Reading & Writing Habits Essay

I really don’t read or write that often. I have probably read about a total of ten books throughout my entire life. I usually read for about one hour of accumulated time during a day. When I read it is usually something online from websites such as I read things that are interesting to my mind like sports. Some fictional pieces aren’t bad too. When I am reading about sports I soak up the information and stories like a sponge with water.

This happens because I have loved sports since I was about five years old. I need to learn how to apply the same ability when I read things that aren’t interesting to me. Sometimes I will read slower and maybe even take notes so I can remember and understand boring things to me. The only time I ever write is if I am texting on my phone or typing on the computer.

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When I text on the phone I don’t use good grammar, punctuation, or spelling.

The reason I write so improperly on texts is for the speed and my friends usually understand what I am saying without it having to be proper. The typing on the computer I do is usually for school so I do proof read and revise items for mistakes. When I am writing for assignments in school it isn’t free writing that just comes from my mind. I have to do research and put work into the writings which isn’t fun. I like free writing whatever is on my mind. I would like to start writing because it is something new to do. Instead of doing the same old thing when I am bored, I can write. Writing can be relaxing and it can exercise the mind. Hopefully taking an English class in college will urge me start writing and reading more books to further my skills in reading and writing. Our English teacher Dr. Roy-Davis expects us to write regularly, she writes, “at least one draft or essay each week” (Roy-Davis).

This would be huge change to me considering I don’t write any essays at all. If I start writing an essay every week it would most likely be about the events that happened to me during the week. Sometimes the essay might be exciting which would mean something good happened in my life. Other times I might have trouble writing something which means my week sucked. She says, “writing requires discipline” (Roy-Davis). One example is being able to sit in one place and think of sentences for long periods of time. That sounds kind of boring to me but if it helps me become a better writer I am willing to do whatever it takes. I have to set my own goals according to Dr. Roy-Davis. She suggests, “four hours a week in two hour sessions” (Roy-Davis). My time is very limited since I have a busy schedule due to work and school. I will try to start with that goal but I might have to change it if I start slacking in other things in my life. Dr. Roy-Davis states, “the most important skill of writing I can teach you is reading” (Roy-Davis).

I would agree that reading is very important to writing because it influences the way you write. If you’re a strong reader you’re most likely a strong writer. The more someone reads they pick up on ways to write. Their pieces will sound more articulate and professional than before they became a strong reader. Reading and writing help each other through revision. Noted in the book Ways of Reading by David Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky, “once you have completed a draft of your essay, you can step back, see what you have done, and go back to work on it. Through this activity-writing and rewriting-we have seen our students become strong, active, and critical readers” (Bartholomae 4). I agree with this completely because when I first write drafts I don’t even realize all the grammar, punctuation, and spelling mistakes that I make.

When I go back and revise it I take note of these mistakes and correct them. This makes me become a better reader and writer. Becoming a better reader and writer through revising allows me to be more time efficient on essays(less drafts) and the overall product(final essay) sound better when reading it. Bartholomae and Petrosky also mention that you can read with the grain or against the grain. In their book Ways of Reading, Bartholomae and Petrosky wrote “To read generously, to work inside someone else’s system, to see your world in some else’s terms-we call this “reading with the grain”” (Bartholomae 10). To read against the grain, is to read critically, to turn back, to ask questions they believe might come as a surprise, to look for the limits of the author’s vision, to provide alternate readings, to find examples that challenge the argument, to engage in dialogue.”

I tend to read with the grain, when I read sports stories I am usually in agreement with the author’s piece and seeing their point of view. Same with books too, I put myself in the author’s system and try to realize where they are coming from. I don’t read against the grain too often unless it is something that I totally disagree with. Most of the time the pieces that I read I don’t challenge or argue with because I tend to think the author know what he/she is talking about. Instead of challenge the author I try to see where their point of view is coming from therefore I read with the grain than against. I am willing to be more open and try to start reading against the grain though.

I need to start asking “why” to some of the things I read. My whole goal is to change my reading and writing habits for the better. I want to expand my knowledge in the skills of reading and writing. By learning habits from Dr. Roy-Davis, Bartholomae, and Petrosky I can be more creative with writings and be able to read upper level material. With the habits I have had in reading and writing throughout my life I haven’t gotten very far in English classes. I agree with Dr. Roy-Davis, Bartholomae, and Petrosky with these new habits and I need to start following them. I am determined to change my habits to become a superior reading and writer.

Work Cited
Bartholomae, David; Petrosky, Anthony. “Ways of Reading.” An Anthology for Writers. 9th Ed. Bedford/St. Martin’s. Boston; New York, 2011. 1-19. Print Roy-Davis, Dr. “Engl 1301 Course Description.” 2011.

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