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The Book

Skill Sheets is a practical resource for understanding and developing core skills that all university students need to obtain. In a very concise manner, this book shows how these skills are related and how one can develop and work with many skills simultaneously. With these skills to hand, students are able to maintain a better focus on the content of their course. Developed and at RSM Erasmus University, it has been thoroughly tested over many years by both students and professors, and improved accordingly.


Rob van Tulder, Professor of International Business-Society Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam/Rotterdam School of Management. He holds a PhD degree (cum laude) in social sciences from the University of Amsterdam. Published in particular on the following topics: European Business, Multinationals, high-tech industries, Corporate Social Responsibility, the global car industry, issues of standardisation, network strategies, smaller industrial countries (welfare states) and European Community/Union policies.

How to purchase

The book – Skill Sheets – An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management - (2018, ISBN 9789043033503) can be ordered directly online by clicking one of the following links depending your country of origin:

Dutch Dutch buyers

International buyers International buyers

Principles of active reading

The principles of active reading form five distinct phases. Each phase has its own added value in the overall reading process. Take a closer look at the five phases of the reflective cycle of active reading.

1. Selection / Inventory 

Every student, manager and researcher spends an immense amount of time going through piles of literature and other written sources. You should be able to keep track of relevant articles, newspapers, books and reports on a more or less permanent basis. It is impossible to read everything that is published even on relatively limited areas of research. Effective reading, therefore, requires selection of sources. Making good use of libraries and databases is a vital prerequisite for informed selections.

2. Identify / Structure

Effective reading always necessitates that you have an idea about why you read the material. A good insight into the structure of a book, or the nature of an article, can considerably shorten the reading time.

3. Choice technique

Because your reading can serve so many simultaneous aims and functions, different reading methods need to be mastered. Reading itself often seems to function as a substitute for own independent thinking. In this case, reading is aimed primarily at reproducing or memorizing other people’s arguments. Reading without processing the information at the same time is not very effective.

4. Reading and writing

You have to work out routines to actively digest what you are reading. Reading and then thinking about what you have read should always be combined, in order to increase your understanding, and ultimately increase the degree to which you can apply and remember what you have read. It is best to do this in written form.

5. Useability

Reading can rarely be the only source of information for research, study and the development of your ideas. Reading only becomes effective when it is combined with other experiences.


The twelve Skill Sheets about Reading address real-life, practical questions and problems that you may face in your academic career. Each Skill Sheet provides you with advice and guidance on a specific area and gives you tips to improve your reading skills.

This table tells you which Skill Sheet to go to for a specific area.

'An Integrated Approach to Research, Study and Management'