Candidate Number: BU/13A/IT/0671Date of Submission: 22/03/2013Course Title: Academic Skills 1Course Code: 104 GENTutor: Elizabeth Olaoye
HOW A UNIVERSITY STUDENT SHOULD APPROACH ACADEMIC READING IN ORDER TO MAKE THE PROCESS AS EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE AS POSSIBLE
Academic reading can be defined as an active process through which a student attracts or draws knowledge from a set of write ups to construct or make meaning. For a student to become efficient and effective in his/her reading, he/she should adopt a critical approach towards reading an academic write ups, read aggressively, seek to comprehend and analyze information, and finally reflect on what he/she has learnt. This essay will argue and attempt to suggest various methods on how a university student can attack academic reading in order to make the process efficient and effective as possible. A student can approach academic reading through the adoption of critical reading to make the process efficient and effective. He/she can start thinking about how he/she read different documents, newspapers, novels, train schedules, and so forth. Taking time to reason about this would assist in giving a student hint on how to read in an academic context – even if he/she does not understand every single word. Active reading would assist a university student to develop his/her academic reading skills in an efficient and effective way. As McWhorter (2009) stated, ” Active reading is the primary means by which student should acquire his/her ideas and gather information.” (p27). Active reading involves much more than moving eyes across lines of a write ups, more than recognizing words, and more than reading sentences. As McWhorter (2009) stated, ” Reading is thinking.”(p27). It is an active process of identifying important ideas, evaluating, and applying them. Active reading would help student to preserve and maintain information that he reads, it also helps student to become a logical, deductive, reasonable, and critical thinker in his/her academic reading. For a student to become efficient and effective in his/her academic reading, he/she should adopt active reading while reading academically. Critical reading would help a student to become efficient and effective in his/her academic reading. Critical reading is an important skill because it helps student understand what the writer is saying in a more effective and efficient manner. In order to achieve this, it is essential for a student to think about the language of the writer in a critical manner. Instead of just referring/supporting directly to the words in the text, he/she should aggressively try to identify and analyze evidence in the text that can help him/her attain a deeper understanding of what he/she is reading. According to Barnet (2008) states, ” Critical reading helps student to interpret a text by working through a sequence of steps in order to attain a particular understanding of what is being read.”(p32)Academic reading of a student should become efficient and effective if he/she would brain storm while reading academically. Brain storming is a creativity procedure which can be used quickly to generate new ideas. University student can brain storm alone, but he/she can do it as a group. Brain storm would helps student to become creative thinker, share ideas, and so on. Brain storming would be an efficient approach to generate plenty of ideas on a particular subject, and then verify which idea is the finest result. Brain storming is most effective with groups of 8-12 students and should be performed in a relaxed environment (E. g. library). Learning how to scan a document should help a student to develop his/her academic reading skills. As Langan (1993) stated, ” Scanning is used to find a particular fragment/piece of information.”(p89). Student would run his/her eyes over the text looking for the particular piece of information he/she needs. Student should use scanning on lecture handout, schedules, etc. in order to locate a specific detail he/she requires. If he/she sees words or phrases that he/she do not understand, he/she should not worry while scanning because he/she is not looking for the general idea. Scanning a document would helps university student to locate the text he/she is searching for, and it would also save time and energy of a student. Learn on how to scan a document by a student is extremely important and necessary in order to make his/her academic reading efficient and effective. Skimming is one of the factors that make the academic reading of a student to become efficient and effective. According to Henry (2008) states that, ” Skimming helps to quickly gather the most important information.”(p7). Student run eyes over the text and collects important information. Sometimes, student might be ask to find the general idea of an essay within a short period of time, and if he/she were to read in detail, the time limit is short, but if he/she learned how to skim a text it would be easier to locate the main idea. Learning how to skim a text would help to speed up academic reading of a student in an efficient and effective manner. Academic reading of a student can become efficient and effective if he/she would embrace extensive reading. As Rasool (1993) stated, ” Extensive reading is the process of obtaining general understanding of an essay and includes reading longer texts for pleasure.” (p6). Extensive reading skills would help student to improve his/her general knowledge of reading procedures. University student should approach his/her academic reading with an intensive reading method. Intensive reading is used on shorter or brief texts in order to extract particular information. It includes accurate attention while reading for detail. Student should adopt intensive reading to his/her academic reading in order to grasp the details of a particular situation. In addition, it is important that student should understand each word, number or fact in the document. Intensive reading should be encouraged by a student in order to make his/her academic reading efficient and effective as possible. Efficient reading would help a university student to approach his/her academic reading in an efficient and effective way. Efficient reading is a process that allows student to understand the writer’s information or message without spending plenty time in the process. Moreover, it would also help student to read with a clear objective in mind so that student could only read material that is relevant. When student is reading in preparation for an essay, he/she would remember that good reading strategies go together or hand-in-hand with good note-taking skills. Efficient reading begins with selecting a strategy to fit the kind of text a student have to read, because his/her purpose in reading and the kind of text to be read will determine his/her strategy. University student ought to learn how to highlight or underline while reading academically. As McWhorter (2009) stated, ” Highlighting is an excellent way for a student to improve comprehension and recall in his/her reading.”(p153). Highlighting would helps student to decide what is important and sort the main information from less important material. Sorting ideas this way improves both comprehension and recall. To decide what to highlight, student must think about and evaluate the relative importance of each idea. Underlining while reading would also help student capture the main points, consequently when reviewing the document he/she would easily trace the central idea. But highlighting most of the document should be avoided, because most likely student is not thoughtful enough about what he/she is looking for. If student learns how to highlight a document while reading, it would help his/her reading skills to become efficient and effective as possible. Academic reading skills of a student could become efficient and effective if he/she would encourage him/her self in taking or writing note. Taking note would help a student to remember the key points when reviewing. It will also help to avoid plagiarism when writing essays or assignments. Taking notes by a student would assist him/her to absorb information, and explain or rephrase difficult. University student could develop his/her academic reading skills if he/she would set goals and think critically on how to acquire them. For a student to attain goals, he/she ought to set them first, and have the ambition of achieving them. For instance, student desire is to graduate from university with a colorful result (i. e. first class upper), but for him/her to attain his/her goals, he/she must work extra hard. Furthermore, time in an academic reading is the most important factor when setting aims or goals. A student should learn how to minimize his/her own time in order to accomplish the goals. Academic reading skills of a student could become efficient and effective if he/she would encourage independent reading. An independent reader is someone who is always planning for his/her academic reading or activities; manage resources available to him/her (e. g. library). Learning how to become independent reader by the student would help him/her to be motivated to read, manage his/her own reading, and reflect on his/her reading. Independent reading would assist student to become a successful reader and provide him/her with some understanding into his/her reading success that will enhance his/her motivation to continue reading. In conclusion, students seldom mention reading as an essential skill. In a real sense, reading is a hidden factor in the university or college. When student think of college, he/she think of attending classes and labs, completing assignments, studying for and taking exams. A closer look at these activities, however, reveals that reading play an important role for one to succeed. With these points mentioned, academic reading of a student will improve if he/she would embrace all of the points to his/her academic reading. Without using the points mentioned, the process of academic reading of a university student would never become efficient, effective and successful.