Pros and Cons of Assigned Reading (From a Student’s Perspective)

Schools are always assigning books for their students to read.

Usually it’s for a novel study, where they have to summarize the story and state what it means to them.

But is assigned reading really helping students improve, or is it just putting more pressure on them on top of the rest of their schoolwork?

Pros

#1: Engaged in What They’re Reading.

One of the reasons that students might not like reading is because they find it hard to stay engaged in a book.

However, when you are reading an assigned book, you have to pay more attention and write things down as you go.

Students will focus more on what they’re reading instead of zoning out and rereading paragraphs over and over again.

#2: Learning About Classic Writing Styles

The most common books that schools assign are classics.

Old classics can be difficult to read, but there are a lot of ways that students can learn from them.

There is a lot of information in them about what life was like at that time, and how the society ran. You also learn about what readers looked for and valued in books.

Reading assigned books can make you more well-rounded when it comes to old literature.

#3: Time Management

Since reading can take a while, students have to figure out how to manage their time correctly in order to finish it by the deadline.

Finding breaks in your schedule and bringing books along with you when you go somewhere are great ways for students to utilize their time.

If you want to learn more ways for how to get through a book quickly, click here.

Cons

#1: Difficult For Non-Readers.

Some students don’t read very often, and wouldn’t be used to having to read a large book before a deadline.

If you don’t enjoy reading that much, then how are you going to stay engaged when reading an assigned book, one that you have to remember the details on?

#2: Classics Can Be Boring.

Assigned books have a reputation for being boring.

They have hundreds of pages with tiny words, the old, hard-to-follow writing style, and long, descriptive paragraphs.

There are times when they aren’t, of course, when the reader is fully engaged in the story on the pages. But that isn’t very common, especially for students now.

It’s pretty easy to just lookup a summary of the story line instead.

More recent and modern stories are the best choices for students, since the language and writing style is easier to understand, and the characters are usually more relatable.

#3: There Isn’t Enough Time.

Homework, extracurricular activities, outside-school projects, friends, family, and work.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

If someone has all of these things going on, it can be pretty difficult to find time to read and write about a large, 400 page book.

Some students may even lose sleep, which is important for them to get when they’re doing all these activities every day.


In the end, this debate about assigned reading is more about opinion than fact. Some people hate assigned reading, and some people love it.

What has your experience been with assigned reading?

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