The Importance of Critical Reading in the Sciences

In the humanities, most students are taught (or even forced) to read critically. That is, being able to actively read a source and interpret more than is at face value. While this is extremely important to scholars in the humanities, this skill is often neglected in the STEM field. Most work in the STEM areas are fairly objective and don’t need a lot of thought. For most instances, like class work and most practical-based research, there’s no need to read critically. However, this can become quite the issue when one conducts literature searches to develop research questions or investigate research methods. It’s at this point where one needs to be able to evaluate particular publications and determine its true purpose for and worth to a given research goal. Thankfully, I have been through courses that have taught me these skills, but I know that it is not a common occurrence. I think that professors in the STEM areas need to deeply consider this and incorporate different opportunities to teach critical reading in their courses.

Math Pun: Why did the Lumberjack have nametags on all of his axes? Because you should always label your axes!
(Today’s Math Pun brought you by graphing)

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