Reading & Research: Let’s Learn! 

Why is reading important?

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Reading is a key way to keep up to date on what is happening in textiles. As well as introducing you to new ideas, it is also a great way to embedding things you already know about. 

If you are studying for A level reading will be important to your success as it will help support what you do in lessons. University and college course will expect you to do background reading so it is a good habit to get into. 

How often do I need to read?

It doesn’t matter how often you read or how long for. Short soundbites of reading, even for just a few minutes, is a great way of drip feeding knowledge without it feeling time consuming or an effort. If you are interested in something it is usually easier to read for longer and often this will happen naturally without you realising it. 

What do I read?

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It doesn’t matter what you read as long as it is textiles related in some way. You could read books, magazines, or things on the internet but some of the best learning comes from just reading posters, labels and textiles related things around us. This drip feeds information that will help you with your studies. 

Do I need to write anything down?

It can be useful to make notes about some of the things you read but this isn’t essential. You could keep a sketchbook or notebook with some of the key things you learn. Highlighting or underlining keywords and phrases can be useful, especially if you want to find the information again in the future, although it isn’t always possible to do this in a book. If you are looking at things online you could create Pinterest boards to save your reading into for future reference. Take a look at these Pinterest boards to get you started. 

Be creative think of your own ways to record what you read. Why not take photos of key bits and post it onto Instagram or other social media?

Tips on making reading easier

Even someone who enjoys reading can find reading academic books challenging so here are some tips to help you develop your reading skills:

  • Highlight or underline keywords or phrases. If you can’t write in the book invest in some sticky notes & attach those to the page.
  • If a book has headings, subheadings, diagrams etc. use them as a clue to what is on the page. This will help you develop ‘scan reading’ techniques.
  • ‘Scan reading’ is where you don’t read every word. You let your eyes run across the page searching for headings, subheadings, keywords or phrases. You might read in more detail where you see the keywords. 
  • When scan reading you might find it useful to use your finger to run along the lines on the page. This feels quite childlike but it helps your eye focus on the text and trains it to move quickly over the words. 


Take this self assessment test to find out about other things you can do to develop your reading skills

Reading that is a bit different

Try these ideas for reading that is quick, easy to do and which won’t feel like reading at all! You can do this sort of reading many times during the day for just a minute or two. 

  • Care labels
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  • Swing tickets
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  • Leaflets - look out for these when you go shopping
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  • Signs in shops
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Reading magazines


Find out about magazines you could read

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Find out about books you could read 


The internet is a useful source of information to read especially as you can easily browse for short periods of time. Don’t forget sites like Wikipedia aren’t always accurate so it is better to use well known sites that specialise in the areas you want to learn about. Why not set up a Pinterest account and save information you find online for use in the future?

You will find lots of web links on different pages in this website. 

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