- Easier - There are
different styles of reading for different
situations. The technique you choose will depend on
the purpose for reading. For example, you might be
reading for enjoyment, information, or to complete
a task. If you are exploring or reviewing, you
might skim a document. If you're searching for
information, you might scan for a particular word.
To get detailed information, you might use a
technique such as SQ4R. You need to adjust your
reading speed and technique depending on your
- Many people consider skimming and scanning
search techniques rather than reading strategies.
However when reading large volumes of information,
they may be more practical than reading. For
example, you might be searching for specific
information, looking for clues, or reviewing
- Harder - Web
pages, novels, textbooks, manuals, magazines,
newspapers, and mail are just a few of the things
that people read every day. Effective and efficient
readers learn to use many styles of reading for
different purposes. Skimming, scanning, and
critical reading are different styles of reading
and information processing.
- Skimming is used to quickly identify the
main ideas of a text. When you read the newspaper,
you're probably not reading it word-by-word,
instead you're scanning the text. Skimming is done
at a speed three to four times faster than normal
reading. People often skim when they have lots of
material to read in a limited amount of time. Use
skimming when you want to see if an article may be
of interest in your research.
- There are many strategies that can be used when
skimming. Some people read the first and last
paragraphs using headings, summarizes and other
organizers as they move down the page or screen.
You might read the title, subtitles, subheading,
and illustrations. Consider reading the first
sentence of each paragraph. This technique is
useful when you're seeking specific information
rather than reading for comprehension. Skimming
works well to find dates, names, and places. It
might be used to review graphs, tables, and
- Scanning is a technique you often use
when looking up a word in the telephone book or
dictionary. You search for key words or ideas. In
most cases, you know what you're looking for, so
you're concentrating on finding a particular
answer. Scanning involves moving your eyes quickly
down the page seeking specific words and phrases.
Scanning is also used when you first find a
resource to determine whether it will answer your
questions. Once you've scanned the document, you
might go back and skim it.
- When scanning, look for the author's use of
organizers such as numbers, letters, steps, or the
words, first, second, or next. Look for words that
are bold faced, italics, or in a different font
size, style, or color. Sometimes the author will
put key ideas in the margin.
- Reading off a computer screen has become a
growing concern. Research shows that people have
more difficulty reading off a computer screen than
off paper. Although they can read and comprehend at
the same rate as paper, skimming on the computer is
much slower than on paper.
- This website provides an overview of fast
reading techniques including scanning, key words
spotting, and skimming.
- Other Reading Techniques Websites:
- Reading and Understanding Texts http://www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/read.html
- Reading Techniques http://www.petech.ac.za/sc/reading.htm
Steps to Effective Reading
- This page discusses different types of reading
(skimming, scanning, reading in-depth), deciding
what to read, getting ready to read, SQ3R, taking
notes from reading, problems with reading, and
continuing to improve your reading.
- Other Sites on Effective and Efficient
- Reading Effectively http://www.allenandunwin.com/eStudy/reading.asp
- Reading Efficiently http://english.glendale.cc.ca.us/speed1.html
- This page provides an overview of reading
techniques including reading for speed, skimming,
and grouping words. You can even take a short
reading strategies to read more quickly and
- This article discusses effective use of reading
strategies including active reading and reading
particular types of texts.
- Other Websites to Improve Reading
- Rapid Reading http://www.uwgb.edu/esms/sss/read.htm
- Reading Fast http://www.smcvt.edu/src/studyskills/reading_fast.htm
- Speed Reading http://www.mindtools.com/speedrd.html
- Using the websites, complete the
- Check Your Reading Speed. Try a
Speed Check and Speed
Reading Online Test. You can check for
general reading, study reading, and even
interpret your own reading speed.
- Test Your Skills. Try a
Exercise and a
- Analyze Your Reading. Read the
Not to Read the News Paper. What kind
of reader are you?
- Be a Super Reader. Read the
Reading, then take the online
- Build a Bookmark. Create a
bookmark for skimming or scanning with
reminders about how to skim or scan.
- Skim Across Subjects. Pick a
subject area. Use the Improving
Your Reading In All Subjects to find
out how to improve reading in this area.
Create a poster showing techniques to help
reading in this subject.
- Practice Skimming and Scanning.
Education Resources and choose some
online text to practice you skimming and
scanning skills. Try some practice
- Complete a WebQuest or an Internet
Treasure Hunt. Many webquests can be
used to practice skimming and scanning
skills. Internet Treasure Hunts are also
good practice. Use the Filamentality
page website to search for projects in
your subject area. You can even create
your own online project.
- Additional Websites About Skimming and
- This page provides ideas for increasing your
critical reading skills. It discusses previewing,
reading, and reviewing techniques.
Do You Become a Better Reader?
- This page provides advice on becoming a better
reading. It outlines specific techniques and
Your Reading In All Subjects
- This page provides an overview of the different
types of writing. Then, it discusses ideas for how
to improve reading in all subject areas including
science, math, history, geography, literature, and
Know How - Speeding E-Reading
- This article explore issues in reading off the
screen. It examines a series of factors in
designing web pages for the reading on the computer
- Other Sites on Writing for Online
- Reading on the Web http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html
- Writing for the Web http://www.tekdok.com/usablewebsites/writing_for_the_web.htm
- Use typograph and layout for skimming http://html.tucows.com/webmaster/intranetstuff/typography.html
- Screen Reading Problems http://dana.ucc.nau.edu/~amt4/htscreen.html
- Why People Scan on the Web http://www.tekdok.com/usablewebsites/scanning.htm
- This page focuses on techniques for active
reading using SQ3R. It includes sections on general
beginning questions, setting a purpose by surveying
a chapter, guiding yourself through the reading,
making notes, highlighting, and summarizing, and
after the reading is done.
- Other Pages on Improving Reading
- Improving Reading Skills http://www.how-to-study.com/read.htm
- The page compares skimming and scanning and
provides some techniques.
- Other Overviews of Skimming and
- eHow to Read Quickly and Effectively http://www.ehow.com/eHow/eHow/0,1053,3832,00.html
- Insects: Skimming and Scanning http://english.unitecnology.ac.nz/resources/units/insects/skimming.html?printable=1
- Reading Skills http://www.lamission.cc.ca.us/devcom/readingskills.html
- Reading Strategies: skimming, scanning, reading
- Types of Reading http://sanborn.k12.nh.us/HS/Website/typesRead.htm
and Scanning Scientific Material
- This page describes skimming and scanning
techniques for scientific material.
- Other Pages to Improve Science
- How to Read a Scientific Research Paper
- Skimming and Scanning http://guts.studentorg.wisc.edu/brskmscn.htm
Student.com - Communication Skills:
- This page focuses on the importance of reading
in everyday life. It also discusses the techniques
of skimming, scanning, and speed reading.
- Websites For Teachers
- This website provides lots of texts for
students to practice reading. There are also some
websites with reading comprehension practice
Clearinghouse Reading English and
- This web page provides a good starting points
on all areas of reading.
to Read Nonfictional English Texts Faster and More
- This page provides techniques, tasks, and
exercises to improve speed when reading
informational materials. Although designed for ESL
students, these guidelines are useful for all
- Other Text Reading Strategies:
- How To Read University Texts or Journal
- Reading to Comprehend and Learn (PSQ5R)
Skimming and Scanning
- In this lesson the students skim an article to
find out the main points. They also formulate and
answer questions by scanning materials for specific
and skimming from computer screens and books
- This web page discusses research regarding
reading and skimming from a computer screen versus
paper. It found the reading speed and comprehension
is the same for the computer screen and paper.
However, skimming on a computer is 41% slower than
- This page provides lots of ideas for increasing
reading comprehension. It begins with an overview
of the characteristics of good and poor readers,
then provides specific reading strategies.
- General Reading Resources:
- Learning to Read http://www.toread.com/
- Reading Strategies http://www.mcps.k12.md.us/departments/isa/staff/abita/english/reading_strategies.htm
for Information: The Trash-N-Treasure Method of
- This article focuses on ideas for helping
students read for information. It discusses
techniques such as skimming and scanning.
Lesson - Scanning Text
- This lesson was designed for an ESL classroom,
but can apply to all classrooms. It provides
practice in scanning skills.
- This lesson uses a game to review skimming and
Improvement in Maryland
- This page contains strategies to help students
with reading. The "Reading to be Informed" page
provides a good classroom activity that requires
students to read and answer questions. The ACE page
focuses on specific reading and writing
and Scanning (Age 5-11)
- This lesson provides practice in skimming to
find consonant blends.
Skimming Way: Reading Strategy
- This online, PowerPoint slide show provides an
overview of skimming and skimming techniques.
Reading at the UTLC
- This page discussions issues relates to speed
reading and provides some tips to increase reading
- Other Pages at this Site:
- Textbook Reading Handouts http://www.utexas.edu/student/utlc/rwssl/rdgho.html
- Although this is a commercial product, it might
be helpful to provide an alternative view on
skimming, scanning, and speed reading.
- Other Speed Reading Resources:
- How to Read Less More, and Twice as Fast
- Tips for Improving your Reading Speed http://www.studyhall.com/sread.htm
Guide to Web Research Learning to Read on the
- This lesson provides ideas for skimming and
scanning web pages.
- Related Pages at Website:
- Student Guide http://www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson-4892.html
- Learning the Read on the Web http://www.teachervision.com/lesson-plans/lesson-4895.html
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