The QUASAR method of reading

Thanks to students who are emailing me. I am always pleased to hear from you even if it takes me a long time to reply. Unfortunately I cannot give everyone individual advice because I also have a full time job! Do remember that you can sign up to receive my posts by email. That means that you don’t have to keep coming here to see if there is a new post!

Quasar sounds like a really cool thing. Whenever I see or hear this word I think of young boys running around in the dark wearing special jackets shooting each other. That’s because ‘Quasar’ is a place in Torquay where you do just this and my sons have been there on a number of occasions for birthday parties. It is also the name of a system for reading:

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!