By now you should have developed a mindmap or essay plan and practiced searching for relevant academic materials. This week we will be focusing on reading, particularly in relation to writing your essays.
Once you have decided upon your literature you need to read and take notes so you can incorporate this into your essay in a meaningful way. If it is your own book or a printed article you can highlight and make notes. You can use post it notes to indicate a significant part which is what I usually do...
You should also make notes as you read in a way that is understandable to you even many months later! Keywords can be useful so you can easily identify what the topic relates to and what aspect. For example you might use ‘handwashing’ and ‘technique’. If there is anything you don’t understand whilst you are reading then make a note of the question in the same way and look for the answer later. Alternatively, if it’s not too distracting look the answer up at the time. If it’s a new term then it makes sense to do so straight away so that you fully understand what you are reading. This is particularly helpful for a new or complicated topic for example a research methodology. You can then make fully notes to summarise what you have read and learnt to remind yourself later – don’t think you will always remember!
You've already looked at Steps 1 and 2 of our '5 steps to essay success' elearning module. The next step is to work through Step 3: Read and make notes