This study describes the development and validation of the Reading Strategy use (RSU) scale which assesses cognitive and metacognitive strategy use. In addition, discriminant validity of the components of metacognition and cognitive strategy use was assessed. The first study describes the development of the scale. A final version of 12 metacognitive strategy use and 10 cognitive strategy use items showed acceptable internal consistency. In general, the RSU scale correlated as expected with criterion measures, providing initial support for the validity of the scale. In the second study, confirmatory factor analyses with an independent sample of 139 students confirmed the dimensional nature of the RSU scale. A high internal consistency estimate for the scale was again obtained for this sample. Confirmation of several predicted conceptual relationships between the RSU scale and other reading related factors (i.e., achievement, anxiety, perceived value, self-efficacy, and persistence) provided evidence of construct validity. In addition, it was demonstrated that meta cognitive knowledge, metacognitive strategy use, and cognitive strategy use represent distinct constructs. The RSU scale shows high potential for use in classroom and research settings. © 1997 Taylor & Francis.