English 103; Section 3
Essay 3: Millennial Generation
November 2, 2012
Reading Decline in the Millennials
When I think of reading, I think of going outside on a nice day and sitting in a hammock and relaxing, or sitting by a fireplace in the winter with a cup of hot coco. I absolutely love to read, and I knew that I wanted to do an essay over reading at some point in my college career and this was a perfect one. My research question was “Has there been a drop in interest in reading with the millennial generation?” When I started this project I really did want to know if this was something that was really happening. When I found out that it was I could not believe it. When looking at the criteria for the PowerPoint I really did not know if the questions were going to get answered. The questions, though, got answered. This topic is not the most controversial issue, but it is definitely something that needs to be addressed. Children and teens are just not reading enough and it needs to be stopped.
When researching this topic, one thing that I really wondered was who does this affect? I answered my own question when I was sitting there thinking about it. This is an issue that really affects everyone. It affects college students, teachers, professors, mothers, fathers, guardians, younger generations, and politicians. It affects college students because we are part of this generation. If we are not reading then vocabulary will not develop, but I will get to that later. Teachers and professors have to deal with this issue because they assign reading for class, and most students do not do the reading because they are more concerned with Facebook. Mothers, fathers, and guardians are affected by this issue because they are helping pay for college and if the student is not doing what they are supposed to do grades are affected. Younger generations see older generations as role models. If generation Y is not interested in reading then they will not be interested and that could cause many downfalls. Finally, politicians are affected. They are not helping budget cuts to schools and they are not implementing any programs to encourage reading and if students are not reading for fun they are more than likely not interested in the elections.
While 18-24 year-olds used to be the ones that read the most, now they are the least likely to pick up a book. The November report, "To Read or Not to Read," cites statistics that shows fifteen to twenty- four year olds spend an average of seven minutes per day outside of school reading. Thirty and forty year olds on average spend twelve minutes of daily reading and fifty to sixty year olds spend about thirty minutes of time daily on reading. These are terrifying statistics.According to the Department of Education, between 1992 and 2005, the percentage of twelfth graders reading at or above a proficient level dropped from forty percent to thirty-five percent.. My school had a pretty good size library and we also had a program called Rosie Readers. My graduating class had eighty six students and only five seniors participated. That is only five percent of my graduating class. All you had to do to be in this program was read five books from a list of around twenty novels. Though there is not a large amount of statistics that back up my research. The statistics that I did find were just astonishing to me.
The counterargument to this argument is that reading is moving swiftly from paper to the Internet. This is especially true for the y generation. While fewer people may be reading traditional texts like novels or magazines “the number of people posting original material online is large and represents a new form of literacy”, says University of Wisconsin Professor of English Deborah Brandt. "The idea that reading will now develop in the context of writing is a new chapter in the history of literacy," she says. "We've been under the impression that people learn...