Reading is an essential skill that is critical for success in academics and everyday life. However, not all reading is the same. There are different types of reading, and each type requires a different set of skills and strategies. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between academic reading and general reading and provide tips for improving your skills in each area.
What is Academic Reading?
Academic reading is the type of reading that is done in academic settings, such as universities and colleges. It involves reading complex texts that are typically written by experts in a particular field. These texts are often dense, filled with technical terms, and can be difficult to understand for someone who is not familiar with the field. Examples of academic reading include textbooks, academic journals, and research papers.
What is General Reading?
General reading, on the other hand, is the type of reading that is done for leisure and entertainment. It involves reading material that is typically less dense and technical and is written for a general audience. Examples of general reading include novels, newspapers, and magazines.
The Difference Between Academic Reading and General Reading
Now that we have defined academic reading and general reading, let’s explore the differences between the two.
The primary purpose of academic reading is to gain knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. Academic reading is done to deepen your understanding of a particular subject, to support your learning, and to gain knowledge that can be applied in a specific context. General reading, on the other hand, is done for entertainment or leisure. The primary purpose of general reading is to enjoy the reading material and to relax.
Academic reading is intended for an academic audience. The writing is often technical, complex, and filled with jargon that is specific to the field. The audience for academic reading is typically composed of other scholars, researchers, and experts in the field. General reading, on the other hand, is intended for a broader audience. The writing is often more accessible and is designed to be read and understood by a general audience.
- Depth and Complexity
Academic reading is typically more complex and dense than general reading. It involves reading technical and complex texts that are written by experts in the field. These texts require a higher level of reading comprehension, critical thinking, and analysis. General reading, on the other hand, is typically less complex and requires less critical thinking and analysis.
Academic reading is often longer than general reading. Academic texts can range from a few pages to hundreds of pages, depending on the subject matter. General reading, on the other hand, is often shorter and can be read in a single sitting.
- Skills Required
Academic reading requires a set of skills that are different from those required for general reading. To effectively read academic texts, you need to have a strong foundation in reading comprehension, critical thinking, analysis, and synthesis. You also need to have strong note-taking skills, as academic texts are often filled with important details that you will need to remember. General reading, on the other hand, requires less specialized skills. While you still need to have a good foundation in reading comprehension, you do not need to have the same level of critical thinking and analysis skills.
Tips for Improving Your Academic Reading Skills
Now that we have explored the differences between academic reading and general reading, let’s provide some tips for improving your academic reading skills.
- Preview the Text
Before diving into the text, it’s a good idea to preview it first. This means reading the introduction, the headings, and any subheadings. This will give you an idea of what the text is about and what the main ideas are.
- Take Notes
Taking notes is an essential part of academic reading. When you come across important information, write it down
in your own words. This will help you remember the information and make it easier to review later. You can use a variety of note-taking methods, such as highlighting important sections, creating an outline, or writing a summary of each section.
- Use Context Clues
When you come across a word or phrase that you don’t understand, use context clues to help you figure out the meaning. Look at the surrounding words and sentences to see if they provide any hints about the meaning of the word.
- Read Actively
Active reading involves engaging with the text and actively thinking about what you are reading. This means asking questions, making connections, and summarizing the information as you read. This will help you retain the information and better understand the main ideas of the text.
- Take Breaks
Reading complex academic texts can be mentally exhausting. To avoid burnout, take regular breaks. This will help you stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed by the text.
Tips for Improving Your General Reading Skills
Improving your general reading skills is important for not only entertainment but also for improving your vocabulary and general knowledge. Here are some tips for improving your general reading skills:
- Set Reading Goals
Setting reading goals can help you stay motivated and focused on your reading. Decide how much time you want to spend reading each day or week, and set a goal for the number of books you want to read in a year.
- Read Widely
Reading widely means exposing yourself to different genres and topics. This will help you broaden your horizons and expand your knowledge base. Try reading a variety of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.
- Keep a Reading Log
Keeping a reading log is a great way to track your progress and remember the books you have read. You can use a journal or an online app to keep track of the titles, authors, and your thoughts on each book.
- Practice Active Reading
Active reading is just as important for general reading as it is for academic reading. Engage with the text by asking questions, making connections, and summarizing the information as you read. This will help you retain the information and better understand the story.
- Join a Book Club
Joining a book club is a great way to engage with other readers and discuss your thoughts on different books. This will help you improve your reading skills and expose you to new perspectives and ideas.
In conclusion, academic reading and general reading are two different types of reading that require different sets of skills and strategies. Academic reading is more complex and dense than general reading and requires specialized skills, such as critical thinking and analysis. General reading, on the other hand, is done for leisure and entertainment and requires less specialized skills. By following the tips provided in this blog post, you can improve your reading skills and become a better reader in both academic and general settings.