The QUASAR method of reading

This article focuses on one particular way of reading an academic text to get the most from it

The QUASAR  method of reading is a way of making sure that you get the most out of your academic reading. You need to have an active strategy when you read. Reading for university study is not a passive activity - you need to be very aware of what you are doing! QUASAR stands for:

QU - question

A - be Active

S - systems

A - analyse

R - reflect

There is an excellent study guide from the University of Southampton which I am going to point you to which explains this method of reading and it also has a number of excellent awareness raising activities too. This particular resource is not specially designed for international students, but it is intended to support all students needing to improve their academic reading skills. The resource needs more than one sitting! Don’t just read it all through and then forget about it. In fact, if you did that then you would be doing exactly what it is telling you NOT to do! The whole point is to read it with a deep approach so that you understand and reflect on what you read. You might be used to reading things from start to finish, to get SURFACE information from a text that you can memorise and then use in assessments. International students who continue with this SURFACE approach to study at university in English speaking countries will not do well. Don’t take my word for it, have a look at the study guide from Southampton University. The link takes you to a collection of study guides and you should follow the link ‘Reading Academically’ which is the third on the page. As I said, there is a lot of information and you should read a bit of it, and then act on it. It would be a good idea to read the introduction to the study guide, and then read sections 1.0 , 1.1 and 1.2. You can read these  here.

When you have read those sections you should be thinking carefully about whether you read with a SURFACE or a DEEP approach, and the importance of a deep approach. So when you’ve read the sections, done the exercises and thought about it, go and do some deep reading around your subject!

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