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Reading in an integral part of academic life, and on mainstream courses students have long reading lists. It is important to know how to select the materials that are best suited to your level and needs, but reading widely across a range of topics is a good way to improve your overall understanding and speed at reading.

Reading for pleasure

To improve your general reading level, there are a range of graded readers available for you to choose from. These are books that have had the language level adapted or written specifically to meet second language learners' needs. You should not treat these as academic texts, but rather as a means of practising your general reading skills. Research shows that students who read improve in every area of language learning at a faster rate than students who don't. Graded readers can be an excellent way to improve your language skills while reading something enjoyable.

You can also practise reading skills using the Road to IELTS online resource available in the Global Study Lounge.

Reading in your subject area

For those who would like to do more reading in their subject area we have a range of course-books, reference books and magazines, including a selection of The New Scientist Magazine and Review Magazines in various subjects. These can help you develop subject-specific vocabulary in your subject area and bridge gaps in your subject knowledge.

There are also study skills books in the Global Study Lounge, where you can find information about how to improve your reading strategies.

If you would like to do more reading in your subject area, use the resources available in the UoR library.


Useful links for reading

  • BrowZine is a service that can be used to browse thousands of academic journals. It is possible to browse by your subject area to find journals of interest, search for specific titles, create your own bookshelf of favourite journals, see when a new issue of a journal is published and save articles in your personal library. BrowZine can be used on your computer, or you can download the app for use on an Android or Apple device.
  • Read case studies, Reports, Articles from the Natural Environment Research Council website, which is the UK's largest funder of independent environmental science, training and innovation, delivered through universities and research centres.
  • Read about topics in Credo. If you read about a topic in the New Scientist for example, you can find out more and search for the same topic in Credo. You can also use this resource to find out more about your subject area.
  • BBC News allows you to keep up-to-date with daily events and practise your English. A source of the most recent articles, short news items and accompanying videos.
  • Read short news articles at different levels on the News in Levels - World News for Students of English website
See Also

Visit the International Study and Language Institute (ISLI) website for information on EAP courses.

Things to do now

Come to the Global Study Lounge and borrow a book to read for pleasure; the first step is to search our catalogue using the function on this page.