Bad execution degrades connectivity more than anything else. It has become clear in recent years that many students enrolled in undergraduate programs lack the requisite writing skills to express ideas (Defazio et al. 34). Whatever the cause, students and authors at all stages must learn various research habits such as active reading, critical thought, and strong writing skills. Active reading is a necessary ability for learning and remembering knowledge. It also serves as a catalyst for strategic thought, which, rather than depending on the standard, aids in the identification of other, even more important, avenues to improve one’s chances of success. Having good writing skills helps scholars and writers to communicate ideas effectively. Arguably, scholarship and academic writing involves two main skills namely active reading and critically thinking, and it is important to follow these steps to deliver quality and effective writing.
Unlike passive reading, which does require too much concentration, active reading demands the reader’s full attention. One way to achieve this is by sitting upright. Research shows that lying down or adopting uncomfortable sitting postures is a bad practice because it tends to slow the brain performance (Introduction for Students 3). On the other hand, sitting upright frees the reader from distractions and helps them to engage with the reading fully. Active reading also requires the reader to develop consciousness of the situation. As an active reader, one should understand a few things about the piece including why am I reading? What am I reading? And for what reason was the piece written? Keeping such questions in mind makes the reader notice more details, think harder and connect among ideas.
Active reading also involves note-taking. Nobody remembers everything, and for this reason, readers should always be equipped with a pencil or a marker. Marking on the page is the surest way of reading and remembering the content because it creates a spatial relationship between the bits of information being recorded by the brain. Spatial tasks are performed by a different part of the brain from the section that handles information, and the act of linking such bits tends to filter out irrelevant information. Therefore, readers should develop a habit of underlining important words, jotting down questions regarding the content, using exclamation marks and scribbling notes in the margin.
Further, research shows that active reading molds people into better academic writers (Introduction for Students 6). Writing is a demanding task consisting of the following stages. The first step involves writing an outline. At this point, the writer uses the underlined or the comments jotted on the margin to create the outline. From the outline, it becomes easier to make a draft of the text. During this step, the writer puts the ideas into complete thoughts after which they are organized in a way that the message can be understood. Moreover, the writer should refine the draft to make the sentences concise and more accurate. Lastly, check for grammar, spelling, and mechanics before printing.
A good academic writer should engage critically with the text. The writer should approach the ideas with skepticism rather than with unquestioning admission of information. As a critical thinker, the writer is always questioning whether the arguments or ideas presented in the piece is the whole picture or just a representation of the facts. Moreover, the writer is constantly identifying, analyzing and solving problems systematically. Generally speaking, good scholarship and academic writing is an essential requirement for students which can be developed using the steps outlined in this discussion. Excellent writing skills are helpful in many aspects of life, especially in communication and job application. Therefore, students should learn to read actively, take notes, mark up what they read and apply critical thinking; such skills will help them to become better academic writers.
Defazio, Joseph, et al. “Academic literacy: The importance and impact of writing across the curriculum–a case study.” Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 10.2 (2012): 34-47.
Introduction for Students: Active Reading and The Writing Process. http://www.myteacherpages.com/webpages/THegert/files/active%20reading%20article.pdf