Naomi Baron, a professor of linguistics at American University, has a thoughtful article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on how reading has changed since both faculty and students are doing more of it online. She argues that skimming, jumping around within a piece, and searching for key words are now part of how we read. Also, since we are faced with so much content on the web, speed is of the essence–we want to read faster, and we want to read less so we can go on to the next idea or article. In turn, this has influenced the way we write: shorter seems to be becoming a more and more important criterion, even for academic presses.
Note: The Chronicle is available to the SJU community through the University Libraries website.