Still taking me a ridiculously long time to get through reading. Advice? Watch

SuperHuman98
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I’m a 2nd year history student

Took me atleast 1 hour of reading and writing notes (and some5min breaks). And I’ve only gotten through 10pages....

I’m not trying to note down everything but sometimes it feels like everything is relevant.

Advice please?

I look at the essay question, and the seminar questions and I try to only write down what i think is relevant in relation to those 2.
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stress-eating
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1 hour to make notes on 10 pages of history doesn't seem that long, especially with breaks. How many pages of notes did you make? There's nothing wrong with reading slowly as long as you're absorbing all the information!
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SuperHuman98
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(Original post by stress-eating)
1 hour to make notes on 10 pages of history doesn't seem that long, especially with breaks. How many pages of notes did you make? There's nothing wrong with reading slowly as long as you're absorbing all the information!
1 and a half sides so far (I use narrow margin paper the one with more lines).

Because there’s so much to do before I begin this essay 10pages seems like nothing lol (I’m just trying to read 1 chapter from this book so it’s 17 left
Last edited by SuperHuman98; 2 months ago
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Reality Check
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(Original post by SuperHuman98)
I’m a 2nd year history student

Took me atleast 1 hour of reading and writing notes (and some5min breaks). And I’ve only gotten through 10pages....

I’m not trying to note down everything but sometimes it feels like everything is relevant.

Advice please?

I look at the essay question, and the seminar questions and I try to only write down what i think is relevant in relation to those 2.
(Original post by SuperHuman98)
1 and a half sides so far (I use narrow margin paper the one with more lines).

Because there’s so much to do before I begin this essay 10pages seems like nothing lol (I’m just trying to read 1 chapter from this book so it’s 17 left
How do you do this? Do you read the chapter in its entirety first, making quick notes/arrows in the margin and then go back over it to make the notes, or are you reading a paragraph, making notes, reading the next paragraph....
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by SuperHuman98)
I’m a 2nd year history student

Took me atleast 1 hour of reading and writing notes (and some5min breaks). And I’ve only gotten through 10pages....

I’m not trying to note down everything but sometimes it feels like everything is relevant.

Advice please?

I look at the essay question, and the seminar questions and I try to only write down what i think is relevant in relation to those 2.
You don't read and aim to learn everything. You read the introductory preface and you make notes of the chapter headings and if it's an important book, what the author says about each chapter in the preface.

You read the last chapter of the book, but you only note the conclusions. 2 or three sentences per page.

You look up a review of the book and you make a few notes on what the reviewer says the strengths and weaknesses of the book are.

Then you are done with that book. You go back and read a chapter if you look up your notes and see a chapter that is specifically relevant to an essay etc.

You don't read the whole book - well ever really. You only read enough to know what the book is about, and make notes so that you know which books to go back to to find specific views, perspectives quotes etc when you specifically need to.

Your notes on one book shouldn't be more than 2 sides of A4.
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gjd800
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I just skim for major themes and conclusions, only re-read in detail if I'm gonna use it to write something
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SuperHuman98
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(Original post by Reality Check)
How do you do this? Do you read the chapter in its entirety first, making quick notes/arrows in the margin and then go back over it to make the notes, or are you reading a paragraph, making notes, reading the next paragraph....
I read about 1 paragraph and note down anything that I think would be relevant to my essay especially authors arguments
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Reality Check
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
You don't read and aim to learn everything. You read the introductory preface and you make notes of the chapter headings and if it's an important book, what the author says about each chapter in the preface.

You read the last chapter of the book, but you only note the conclusions. 2 or three sentences per page.

You look up a review of the book and you make a few notes on what the reviewer says the strengths and weaknesses of the book are.

Then you are done with that book. You go back and read a chapter if you look up your notes and see a chapter that is specifically relevant to an essay etc.

You don't read the whole book - well ever really. You only read enough to know what the book is about, and make notes so that you know which books to go back to to find specific views, perspectives quotes etc when you specifically need to.

Your notes on one book shouldn't be more than 2 sides of A4.
As usual, spot on. In fact, I can't really think of a time when your advice isn't simultaneously accurate, detailed and without a load of mucking about.

It still surprises me when people imply that they read academic texts like they're a Jackie Collins they picked up at the airport. They start at beginning Chapter One and they read...

(Original post by SuperHuman98)
I read about 1 paragraph and note down anything that I think would be relevant to my essay especially authors arguments
This is probably part of the issue. You can't get a broad overview of any argument or themes when you're reading one paragraph at a time. You need to read (assuming you've done your 'preflight checks' to make sure the text is worth reading in the first place), dwell and THEN make notes. As gjd800 says, skimming the text is a really important skill you need to develop. As is using the contents page and index.

Reading time is a precious commodity. You need to disburse it with discretion.
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gjd800
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(Original post by Reality Check)
As usual, spot on. In fact, I can't really think of a time when your advice isn't simultaneously accurate, detailed and without a load of mucking about.

It still surprises me when people imply that they read academic texts like they're a Jackie Collins they picked up at the airport. They start at beginning Chapter One and they read...


This is probably part of the issue. You can't get a broad overview of any argument or themes when you're reading one paragraph at a time. You need to read (assuming you've done your 'preflight checks' to make sure the text is worth reading in the first place), dwell and THEN make notes. As gjd800 says, skimming the text is a really important skill you need to develop. As is using the contents page and index.

Reading time is a precious commodity. You need to disburse it with discretion.
haha yeah,i have loads of books where i've read like 3 chapters out of 12 (because the others were not of real interest!). I rarely read them in the right order, either unless the book is something i am really interested in
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Reality Check
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(Original post by gjd800)
haha yeah,i have loads of books where i've read like 3 chapters out of 12 (because the others were not of real interest!). I rarely read them in the right order, either unless the book is something i am really interested in
Exactly the same here. I also had a really bad habit of printing whole papers when all I needed was two paragraphs of results, or even the abstract. Let's hope Greta doesn't get hold of me!
Last edited by Reality Check; 2 months ago
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Reality Check)
As usual, spot on. In fact, I can't really think of a time when your advice isn't simultaneously accurate, detailed and without a load of mucking about.

.
I went back to Uni last month and with 20 books in each module outline, and 8-12 per lecture, at 3 lectures per week, I spent Oct going through this exact 'htf! do I cope with this?!' experience. The I remembered how I blagged all previous degrees....so fingers crossed!
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Reality Check
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I went back to Uni last month and with 20 books in each module outline, and 8-12 per lecture, at 3 lectures per week, I spent Oct going through this exact 'htf! do I cope with this?!' experience. The I remembered how I blagged all previous degrees....so fingers crossed!
'blagged' Good old British understatement there. How's the course going?
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by Reality Check)
'blagged' Good old British understatement there. How's the course going?
Hmm, ask me again when I've submitted my first piece of written work and got it back (just in time for Christmas!).

I'm loving student life as opposed to working life though :banana2:
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SuperHuman98
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Reality Check threeportdrift gjd800

Thanks guys. I’ll take what you all said into account. I will focus on being way way more selective. Reading more paragraphs first and even doing things like skipping to the concluding paragraphs of a chapter.


Thanks so much!!! Your wisdom may have saved me a lot of unnecessary effort in my degree.
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Reality Check
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(Original post by SuperHuman98)
Reality Check threeportdrift gjd800

Thanks guys. I’ll take what you all said into account. I will focus on being way way more selective. Reading more paragraphs first and even doing things like skipping to the concluding paragraphs of a chapter.


Thanks so much!!! Your wisdom may have saved me a lot of unnecessary effort in my degree.
Glad it helped you. I think you'll suddenly find you're getting a million times more info out of your reading, even though you're actually reading less!

Good luck with it. You're doing the most aristocratic of all degrees, after all
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