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Why is extra-reading important?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s the start of a new year and a new semester looms! Over the course of two years, as part of my coursework and exams, The University of Manchester has taught me the importance of acquiring in-depth knowledge about the subject I study. What I mean by this is that it is important to critically analyse in order to make further progress. In this article, I’m going to emphasize the importance of extra-reading for modules and how I, unfortunately, learned it the hard way.

Lecture content provides a general understanding of a subject or a topic. In that one hour, the professor with a major in his field tries to incorporate a bigger picture about why it is important to know what we’re studying. But, to form a better understanding of the context, we must read the “references” and further “suggested reading” to understand more than the gist of the matter.

Looking back to my first semester at university, I remember how daunted I felt at the thought of reading journal articles for my modules as part of my extra-reading. I would revise my lecture content and consider it was “enough” to score a good grade. I used to worry more about the fact that I could not memorize all the information in one journal article, let alone all the six references given.

Now, in my final year, I laugh at the same thought because I realize how I amplified the little struggles in my head.

In my second year, as part of my dissertation, I woke up to the realization that reading journal articles provides a clear picture of lecture-based content and it wasn’t that hard to understand them. Some may take more time to understand than others, but overall, we must improve our level of knowledge as we progress in university.

It’s rightly said – “an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest”. It’s never too late to do extra reading as every tiny information you gain from reading each line in an article is progress made 😊

Unfortunately, it took me ages to realize this. Initially, while working on my dissertation, I struggled to first develop a habit of reading and then to find the right papers for my research. I’m happy to be past that stage and now I know that it’s not an insurmountable problem.

This was a lesson for me, so I’d advise every fresher starting out university to not be daunted or freak out, as more than half of the time we tend to create or exaggerate problems in our head. Learn from my mistakes and try to get in the habit of finding and reading journal articles – you will get there! You have ample amount of time in your first year so utilize it efficiently as it will be helpful in the long run😊

Moreover, extra knowledge causes no harm to anyone, instead comes with its own benefits. There isn’t an escape from this as – at one point of time in university, you’ll need to write your dissertation or have your final year projects, so you might as well prepare yourself for this big test before-hand. Developing this habit could help you achieve a first-class distinction and who doesn’t want that.