Is E-text better for studying?

People have a choice to decide whether they chose to read in print or electronically. Electronic texts are generally much cheaper than the actual hard copy. While college tuition is expensive to begin with, adding the cost of books only makes it worse. Therefore students will buy E-texts because of the lower cost. Students use E-textbooks for convenience, they don’t have to lug around textbooks rather just carry a tablet or laptop. But do people read as well on a screen than paper? According to an article from the NY Times, “Reading Literature on Screen: A Price for Convenience?” a study suggest that reading on a screen is less effective than reading on paper. Researchers study the differences between reading on a tablet and in print. The study took place in Norway, where 50 graduate students were asked to read the same short story by Elizabeth George, and were tested on it afterward.  The results clearly show that the students who read on paper did better than those who read off a screen. The students who read off the screen had a lower retention on the material than those who read from print. “They [students who used E-text] also performed almost twice as poorly when asked to arrange 14 plot points in the correct sequence.” The students who read off the E-text were unable to provide specific in-depth questions about plots. Students should consider which type of textbook best fits them, but remember that retaining specific information is much easier from print than E-text.

-Mike Brown