Using Content Reading Assignments in a Psychology Course to Teach Critical Reading Skills

Debbie Van Camp, Wesley Van Camp

Abstract


Liberal arts students are expected to graduate college with fully developed critical reading and writing skills. However, for a variety of reasons these skills are not always as well developed as they might be - both during and upon completion of college. This paper describes a reading assignment that was designed to increase students’ discipline-specific critical reading and writing skills. The assignment was piloted in a mid-level social psychology class. Pre-test/post-test comparisons indicate substantial improvement in students’ ability to identify thesis statements, recognize and interpret evidence, and other critical reading skills. Furthermore, students themselves rate the assignment as efficacious in helping them with both their reading and writing skills.

Keywords


critical reading, reading assignment, written communication skills, undergraduate education

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