Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

IRW 085/095 Library Tutorial: Reading Help

Reading a Book

When reading a book, pay attention to clues to find out what it is about and if the book is relevant to the topic for which you are finding information or if it is an appropriate source. For example, look at the following parts of a book:

  • Author's experience or background (you may have to look around for this using other sources of information)
  • Publication date (often located on the title page)
  • Table of contents in the front of the book will allow you to glance at the topics covered in the book
  • Headings within chapters (to tell you what the paragraphs and sections are about)
  • Index (located in the back of the book)

Ask A Librarian!

If you have a question and would like to chat with a librarian, click on the "Chat Now?" button below.


If you would like to schedule an appointment to meet with a librarian, click on the button Schedule Appointment with Librarian.

If you need help and Chat is offline, contact us through "Ask A Librarian" form. We will respond as soon as we can. 

You may also call (606)759-7141, ext. 66206. 

Can't get to the databases? Go to the Off-Campus Instructions library guide. 

NOTE: Students may see a login error when accessing electronic library resources. Often, this error occurs when using Google Chrome. This error is generally caused either by an expired authentication token or a prior sign-in attempt in progress. 

To avoid this error, you can close the browser and reopen it in a "private" or "incognito" window. It is recommended that college students and employees always use private browsing to access library electronic content. Using a browser other than Chrome may also prevent this error from occuring. You may also fix this problem by going to your browser settings to the search history and clear/delete the data from websites you have visited and clear the cookies saved in the history. Then, close the browser and reopen it. 


Light bulb glowing on chalkboard

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay 

Literature Databases

Reading Self Help

These books are available from the MCTC Libraries to help with reading skills. 

Tips for Reading Critically

When reading or working on an assignment, you should conduct your research with a critical eye. As you read or view your research sources, consider not only the content provided by the writer(s) but its purpose and how it is written. Consider the who is the audience for which it was written and evaluate the supporting information provided by the author. Does the author use unbiased or emotionally-charged language? Learn to distinguish between fact and interpretation. Draw your own conclusions!


Common Charateristic Traits of Critical Readers

According to the Study Guides and Strategies website, critical readers tend to have the following traits:

  • Exhibit self-honesty
  • Recognize bias and avoid being easily manipulated
  • Ask questions
  • Draw evidence-based conclusions
  • Find connections between thoughts and subjects
  • Develop intellectual independence