Reading (Teaching and Learning)

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Teaching Students How to Read Academic Text

Students struggle with academic texts not because they are lazy or unmotivated. It is because they do not know how.

Show students strategies on reading academic text:

  1. Before Reading Preview the text and set a purpose.
  2. During Reading Synthesize along the way. Stop after a section of text and note what has been learned. Ask questions.
  3. After Reading Explain the information to others.

What instructors can do to help:

  1. Before Reading Set clear expectations.
  2. During Reading Show students our own annotations. Ask questions.
  3. After Reading Create opportunities for students to share what they learned from the reading. Activities such as think-pair-share, small group discussion and one-sentence summary are ways to ask students to share their learning.

Read more details here:


Link to Complete Bibliography
For a complete bibliography, please visit the CTLT's shared folder on Refworks.

Having problems? Visit the RefWorks information guide.

  • Adler, M.J. & Van Doren, C. (1972). How to read a book: The classical guide to intelligent reading. New York: Simon & Schuster.Ubc-elink.png
  • Baumann, J. F., & Graves, M. F. (2010). What is academic vocabulary? Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 54(1), 4-12. doi:10.1598/JAAL.54.11.Ubc-elink.png
  • Brandt, C. (2009). Read, research and write: Academic skills for ESL students in higher education. Los Angeles: SAGE.Ubc-elink.png
  • Cummins, J., & Yee-Fun, E. M. (2007). Academic language. (pp. 797-810). Boston, MA: Springer US.Ubc-elink.png
  • Flippo, R. F., & Caverly, D. C. (2008). Handbook of college reading and study strategy research, 2d ed. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Ubc-elink.png
  • Isakson, M. B. with Isakson, R. L., & Windham, I. (2011). Learn More & Read Faster. Provo, UT: BYU Publishing.
  • Isakson, M. B., Gilbert, J. B., Isakson, R. L., & Loud, Z. S. (ms in prep). How Undergraduates and Professors Read Academic Texts and Implications for Teaching. You may request a copy of the final report at
  • Jetton, T. L., & Shanahan, C. (2012). Adolescent literacy in the academic disciplines: General principles and practical strategies. New York: Guilford Press.Ubc-elink.png
  • Kvasnickova, A. (2005). How to read and write academic texts in social sciences. BRATISLAVA: SLOVAK ACADEMIC PRESS LTD.Ubc-elink.png
  • McCormack, R., & Victoria Univ. of Tech.,Melbourne (Australia). (2002). Learning to learn: The next step. teaching adults how to read and write academic discourse Language Australia, Melbourne, Australia.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Pakenham, K. J. (2005). Making connections: A strategic approach to academic reading. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Permalink.svg Permalink
  • Pressley, M., & Afflerbach, P. (1995). Verbal protocols of reading: The nature of constructively responsive reading Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.Permalink.svg Permalink

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