Faculty Scholarship

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In 2005, we produced a well-received article and presentation entitled, "'In a Case, In a Book, They Will Not Take a Second Look!' Critical Reading in the Legal Writing Classroom." The article examined the educational foundations of critical reading, as well as, critical reading techniques. The purpose was to establish that law students need instruction in critical reading. In the article, we offered creative solutions that had been successfully used in our legal writing classes. In the two years since, we have found it necessary to reconsider the problem of critical reading in the law school classroom, in light of the different formats in which students may be presented with material. Our first article centered on reading cases in a paper format. This article focuses on the different problems that arise when students read electronically -- on a computer screen, rather than in a paper format. Part II of this article discusses the biological and physiological differences readers experience when reading on a computer screen versus on paper. Part III discusses our uses of on-screen reading in the law classroom, and establishes why this is a very real situation law students encounter. In Part IV, we offer solutions for assisting students in their practical on-screen reading skills, as well as, thoughts on how to improve their critical reading in this format.

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Hamline Law Review

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