Monday, April 19, 2010

Purposes of Skimming

Skimming is defined as a process of speed reading that involves visually searching the sentences of a page for clues to meaning. For some people, this comes naturally, and usually can not be acquired by practice. Skimming is usually seen more in adults than in children. It is conducted at a higher rate than normal reading, sometimes done at a speed three to four times faster than usual.
It is done and applied mainly to quickly identify the main ideas of a text such as when reading a newspaper, it is probably not done word by word, but instead done by scanning the text, which is moving the eyes quickly down the page seeking specific words or phrases. It is useful when searching for a specific information rather than reading for comprehension.
There are several strategies that can be used when skimming. Some people read the first and the last paragraphs using headings, summarises or other organisers as they move down the page. You might read the title, subtitles, subheading and look at the illustrations or pictures. You can also consider reading the first sentence of each paragraph to find the main point of the text.
Skimming also works well to find dates, names and places in a certain text because these items usually are the important points of a text. It might be used to review graphs, tables and charts as the illustrations might be misleading with lots of figures scattering around and the actual information that is seek might be vaguely hidden in the illustrations.
As discussed above, skimming is seen as an integral part of reading as it can wastes no time in finding the main points from a text.

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