English reading skill: skimming
English reading skill: skimming
Skimming is used to get the main ideas of a text, or find a particular piece of information extensive reading quickly. For example, when you read the newspaper, you usually read quickly through the article to get what you want and not reading it word-by-word. Skimming is done at a speed three to four times faster than normal reading. People often use skimming skill when they have lots of material to read in a limited amount of time, that is, use skimming when you want to see if an article may be of any 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 charts.
Skimming is the most rudimentary type of reading. You should remember that both speed and comprehension depend on familiarity. The more comfortable you are with the manner in which the material is presented, the faster you will move through it and the more you will retain. Two to three minutes is ample time for a chapter, ten to fifteen minutes for a book.
Skimming may also be used to search for certain short text you have lost. Your eye should race over the pages looking for clues which will help you narrow down the probable location. Though you feel completely lost, the act of skimming will refresh your memory and lead you to the passage. Trust your memory. If it says upper left-hand corner, look there first. With practice you can develop a memory which will allow you to recall the exact location on a page of a piece of information. After that, patient speed will do the rest. Skimming before you start is valuable for any type of reading, even pleasure reading, except perhaps for mysteries.
You should know that how you find a name in a telephone book, in which you don't read any more than necessary to find the name you look for, instead you go directly down a column of news. you may use your finger to guide your eyes. This type of reading is usually called scanning. Skimming uses the same type of skill mechanically but a different skill mentally. In scanning, you know what you are looking for. In skimming you don't.
Since you don't know exactly what you are looking for while skimming, prepare yourself by reading the title, source, author, and picture: then you question yourself, -- who, what, when, where is this likely to be mainly about? With a questioning mind you direct your eyes down the column of print, or in a zig-zag, if the lines are quite long. Look for exact names of people, places, things, ideas, numbers, and words like therefore, whenever, until, because, and instead, to clue you to how and why.
Tips on skimming
1. When you first start to learn to skim you may see only the words in bold type, italics, digits, or capitalized words. Soon you will note new or unusual vocabulary. As you become an efficient skimmer your span of perception will develop and your ability to make closure will increase.
2. Skimming is a step you should always take before you read any article of factual or practical narrative. You will soon be able to detect most important facts, strange vocabulary, and words that are clues to important relationships.
3. It's a good practice to skim everything in mass media after reading the title and first paragraph. You may get all the information you want. This keeps your skimming skills from deteriorating, or will give you the practice you need to develop necessary skills.
4. Skim everything you intend to read before you make a final decision to read, discard, or study the material.
5. Skim all highlighting and develop a read-skim pattern to use for rapid review. And don't overlook this! Reviewing frequently and rapidly is the best way to memorize (or simply remember information) from notes and long text assignments.
6. Smooth, consistent eye motion is essential to speed reading. You can maximize your eyes¡¯ efficiency by using your hand to guide them. One such method is to simply draw your hand down each page as you read. You can also brush your hand under each line you read, as if you are brushing dust off the lines. Your eyes instinctively follow motion, and the movement of your hand serves to keep your eyes moving constantly forward. Note, however, that many speed reading instruction books warn off using a tracking member in speed reading as it inhibits the process. Try not to become dependent on using your hand or fingers.
7. Nearly everyone learned to read word-by-word or even letter-by-letter, but once you know the language, that's not the most efficient method of reading. Not every word is important, and in order to read quickly, you'll need to read groups of words - or even whole sentences or short paragraphs - instantaneously. The good news is you probably already do this to some extent: most people read three or four words at a time. Once you make an effort to be aware of your reading style, you¡¯ll discover how many words you read at a time. Now you just need to increase that number. Using your hand as a guide may help, as may holding the book a little further from your eyes than you usually do.
8. As you read you probably subvocalise, or pronounce the words to yourself. Almost everybody does it, although to different degrees: some people actually move their lips or say the words under their breath, while others simply say each word in their heads. Regardless of how you subvocalise, it slows you down. To break the habit, try to be conscious of it. When you notice yourself pronouncing words to yourself, try to stop doing it. It may help to focus on key words and skip over others, or you may want to try humming to yourself in order to prevent subvocalising. One exercise to stop your lips from moving is to put one of your fingers or a long but safe object (for example, a pencil) into your mouth and keep it there while you read.
9. No matter what you¡¯re reading, there is frequently a lot of "filler" that you can read quickly through or even skim over. With practice, you¡¯ll be able to identify the most important parts of a book as you skim through it. When you get to such a passage, slow down. Before you begin a chapter or book, look over the entire piece very quickly.
10. Try to find patterns of repeated words, key ideas, bold print and other indicators of important concepts. Then, when you actually do your reading you may be able to skim over large portions of the text, slowing only when you come to something you know is important.
Finally, some examples of Skimming are as follows:
1. The Newspaper - quickly to get the general news of the day.
2. Magazines - quickly to discover which articles you would like to read in more detail.
3. Business and Travel Brochures - quickly to get informed.
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