Skimming, scanning,

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Skimming, scanning,

  1. 1. Readers skim a text when they look it over quickly to get a general idea of the subject-matter.
  2. 2. The reader is not interested in all the detail, getting the gist is enough.
  3. 3. Skimmers run their eye down the page or screen looking for pointers that sum up the contents.
  4. 4. Subheadings or bullet points attract their attention, as do the introductory phrases of paragraphs and the concluding ones.
  5. 5. In longer texts, skimmers check the contents lists, the opening and closing paragraphs of chapters, and any introductions, conclusions or summaries.
  6. 6. Readers scan a piece of writing when they quickly search it for specific information.
  7. 7.  Scanners will make use of a book's index and contents page. When running their eye over the text, they will look out for keywords relevant to their search.
  8. 8.  For example, a reader might scan a biography of Abraham Lincoln, looking out only for significant dates. The reader would skip over descriptions of Lincoln's upbringing, his struggles and his achievements, stopping only to note the years.
  9. 9.  Close reading is the essence of the academic experience. It aims at the mastery of material with full retention of details. It divides into a number of separate steps, each vital, but ends as a whole. 
  10. 10.  Before reading a difficult piece of writing, take a few moments to close the eyes and relax while taking two or three deep breaths. Ask yourself that you can read with full concentration, recognize key information, and achieve high comprehension quickly to accomplish the needs. Believe you can, and you will.
  11. 11.  This may simply sound like "positive mental attitude." Yet if you do not purposefully affirm the positive, you may be shutting off your true capacities by subtle anxieties about the task.

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