#SDPhDLife E1: When I first started my Ph.D., I thought I was an avid reader. I loved to say, “I love to read.” In reality, I haven’t read a full book cover to cover in years. Maybe one or two here and there.

I remember when I received my first set of reading materials – it was over 100 articles to read to prepare for my first set of Ph.D. courses. I thought, wow, but doable. Then I began reading. Well, I was not as well-read as I thought, that’s what academic reading will do to you. Knock all the practitioner confidence right out of you.

However, I’m competitive and I welcomed the challenge. Here’s the best formula I have found for article reading:

  1. Read the full article (not skim) and take notes as you read.
  2. Create a presentation as if you are presenting a 15-minute overview of the article.
  3. Record yourself stating key points. And then, listen to your recording.
  4. Read the full article (not skim) again and go through your notes.
  5. Finish your presentation and create a video of your 15-minute presentation.
  6. Now, skim-read at least 10 other articles related to the topic you’re reading about.

This sounds ambitious and daunting, however, it works! For me that is.

The challenge I had to overcome quickly, was comprehension in terms of practitioner vs. academic language. I think this is where a huge gap exists between practitioners and academics. We don’t need to “speak” the same language, we need to be able to “interpret” our languages for understanding and application.

Back to reading!

Categories: Journal


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