Things to do during reading week

Reading week by name, extra lounging time by nature – right? Well maybe, but what exactly is this week long breather in the academic week really for?  Apart from putting all your books away and concentrating on more important things like catching up on your favourite TV series. Here we try to help with the confusion.

Organising your notes and reflecting

Reading week should come half way through your first term, in which case it is a perfect opportunity to go back over readings that you wanted to do and / or organising your notes. Chances are that, especially if you are a first year student, you are just about keeping up with all that is required of you. This is possible because you haven’t had a chance to put a system to make sure you have time to complete everything. Reading week, therefore, is the perfect opportunity to get your notes in order (i.e. look through your lecture and other notes and organise them) and start writing up some summaries of what you have learnt. Also, there are a wide variety of essay writing service websites on the internet offering help with readings summary, assignment preparation and academic help.

You might create a filing system and re-consider your effective note taking skills, or any other activity you feel might smooth the process in the second half of the term. If you haven’t done so already, it would be worth re-reading all the notes you have taken in order to see if you remember the context and reason why you took them. If you struggle to understand your own meaning, then it is likely that you need to change your style. There’s an abundance of ways you can do this, from active note taking, to memory techniques.

You can also reflect on what part of the course you have enjoyed so far and what type of direction you might want to take. Look at different modules and consider your general academic direction.

Start planning your essays and upcoming assignments

You could, of course, tuck into a writer that you really enjoyed in order to understand them better. By doing this you are not only building on what you have learnt but forming a type of academic interest. By this we mean, forming something of a concerted academic interest that you might research. Start to jot down potential questions that might motivate future reading.

While doing so, why not consider the potential essay questions that you will need to tackle at the end of term? Once you have this in mind, you can then go about reading towards it. You needn’t just look backwards in deciding what to read. Why not get ahead by doing some of the recommended readings for the upcoming weeks? A particular topic or author may have caught your eye, in which case you could be extra prepared by turning up to lectures with good ideas in hand – excellent if you want to really build on your knowledge and utilise your time with the lecturer.

Extra-curricular activity

You could also use the extra time to go about attending various student union society events. Or even visiting places (academic or not) that relate to your course material. This is especially applicable to those studying the arts or humanities, but not solely. It might be that you didn’t have the time to visit the gallery exhibition or play that you found some academic connection with.

It would be a good idea to check with your student’s union to see what concessions you may have.

Catch up on your favourite TV series

You want to watch your favourite TV series without the guilt, right? If so, getting your reading out the way will mean that you enjoy yourself a little more if you’ve cleared your to-do list. Once done, put up your feet and enjoy.


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