Reading and understanding academic sources can be one of the most challenging parts of the research process. Even if you're reading popular or general sources, close reading requires critical thinking and analysis. This is even more challenging when you are reading in a second language!
When you're reading, you'll want to try to understand the source on multiple levels.
This can be challenging, especially if you're trying to work on all three levels at once.
Ideally, you'll read a source three times, focusing on each element respectively in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd read-throughs. This takes time, so it is best to start your research early.
Review the Understanding Your Source guide for more information on how to master the three levels of understanding.
There are many ways to take notes - and taking notes is very important - here is one suggested format you can use.
A downloadable copy of the Word Template for this note format is provided below. You can hand-write your notes, but typing them into the template will make it easy to copy and paste your quotes when you need them later on.
Before you read