¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Many students who completed the MALS survey identified a similar problem: the reading load is just too heavy. There’s always more to do; there’s never enough time to get it all done.
No one is doing all of the reading all of the time.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 You might be scandalized by this assertion, but there’s actual evidence that supports it. Depending on who you ask, students thoroughly read anywhere from 20-50% of what they’re actually assigned (McMinn et al 2009; Clump and Doll 2007; Brost and Bradley 2006; Burchfield and Sappington 2000). While mileage may vary, this is true of both undergraduates and graduate students. And, this isn’t just a problem with Kids These Days and Their Waning Attention Spans. Neglecting assigned reading is a time-honored tradition that has persisted since at least 1974 (and, let’s be real: surely a lot longer than that.)
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 So what should we do about it? Because instead of adjusting our practices around this reality, somehow we all just keep pretending that it isn’t true — and by “we,” I mean both professors and students. We keep pretending that we’ve done all of the reading, professors keep assigning gobs of it, and we all keep perpetuating the myth that anyone who hasn’t managed to keep up might just not belong in graduate school.
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To that end, in this section, I’ll outline:
1. Some tips for strategic reading.
2. Some DIY techniques for keeping track of what you’ve read.
3. Some reading guides that you can use as you read to help yourself remember and understand what you’re reading.