the broader context of research in its field. Develop reading skills that will help you to integrate the article into your understanding of the field as a whole. Use your knowledge of the article’s larger context to help you read more critically.

4) Identifying and Critiquing Arguments and Counter-Arguments

Learn how to map and critique the overall structure of an article; learn to recognize and interpret the “signposts” that authors use to let the reader know about how they are developing their argument; learn how to reverse outline articles.

5) The Basic Element of Academic Thought: The paragraph

Learn about paragraph structure and how to analyze paragraphs.

6) Words, Expressions, and Nuance: Getting the most information out of every sentence

Learn how to take sentences apart and analyze them; examine how authors build and nuance their meanings through their word choice and how they make their claims; identify “academic” conventions in your field and the reasons behind them.

Registration is required. Register here!