The more you progress throughout your high school and Model UN career the less free time you seem to have. Even throughout quarantine, it is hard not to spend valuable ‘me-time’ watching Netflix or taking a nap. However, reading for fun will give you distinct skills that will be valuable in committee. It doesn’t have to be an encyclopedia or a thick textbook in political theory. You would be surprised about how much of a difference reading a detective series or a graphic novel will make in committee.
Reading Skills Are Transferable in Committee
Not everyone in Model UN is an expert writer. Some believe that it all comes down to oral skills. However, the content of what you say matters. Many times, resolutions are a loose list of poorly articulated ideas. Having an expanded vocabulary and better grammar structure will help you write better resolutions. This is especially necessary if English is your second language. In GAs, speeches contain a dangerous amount of analogies, metaphors, and puns. However, reading books will give you more vocabulary skills so you can effectively get your point across without needing to use metaphors.
Reading Provides Valuable Information
Books will always teach you something if you read them correctly. This info can be used during committee, during your research process, as well as during your speeches. Keep in mind that the higher you go in the MUN-sphere the deeper your research should be. This is why if you continuously read books you enjoy and pick committees with similar topics, you will be one step ahead of your fellow delegates as well as enjoy the committee much more. The same is to say with the research process, the more you read for fun, the easier it will be when you have to read to craft research skills. Whenever you speak about something you truly care about, the more other people will be able to learn from you in committee, giving you the upper hand when it comes to drafting resolutions.
In crisis committees, creating a good arc requires imagination. However, you don’t have to start from scratch, this is where those fantasy books come in, you can always get ideas for crisis arcs from the books you have read. You might also be able to make references to different books during committee, if the topics are close enough chances are your chair might have gotten the ideas from the came books you read. Reading more can also give you ideas for unique names, strategies, and even assassination plots. Make sure your reading selection is as wide as the committee selection. Do you notice all of these College of Cardinals and Peace of Westphalia committees? I recommend reading the Divine Comedy so that you can tell your fellow delegates how many circles of hell your committee would be condemned to if they pass your opponent’s directive. What about all these Cold War committees? Read everything written by John le Carre and leave everyone wondering why their information keeps getting stolen, but they can’t find anything on you. You can read anything, but you’ll get bonus points if you are reading about current events, recent history, or military strategy.
Reading Fun Books Can Make You A Better Chair
Sometimes committees are based in oddly specific books. If that is the case, read them before the committee starts. Many chairs get ideas for committees from books they read for fun. If you want to be a better chair or crisis director, it would be a good idea to do the same thing. This gives the delegates a firm base of what to read if they don’t have time to do extensive research and it keeps everyone on the same page. Not only will the research process be easier but the committee will be much more enjoyable for all those book nerds out there like you.
Reading books should be something you can enjoy and savor with each page, such as a nice dessert. Take your time to actually absorb the knowledge the book presents to you. These books will be handy, not only in Model UN but also when you apply to colleges as well as in the rest of your life. Pick books the same way you pick your committee, the more you pick topics you enjoy, the easier the book will be to digest and the easier the committee will be to gavel.
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