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English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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Week 1: Reading skills for university study


A good deal of a student’s time is spent reading textbooks, academic books, journals, encyclopaedias, newspapers, magazines and websites. These are the sources of information and ideas that are needed to understand a subject.

Watch the introductory video from the author, Anna Calvi, as she introduces the course and this week:

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If you decide to go to university, you will have to prepare for exams and research essays. In order to do this, you will need to be able to read the most appropriate sources and use some of the theories and information they contain in your essays. You will learn to do this during the first two weeks of this course.

This week you start by looking at the different texts that university students read. You will then learn to follow an active reading method that will help you read academic texts and make notes in the most effective way. For some activities this week, and throughout the course, you will need access to a printer.

By the end of this week, you will be able to:

  • identify different texts university students read
  • understand the most effective reading strategies
  • actively read an academic text
  • make useful notes.

The Open University would really appreciate a few minutes of your time to tell us about yourself and your expectations for the course before you begin, in our optional start-of-course survey [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . Participation will be completely confidential and we will not pass on your details to others.