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How do you know what to read?

Between now and applying to Oxford many of you will no doubt be told to read, read, read to soak up as much information about your subject as possible.

Now that's all well and good but how do you know what to read?

A great way to start is through finding an area of your subject you're interested in and taking it from there.

Let's say you've studied King Charles I in history and loved it, well, find yourself a biography about his life, then check out the bibliography in the back of the book and see which texts the author read to compile his life.

Try to compare new and old ideas, so then search online for a more recent interpretation of his reign. This may then take you to books about the context of his reign and the factors influencing his control.

You may go onto read about his marriage and then go off on a tangent looking into his wife, Henrietta Maria, and let me tell you, that's absolutely fine because you're making connections and that's what this journey is all about.

So you see, it's a chain reaction and once you've read your first text, the others will fall into place naturally!

Top Tips

  • Go for quality over quantity, an in depth knowledge of King Charles I's reign will be far more impressive than just touching on every monarch in English history and being unable to remember details!

  • Write lists of books you want to read and tick them off as you go along.

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