Do you think that your reading skills have a powerful impact on your overall learning abilities and, consequently, your academic performance?
Well, they do. And let us prove this hypothesis with some facts.
However, before telling you about the interrelation between reading and learning, let me introduce the term ‘self-efficacy.’ In the educational context, it means that as a student, you take ownership of your learning, know your strengths and weaknesses, and work hard to develop and improve them. It also means that you realize how progress looks like and how the assessment works.
Self-efficacy is also about comprehending how the learning process works and taking responsibility for your results. i.e., seeking feedback and acting on it. Even if it is sometimes disappointing, and you feel like quitting.
Commonly, people with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to take challenging problems and tasks just as another skill to master.
Benefits of Efficient Reading
One of the primary skills to develop in college is efficient reading because then you can read purposefully spending less time to figure out the author’s message and learning how to read only the material which is currently relevant.
Besides, reading is generally considered to allow accessing the breadth of the college curriculum and boosting your communication and language skills.
Evidence suggests that reading helps develop a broader vocabulary, gain comprehensive knowledge in different fields, and better understand other cultures. These things will make it easier to expand your social and professional network and start and maintain relationships with your peers, professors, and maybe even your future employers.
Another obvious advantage of efficient reading is that you start differentiating between various texts – is it a general textbook, a journal article, or an academic text? Different types of texts have different structures, and you need to apply a particular strategy while reading any of them.
Naturally, if you have a trained eye for these kinds of things, the fulfillment of an assignment will take less time and will be considered less troublesome or painful.
Either you need to gather information for an essay, learn about a particular topic, understand a specific theory, or prepare for an exam, with efficient reading these things can be accomplished much faster.
However, if, for any reason, you cannot write an essay, review, or a research paper yourself at this point, essayservice.com can help you out. These guys have a strong team of experts and offer assistance with writing from scratch, re-writing, and editing, that will help you improve your performance.
What is more, academic reading is not a passive activity as you consciously make links, research, try to understand opinions without taking anything as ‘fact’ or ‘truth,’ and learn to apply this information to your studies.
We hope we have managed to convince you of the benefits of efficient reading, and you are ready to delve into details.
Techniques and Stages of Reading
So, there are several reading techniques, and they depend on the purpose:
- Skimming, which lets you grasp the general idea of the text. You look through the contents, headings, the first and the last paragraphs in a section, or the first and the last sentences in the paragraphs.
- Scanning, which allows locating the required information. You run your eyes through the text to identify key terms or bulleted items.
- Detailed reading, which helps to critically consider different aspects of the text. A close reading of the text or certain parts of it is involved.
- Revision reading, which is a fast reading through the text to refresh memory or confirm knowledge of the material you are familiar with.
There are also some stages of reading a text when you have defined your purpose, and they can be conveniently divided into: before reading, during reading, and after reading.
At the preliminary stage, you are supposed to skim the contents, headings, and subheadings, read the introduction and the conclusion and identify those parts in the text where the required topic is discussed.
At the middle stage, which is the main one, you need to follow how the author develops and justifies their concepts in the text. You are encouraged to write in the margins, highlight the most relevant or arguable points, and take notes.
Taking notes is extremely important as it assists in focusing and comprehending the information you are reading and summarizing ideas and notions in the text.
While reading, you should ask yourself questions like: Is there logic in the statement? Can it be considered biased? Is there evidence to support the idea? Does the statement prove your assumptions?
The critical approach can help refine your arguments and present your thoughts and views in a more consistent and cohesive way.
You should also remember to check tables and diagrams because the information there is usually provided very concisely and densely.
At the final stage, it is recommended to wrap up what has been read, think about how to put the text in the framework of your research or paper.
In conclusion, we would like to state the following: it is definitely possible to be a successful student with an excellent academic record even if your reading skills are far from being perfect. The only question is: Why do you want to bear the burden of excessive stress if you can easily avoid it?
You just need to invest some time in training to improve your reading skills and then enjoy it for a lifetime. If you learn to read efficiently, your writing abilities will naturally follow.
Moreover, your possibility to concentrate on the task will increase dramatically, which will help you stand out among your peers and future colleagues. Guess who gets the most interesting and challenging projects? Of course, someone who can cope with a mountain of problems and bring maximum results with minimum effort in the shortest time.
Last but not least, spending less time studying means you will have more free time to sleep, do some sports, make friends, visit parties, and have lots of fun.