Reading and consuming information is increasingly important today because of the amount of information we encounter. Not only do we need to read critically and carefully, but we also need to read with an eye to distinguishing fact from opinion and identifying reliable sources. Reading helps us make sense of the world — from simple reminders to pick up milk to complex treatises on global concerns, we read to comprehend, and in so doing, our brains expand.
- Red River carts
- baby bottles
- cable suspension bridges
In college settings we deliberately work to become stronger readers. Research continues to assess and support the fact that one of the most significant learning skills necessary for success in any field is reading. You may have performed this skill for decades already, but learning to do it more effectively and practicing the skill consistently is critical to how well you do in all subjects. If reading isn’t your thing, strive to make that your challenge. Your academic journey, your personal well–being, and your professional endeavours will all benefit from your reading. Put forth the effort and commit to it. The long–term benefits will far outweigh the sacrifices you make now.
Questions to consider:
• What are the pros and cons of online reading?
• How can distinguishing between reading types help you academically and personally?
• How can you best prepare to read in college?
Research supports the idea that reading is good for you. Students who read at or above reading level throughout elementary and secondary school have a higher chance of starting — and more importantly, finishing — college. Educational researchers convincingly claim that reading improves everything from grades to vocabulary (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998).
If you don’t particularly enjoy reading, don’t despair. We read for a variety of reasons, and you may just have to step back and take a broader look at your reading habits to understand why you avoid engaging in this important skill. The distractions we now face as well as the intense information overload we often feel on a daily basis in all aspects of our lives can combine to make it difficult to slow down to read, an activity that demands our attention in a way that most television and music does not. You may need to adjust your schedule for more reading time, especially in college, because every class you take will expect you to read more pages than you probably have in the past.