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Academic reading: What should you do after reading?

What should you do after reading?

Review and reflect

Go back to your questions and answer them using your notes.  Also review and reflect on your notes. Check you’ve noted all the important points. Are there points that need expanding? Annotate your notes with any new thoughts or questions.


Summarizing what you have read encourages you to focus and to remember key points. You will often need to briefly summarize an author's argument in your own words to support your argument or provide a counter-argument.

  • A summary should be brief.
  • Use the author's conclusions and introductions, but in your own words.
  • Use your notes and highlighted sections.
  • Think about how you would explain what you have learnt to somebody else or actually do it.
  • Ask yourself questions to guide your summary: What? Why? When? Where? How?
  • If you are reading in preparation for a lesson or exam, it’s a good idea to think of an exam question that could be formulated from the reading.