Let's say someone is studying a Biology book, but the technique is a bit different than usual. Not only memorizing many words on the book, but also always searching scientific article related to specific words in the book. Sometimes he could make many hypotheses (or questions) too.

Overall, it's like "researching" or "exploring very deeply", so I think he could be called "connoisseur". He is still in high school so (for me) he is too young to adapt with many scientific articles.

Is there other adjective, a phrase, or a word for such kind of this behaviour?

7 Answers 7


I don't believe there's a single word or short phrase which eloquently covers all the points you want.

There is a word, 'peruse', which means to read something carefully and thoroughly.

"I offer this paper for your perusal."

  • I was thinking of peruse as well, but these days, it's as often used to mean the opposite ("to look over casually; to skim") as it is to mean the intended "to examine or consider with care."
    – Adam Katz
    Jul 16, 2015 at 20:33

One word that comes to mind.


(immerse oneself or be immersed) Involve oneself deeply in a particular activity or interest

She immersed herself in the study of biology.

I would also like to mention that scrutinize might fit here but is usually used in a different context then this.


In teaching (UK) there is a technique for marking work referred to as "close marking." This means fastidiously checking for, and correcting, every single error. Whether it is relevant to the task at hand or not.

I would suggest that "close reading," is similar to what you need here.


A bookworm

Most people who immerse themselves greatly into their studies is known as a bookworm.

You might also describe this person as



You could say 'He has made a close study of his textbooks.' Is he looking for mistakes? Then 'He has made a critical study of his textbooks.' If he brings a sense of discipline to his studies, you could say 'He has made a rigorous study of...'

There are other phrases as well, but be careful. The phrase 'close reading' I use primarily for literary studies. There is also exegesis, but this is often used for religious textual studies. (there are wikipedia articles on both of these)

In addition, I would not call him a 'connoisseur' because this has many misleading connotations. Try an adjective, such as 'meticulous' or 'methodical'.


Let me coin a term for it: Agassizing, meaning studying in detail, reiterating. (Otherwise, no, no single word.)

Based on a great anecdote about learning to study carefully:

  1. http://philosophy.lander.edu/intro/introbook2.1/x426.html

  2. http://people.bethel.edu/~dhoward/resources/Agassizfish/storybehind.htm

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Sunfish

  4. http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/download/nwp_file/328/Lets_Take_Another_Look.pdf?x-r=pcfile_d

"Do you see it yet, the professor asked?

"No", replied the student. "I am certain I do not. But I see how little I saw before."

"That is the next best," Professor Agassiz answered.


To plumb is defined by oxforddictionaries.com as "[to] explore or experience fully or to extremes". One commonly hears this word used as part the phrase "plumb the depths of".

  • That same site presents the possible synonyms "delve into" and "fathom". Jul 16, 2015 at 20:29

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