Given the rapid growth in knowledge, it is inevitable that the amount of information that we expect students to learn in courses has also grown, unless instructors are very vigilant in limiting it. This tends to place a premium on quick reading of texts in order to get at the most salient points.

Since one of the university’s goals is to train our students in critical thinking, it may be time to revisit a practice that develops that skill but has fallen out of favor in the U.S.—the close reading of texts. Close reading is where passages are examined in great detail in order to extract layers of meaning that may otherwise be missed. This skill is valuable for students to be able to draw upon when needed. It is a useful skill for anyone.

At the next University Center for Innovation in Teaching and Education (UCITE) session, Susanne Vees-Gulani, associate professor of comparative literature and German, and Barbara Burgess-Van Aken, a lecturer in the English department, will share the benefits of close reading of texts, how it is done, and how it can be taught.

Join UCITE for that session on Thursday, June 26, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Herrick Room, which is on the ground floor of the Allen Building (at the corner of Euclid and Adelbert). Use the Adelbert Road doors.

Pizza lunch, sodas and water will be provided at the session. To help estimate the amount to order, RSVP by emailing