hurry up, we’re dreaming! (Dennis’ Photography, 2012)

I’ve done so much reading, I can’t remember who said what! 

If there’s one thing that never stops at university, it’s reading. Preparing for a seminar? Read. Giving a presentation? Read.  Researching a dissertation?  Read, read, read.  With so many different subjects, assessments and new concepts coming your way, you’re bound to lose track of what all those different authors and studies have said. So, what can you do about this? 

A lot of the benefits of reading come after the event, from the notes that you make whilst reading. Your notes are the bridge between what the author/s have said in their work and your own ideas about this. Without useful notes, you’ll find it harder to recall what was written, what it means to you and how it fits in with your prior knowledge. 

If you’ve never really thought about how you make notes from reading, or would like some different ideas about this, Skills@Library have lots of advice for you to dip into. You can watch our Making Effective Notes video, read our Note Making webpages and explore our Note Making Tutorial.  

If you want to take things a stage further, you could also create a reading log for yourself.  A reading log allows you to note down who said what, and may help you to make links between different ideas/theories and arguments made in different books and journal articles.   

A reading log can be very simple, with just a few section headings, adding as much text and description as you like, though you can also make it more sophisticated by using a rating system, use colour coding for different themes it if that makes sense and generally anything that makes it as personal to you as possible. Your reading log could be a simple pen and paper document, or digital using software like Word or Excel, or even something like Evernote where you can attach in links or PDF files.   

Don’t forget that if you would like to talk to one of our Learning Advisors about your academic skills, you can book a 1-2-1 appointment via our website.


Dennis’ Photography. 2012. hurry up, we’re dreaming! [Online]. [Accessed 18 February 2021]. Available from: