How you read the text will depend on whether you are reading it for the first, second or even third time. These techniques will help you.

Skimming

  • The first time you read a text, read it quickly to get a general idea.
  • Your eyes follow the text from start to finish.
  • Skim the introduction to get an idea of what the text is about.

Scanning

  • The first time you read a text, scan it quickly to find specific information.
  • Your eyes move quickly all over the text; from left to right, up or down.
  • Scan to find names, places, numbers or dates.
  • As you read the text, circle the numbers, dates, names, etc.

Reading for detail / specific information

  • The second time you read the text you will be looking for detail and specific information.
  • Read slowly and carefully.
  • Read parts of the text again and again.

Discussion

How well did you do in the exercise? Can you think of any examples or situations when we might skim, scan or read in detail? For example, we scan when we read a bus timetable.

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