I’m a History MA graduate student and it took me about four months to learn how to perform like a “History MA graduate student.” One important performance lesson I learned is the art of graduate school reading. I had no clue that it required so much tact. I wondered how people got so much reading done so quickly (hint they didn’t). Before learning this reading hack, I felt intellectually inferior. My sense of imposter syndrome reached a new high.
But boy, oh boy — I had an ah-ha moment when my professor taught my class ‘the trick.’
Book reviews, book reviews, book reviews! And strategic reading!!! It is more effective to read some info about the author, historiography (in my case) i.e. a book review or two, the introduction and the conclusion and a bit of each chapter in between (preferably all of the chapters assigned). Then to try an muscle through books cover to cover.
Reading in order, cover to cover is a style of reading best left for leisure rather than class. ❤