Reading Skills/Activities/Skimming

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What is skimming? Skimming is a reading technique used to get a general impression or overview of the information you are reading. It is used to quickly find the main ideas.

It is a lot quicker than reading word for word, up to three to four times faster than 'normal' reading and is used when you have a lot of material to read in a short time frame. This technique can not be used if you are reading for comprehension or understanding. Instead skimming is used to identify what you need to put aside and read for understanding later on.

Skimming strategies:

  • First sentences! Read the first sentence of each paragraph.
  • Start-finish! Reading the first and last paragraphs or reading the headings (if present) and illustrations, the chapter titles or the table of contents. Click on this link to find out more about this skimming strategy.

Support materials