The English Lecturers of KMTK

The English Lecturers of KMTK

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

If you are skimming a book, you should read the blurb, the preface and table of contents. The Chapter headings provide a reliable indication of the content of the book. You can turn the pages randomly and check its readability, style and seriousness in terms of treatment. You can focus your attention on subheadings, bold, italicized or underlined text, diagrams, graphs, charts and photographs, if any. If there are chapter summaries, you get the vital points quite easily. You can go to the text to find the details of points in the summary you found interesting. Once you find that the book is worth detailed study, you can go for it. If it is a work of fiction, you can easily form your assessment; you are not looking for the accuracy of facts.

An indirect advantage of skimming is that it improves your general reading speed. It saves your time and betters your learning efficiency. Suppose you are reading a second textbook in a subject, after studying thoroughly one standard textbook. You can afford to do a lot of skimming without any loss. If you practice skimming, you would be exposed to a larger volume of literature than a person who insists on reading it word by word. Research scholars or students pursuing specialized higher studies may have to go through a number of journals regularly. Unless Skimming is practiced, they would not be able to fulfil their obligations.


An illustration can help us to appreciate easily what scanning implies. Suppose you go to a festival crowd with a friend, but miss him in the surging throng. Your eyes travel quickly over the crowd to locate your friend's face, totally ignoring all other faces. Scanning is a similar process in the world of rapid reading.

Difference between Skimming and Scanning
Skimming implies looking for a general overview aimed at identifying the main ideas of a text. In Scanning, you move eyes quickly identifying the main ideas of the text .In scanning, you move your eyes quickly down the page seeking a specific word, phrase, number or idea. Unless you practice scanning, you may waste a lot a time while using reference books. In fact, drill in scanning is an essential part of training in the use of reference books.

Skimming or Scanning requires practice 
Enhance your Reading Skills
Unless you practice the art of moving your eyes vertically or diagonally for skimming and gain experience in it, you may not be able to do it effectively. Skimming should not be applied to anything you read. School or college textbooks, serious documents or material that has to be analysed in depth cannot be skimmed or even read rapidly. Every word may be significant. An analogy would help in this context. You know how to walk slowly, walk fast and run. It does not mean that you always run. Reading, rapid reading and skimming can be considered to have some similarity with the modes of locomotion suggested. Francis Bacon, English lawyer and Philosopher (1561-1626), wrote: "some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed and some few to be chewed and digested".

No comments:

Post a Comment