Before you start reading anything, ask yourself why youre reading it. Are you reading with a purpose, or just for pleasure? What do you want to know after youve read it? The introduction of the book should let you know who the book is intended for, and what it covers. Chapter headings will give you an overall view of the structure of the subject. Ask yourself whether the resource meets your needs, and try to work out if it will give you the right amount of knowledge. If you think that the resource isnt ideal, dont waste time reading it.
This reading skill is used to locate specificinformation quickly. For using technique ofscanning, we glance through or run our eyesover a text rapidly to find the specificinformation. Such information could be a date,name, a country in a map, a word in adictionary, or encyclopedia, addresses, topic, orsubject matter. Scanning is also known assearch reading.
This is also known as surveying. Readers skima text when they look it over quickly to get ageneral idea of the subject-matter. The readeris interested in getting the gist of thematerial. Skimming benefits from goodsampling, that is, knowing where to look. Thisreading skill does not require to read everythingand so depends on good prediction skills.
The most effective way of getting information from magazines is to scan the contents tables or indexes and turn directly to interesting articles. If you find an article useful, then cut it out and file it in a folder specifically covering that sort of information. In this way you will build up sets of related articles that may begin to explain the subject.
Previously, scientists believed that when you read, both of your eyes focused on a particular letter in a word. Recent research shows this isnt the case. Scientists now believe that each of your eyes lock onto a different letter at the same time, usually two characters apart. Your brain then fuses these images together to form a word. This happens almost instantaneously, as we zip through pages and pages of text.
Speed reading is a great skill which helps you read at a fluid pace and understand text at high speed, making it an invaluable and worthwhile skill to develop. Here are some tips to help you get started on improving your reading speed.
1. Read early in the day As with any skill, improving your reading speed takes practice and early mornings are a great time of the day to practice it.2. Skim material first Look through the material briefly and scan the outline of the content to get an idea of whats interesting and important to you, and also what areas you might be able to skip and which parts to perhaps read more carefully. Skimming material works particularly well with informative material and resources such as textbooks and non- fiction.
3. Create questions Improve your reading comprehension and processing of useful information by creating questions from headings and subheadings in the material. Then speed read to find the answers.4. Set the reading environment Your physical posture and environment will influence your ability to take in information. If you are feeling negative and unwell, it may well affect your reading so it makes sense to set up the conditions to give you best positive reading environment. Where possible, read or study in natural daylight. When reading with artificial light, try and have the light source come from over your shoulder.
5. Take notes Keep a notebook nearby to jot down thoughts and brief notes to help you process your reading. This will help avoid any re-reading later and also helps develop your ability to process the nuggets from the noise.6. Do NOT highlight Highlighting works for drawing attention to certain areas of what you have read but they actually distract your reading progress.
7. Adapt your reading speed Adjust your reading speed to the material and purpose. Dry and information-based material such as newspapers, magazines and websites where the purpose is to extract information and understanding may be better suited for speed reading.8. Practice The more you read, the better a reader you will become. A quote from Bruce Lee on the discipline of practice: I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.9. Enjoy it Enjoying what you read is a great way to develop your skills faster and naturally, the more you enjoy it the more you will do it.
10. Read with a pointer Use a pointer, finger or other device to help push your reading speed. Your eyes don’t stay fixed in one spot when reading. Running a pointer back and forth, you force your eyes and brain to keep pace and not to reread the text again.11. Eliminate distractions: Give reading your full attention. Dont try to watch TV, listen to music or doing something else while you read.
Techniques to help improve reading speed Eye span The most important concept to grasp is eye span. Also known as fixation, eye span is the number of words that you take in as you look at words. Subvocalisation You are probably aware that when you read, an inner voice follows the words as your eyes move across words, silently speaking out what you are reading. This is subvocalisation. Most programs can help you stop subvocalising by increasing the rate in which your eye moves across text. At first it may feel like you are brushing over the text and not truly understanding what you read. This is because your mind has to adjust to the new technique. It does get easier with practice.
Visualising and recognising words Converting words into images is another effective concept to improving reading speed.This enables you to not read the word, but simply just to see it. Recognising these words means that when you see the word you already know what it means. How to practise speed reading techniques You can give yourself an advantage when practising by doing well to create the optimal conditions for your reading. Good lighting, appropriate text size, comfort and feeling good. Remember, making your reading an enjoyable experience is one way of improving your reading speed much faster. Other speed reading techniques There are many techniques and approaches to improving your reading speed. Many of which you can begin practising straight away. Remember: start slow. Improving your reading speed is not a race and you have plenty of time to improve.Finally, remember that you may not always want to read at high speed. Immersive reading such as novels are better savoured slowly.Remember to have fun. Learning speed reading techniques is easier this way.