To read this content please select one of the options below:

Reading routines: strategies of recall in graduate education

Gary Alan Fine (Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA)
Hannah Wohl (Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA)
Simone Ispa-Landa (Department of Human Development and Social Policy, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, USA)

Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education

ISSN: 2398-4686

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Issue publication date: 2 August 2021

154

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore how graduate students in the social sciences develop reading and note-taking routines.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a professional socialization framework drawing on grounded theory, this study draws on a snowball sample of 36 graduate students in the social sciences at US universities. Qualitative interviews were conducted to learn about graduate students’ reading and note-taking techniques.

Findings

This study uncovered how doctoral students experienced the shift from undergraduate to graduate training. Graduate school requires students to adopt new modes of reading and note-taking. However, students lacked explicit mentorship in these skills. Once they realized that the goal was to enter an academic conversation to produce knowledge, they developed new reading and note-taking routines by soliciting and implementing suggestions from advanced doctoral students and faculty mentors.

Research limitations/implications

The specific requirements of the individual graduate program shape students’ goals for reading and note-taking. Further examination of the relationship between graduate students’ reading and note-taking and institutional requirements is warranted with a larger sample of universities, including non-American institutions.

Practical implications

Graduate students benefit from explicit mentoring in reading and note-taking skills from doctoral faculty and advanced graduate students.

Originality/value

This study uncovers the perspectives of graduate students in the social sciences as they transition from undergraduate coursework in a doctoral program of study. This empirical, interview-based research highlights the centrality of reading and note-taking in doctoral studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank Elizabeth Lenaghan, Alistair McCulloch, Gianna Mosser, and Lisa-Jo van den Scott for comments.

Citation

Fine, G.A., Wohl, H. and Ispa-Landa, S. (2021), "Reading routines: strategies of recall in graduate education", Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 173-189. https://doi.org/10.1108/SGPE-12-2019-0086

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles