Reading for Assignment Success: Questioning your reading

Reading for assignment success

Questioning your reading

Critical thinking is an academic skill that you can apply to all aspects of your studies, from finding resources in the library and reading to actually writing your assignment.

An example of critical thinking

We all think critically everyday without knowing it. The image on the right gives a brief snapshot of some critical thinking when it comes to booking a holiday. To make sure your holiday  is everything you want it to be you may have some criteria in your mind, and some questions to help you organise it.

In a student context you will ask some questions to help you decide what to read and eventually make sense of what you do read.

So what is critical thinking as a student?

Thinking critically is not just being negative. It means asking questions of all aspects of your studies from what you read, to which discussions and arguments you may include in assignments.

In the context of making the most of the library you can employ some critical questions to help you decide what to read and to help you understand and identify the key points in what you do read.

Example of critical thinking when booking a holiday


Watch the video ‘A Short Guide to Critical Thinking’.

Download the transcript of ‘A Short Guide to Critical Thinking‘.

Critical reading will get easier with practice and asking these critical questions and making notes while you are reading will make it easier.


Below are four books – using the details provided (title and year of publication) consider which ones may be good choices to research the following topic:

(Tip: use the ‘Description questions outlined in the video above – for example What? or When?).

Assess the Impact of social media on recent protest movements.

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