How do I make sure I'm reading widely enough?


Lecturers expect you to read widely on the topic of the course. Sometimes your lecturer will give you explicit instructions about how much you should read and/or how many sources you should refer to in your assignments. However sometimes you may need to look for, or ask for, more information.

These are some things which can help you decide how much reading is expected:

  • the type of assignment (e.g. a literature review? reflective journal?)
  • the amount of time available
  • the number of words you have to write
  • your year level, and whether undergraduate or postgraduate
  • your discipline (e.g. humanities discipline? science/engineering?)
  • the number of marks allocated


You should read enough to fully answer the assignment question. As you read, make a list of the aspects of the topic you are going to write about. The more you read, the more detail and references you can add for each aspect of the topic. This way, you will be able to see where some parts of the topic already have enough detail and references, and where there are any gaps or weaknesses, which need more reading.

Finally, remember that you are not likely to lose marks for reading too much!

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