A personal blog

"The longest journey is the journey inward." D. Hammarskjöld

Keeping a reading journal

on January 30, 2017


Reading is integral to research. Everyone says that, and it’s true. It’s also true that you need to find ways to read, note and keep track of all that reading. This is in part a question of tools and strategies. But tools and strategies are necessary but not sufficient.

You need to make sense of your reading. This is not just so that you can write short reports for your supervisor and then a literature review. Making sense of the reading is about understanding scholarly conversations – what they are, who is involved, the debates, tensions, silences, assumptions and holes. Making sense of the reading is finding the pleasure in scholarship.


One of the things that can help you in making sense of your reading is a reading journal. A reading journal is not so much a place to keep track of what you’ve read. It’s not a data base…

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