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How well do you read?


How often do you read something?  What kind of things do you read?  Do you always read in the same way?

Think about these different things that you might read in the course of a typical week:

    * An article in a scientific journal
    * An economics textbook
    * A newspaper article
    * A poem
    * Sports results on the internet
    * A telephone directory
    * A train timetable
    * A novel

In each case, what information are you looking for?  Do you start reading at the beginning and read every word until the end?  Or do you just select the information you need and ignore the rest?  Do you follow a narrative?

Different ways of reading

Clearly, each case is different.  If you are reading the phone book or a train timetable, you just find the information you need as quickly as possible.  It would be stupid to read the whole thing!

If you are reading a novel, you will probably be following the narrative, and you need to start at the beginning and read through to the end.  If you read a poem, you will probably concentrate on each word with a lot of attention.  If you a reading a textbook or an article in a journal, you will probably use both of these methods.  You might read the introduction to get an idea about what the article or chapter deals with, then go through it to find the information you need.

Skimming and scanning

Two basic ways of reading are called “skimming” and “scanning”.  “Skimming” is reading through something just to get an idea of its contents and argument – this is the way you might read a newspaper article, or a textbook chapter, for example. If you find it interesting or think it may be useful, you probably then look at it again in more detail.  “Scanning” is the way you read a timetable or list of information like the phone book – you ignore what is not necessary and look for the specific details you need – a key word or number perhaps.

If you are aware of these different methods of reading, you can save time and make your studying more successful.

Match the text types with the usual ways of reading them

Writing game - type in the last paragraph of the article. You decide how difficult the game will be!

Thanks for reading...until next time

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