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Learning Center - Study Skills

This guide reviews study skills, including effective note-taking, test-taking, and reading.

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As a college student, you will be expected to read your course materials, textbooks, and homework closely and critically.  Reading closely and critically means understanding both the basic and complex parts of a text and how these parts interact to create meaning:



Let's take a closer look at close reading practices:



When reading closely, use the following Keys to Success:

  • Read with a reliable (print or digital) dictionary
  • Look up allusions (reference to something outside of the text)
  • Keep a running dictionary of any words you looked up
  • Write your thoughts in the margin
  • Keep a reading / writing journal


When you reading critically, you are asking why questions of the text:



When reading critically, use the following Keys to Success:

  • Note any differences between the  readings: is there anything you did not notice the first time?
  • Try to focus on the style rather than the content the second or third time.
  • Examine the ways that structure and organization work together to create meaning.
  • Look for ways the author appeals to the audience (ethos, pathos, and logos).