Reading doesn’t just involve picking up a book and reading it cover to cover.

Reading helps you understand your subject and gather evidence to develop your own ideas and inform your arguments.

This page will help you identify what to read, how to develop a critical reading strategy, and learn how to choose and record useful information.

How do you know what to read?

Get to know your Resource Lists

The best place to start reading is your module Resource Lists. These can be found in your Blackboard modules. You can buy copies of key textbooks using your Reach bursary. Check the Worcester Reach website to find out if you are eligible.

Find other resources

To do well in assignments, you also need to independently find your own sources of information, using Library Search or specialist subject databases. 

Get hold of books and articles from other libraries via interlibrary requests or by visiting other academic libraries

Systematic reviews 

Some assignments will require you to undertake a detailed literature search, known as a systematic review.  

Reading at a partner organisation

If you’re studying on one of our partner courses, we have library resources to supplement your local library or resource centre

Evaluate what you read

Evaluate the sources you find to make sure they are good quality, scholarly information, suitable for using in academic assignments.

Our fact checking resource list will help you find out more about the sources you’re using and the claims they make.

Get help 

If in doubt, book an appointment with one of your Academic Liaison Librarians to get help on finding and evaluating information. 

Critical reading

Critical reading is active, purposeful reading. Ask questions, evaluate arguments and make connections between texts. Find out more on our guide to developing a critical reading strategy or read chapter nine in Stella Cottrell’s Critical thinking skills for more detailed information about critical reading and reading strategies.

Taking notes 

Taking clear and concise notes will help you manage your reading and make good use of it when you start to write your assignments. 

Make reading easier

Lots of what you read will be online.

If you find reading from a screen difficult or uncomfortable, experiment with using tools to help with reading, like text-to-speech readers or just adjusting the settings on your tablet or laptop.

Use Blackboard Ally to download course materials in different formats like audio or ePub or try SensusAccess to make your reading more accessible.

Office 365 contains helpful tools like an Immersive Reader, which includes a read aloud function. 

Get help 

Contact the Disability and Dyslexia Service if you have a disability, medical condition, or Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD) that means you have specific support needs for reading.