Premier League: Reading 0 Wigan 3
Roberto Martinez's men took the lead late in the first half through Arouna Kone, who quickly doubled the advantage just before the interval.
Maynor Figueroa made sure of the points early in the second half before Pavel Pogrebnyak was sent off to end any lingering hopes of a home fightback.
The win lifts Wigan above Aston Villa and out of the bottom three on goal difference.
Wigan made a fast start against Reading and almost took the lead in the opening five minutes.
Franco Di Santo jostled his way past several Reading players before firing a shot from the edge of the area which Adam Federici did well to parry.
Reading quickly responded and should have taken the lead, Hope Akpan heading over from point-blank range after good work down the right from Jem Karacan.
The visitors dominated possession in the opening stages, but it was Brian McDermott's side that created the better chances.
Jimmy Kebe hit the side netting from a corner before Akpan saw another effort go well wide.
Opportunities continued to come for the hosts, but at the other end they were thankful to Federici, who produced another fine save from Kone to keep matters level.
Wigan's Ivorian forward was not to be denied and just minutes later he did break the deadlock, deflecting Figueroa's header past a helpless Federici.
That goal clearly gave Kone confidence and he duly doubled Wigan's advantage seconds before the break, latching on to a wonderful through ball from Jean Beausejour before delicately lofting a finish past Federici.
Martinez will have been delighted with his side's first-half display, and the situation improved further after the break.
Figueroa powered an effort under the legs of Federici to extend Wigan's lead after neatly exchanging passes with Di Santo.
A three-goal lead almost became four soon after, Di Santo stabbing wide of the near post from close range following an excellent low delivery from Emmerson Boyce.
Even the introduction of top scorer Adam Le Fondre could not help Reading's cause and their uphill task became almost impossible as Pogrebnyak was sent off for an ill-judged tackle on Figueroa.
His dismissal killed any hopes of a miraculous revival from Reading, and it was Wigan who remained the dominant force.
Wigan eventually take their foot off the gas, and with Reading lacking both ideas and inspiration, they were able to cruise to a much-needed triumph.