The Relationship between Reading Comprehension and Internet Research – Essay Example

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The paper 'The Relationship between Reading Comprehension and Internet Research' is an outstanding example of an essay on education.   The popularity of internet research is inevitable especially with the current growth in internet penetration (Goldin & Katz 2). In recent times, there has been a significant change in approaches to literacy, research, and communication as new technologies arise. Literacy has been redefined from the original ideas of writing and reading, to include a learner’ s ability to effectively comprehend, interact and learn with technology (Wiley et al. 1060). In an era when Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is gaining ground, online research has risen to be a necessary approach to research work with search engines being often used in navigating large amounts of information, thereby making relevance greater (McKee & Porter 23).

Internet research promotes comprehension through availing a diverse, more credible and cheaper pool of information for learners. This paper discusses the relationship between reading comprehension and internet research. The internet is like a limitless library that carries information relating to virtually any topic. According to Wimmer & Dominick, reading on the internet requires a student to apply two sets of comprehension strategies.

The first is the traditional form of strategies, and the second is a new media and digital approach to media literacy. There has been a rise in the usage of different databases for both offline and online research. Internet-based materials are in many instances used both in class and in the writing of academic papers. In addition, it is possible to access secondary information. Internet-based technologies offer many techniques and tools for understanding concepts, ideas, and approaches. It makes it easy for a person to identify, evaluate and apply data to satisfy their knowledge need.

It is also possible to use the internet to access many respondents and reduce the amount of time and finances spent. It enables interaction with authors and respondents when necessary, hence improving clarity in information gained. When such information is examined from a scientific perspective, it generally exposes the researcher to loss of control and there is the possibility of being unable to satisfy all the questions and demands always. In addition, in spite of its resourcefulness, internet research carries with it the risk of plagiarism, especially in the form of cut and paste copying (32-34). Academic information always needs to be reliable and therefore has to be based on credible sources (Wiley et al.

1061). According to Goldin & Katz, scholars require easy and fast access to such information, thereby making online research the best in the presentation of knowledge. Internet research facilitates educational comprehension through the availability of academic journals. These are usually the best written and credible sources that can be used. They are highly credible and might be hard to find in some libraries.

Universities for instance partner with internet databases to provide such journals covering the almost possible subject matter, and in some cases specialized in specific disciplines. Through internet technology, it also becomes easier to reach and interview experts (16). McKee & Porter suggest that social networking and emailing for instance help in the contacting of experts. There are also many experts who have websites, blogs or social media accounts in which they leave their contacts. It even becomes possible to conduct interviews with them through video calls and emails.

In this way, information resources are expanded beyond the immediate community. In spite of the advantages, there is however the danger of lack of integrity in data, in addition to the higher chance of data insecurity, multiple submissions and receiving incomplete responses. Internet research is usually characterized by a small difference between attrition and response rates. There is often a lower rate of response for emails unlike for instance the typical telephone surveys and ‘ snail mail’ , probably due to the increase in email use for marketing (23). The internet has the ability to generate a larger amount of information than one would require in addition to the advantage of speed.

According to Wimmer & Dominick, the student is able to access information from anywhere relating to the topic by simply typing certain keywords. With such a variety, the student is able to find whatever is most applicable and understandable to them. It becomes possible to find the best information for the topic, relevant examples, opinions, and facts (34). Goldin & Katz observe that comprehension in the writing of research papers is usually most difficult for students when they are at the starting point.

Most of them find it difficult to create an applicable outline that will comprehensively cover the topic, knowing places where they can conduct their research and be able to separate relevant from irrelevant sources. The Internet makes it possible for a student to carry out a general search which is better than library ones as it allows one to easily go through multiple sources for ideas and even samples.

It may be argued that the media might be reducing levels of intellect among scholars. However, this is not the case because even with technology taking over, there has so far been no indication that scientific innovation or intelligence, in general, has been on the decline (16). According to McKee & Porter, contemporary scientists mostly use computers, email and other kinds of technology but they have kept discovering new ideas and items. It is, however, possible to identify a given material’ s reliability, hence there are safeguards that can help in this line.

For internet research to have its ideal impact therefore there is the need for the researchers to apply a new approach comprising of planning, prediction, monitoring, and evaluation of information. As long as these are correctly adjusted, they can properly evaluate their sources and minimize the only major weakness of internet research identified so far, namely the reliability of sources (23). In conclusion, the internet has led to the opening up of a broad pool of information for any scholar to use. Online research has a number of positive effects on the research.

However, there are also negative effects, especially reliability, which tend to even out the positive aspects. Internet research is modifying the learning process of researchers. The ability of a learner to access information is made greater with the adoption of technology. However, it tends to make cred­ ibility more difficult to attain. In general, online research can cut costs and ensure a faster generation of results. It cuts down on research-related disruptions and ensures that the best variety of information. For this reason, the quality of research and understanding of issues is enhanced.

There is a need to address important questions relating to internet-based reading and comprehension in order to prepare students effectively for their future literacy. While it may be said that it offers access to a variety of information, it is generally difficult to determine what constitutes an opinion and a fact. The reliability of sources may also be a challenge. The use of the internet for research does not make a student less resourceful but instead helps in the reading and comprehension of scholarly work.  


Goldin, Claudia, and Katz, Lawrence. The Race between Education and Technology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2008

McKee, Heidi, and Porter, James. The Ethics of Internet Research: a Rhetorical, Case-based Process. New York: Peter Lang, 2009

Wiley, Jennifer, Goldman, Susan et al. Source Evaluation, Comprehension, and Learning in Internet Science Inquiry Tasks. American Educational Research Journal. Vol. 46 (4): 1060 - 1106

Wimmer, Roger, and Dominick, Joseph. Mass Media Research: an Introduction. Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014

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