How to Skim


As quickly as possible, selectively read the material to find specific information and to survey for general ideas.


* You are not responsible for details or in-depth comprehension.
* You want/need a pre-reading exercise to familiarize yourself with the material.


* To avoid reading what you don’t need to read.
* To save time.
* To get an overall view... in a hurry.
* To determine if you need to read further.


Do not read every word, just...
* Read main titles.
* Read subtitles—look for specific names, dates, lists, etc., in each paragraph.
* Glance at any illustrations, pictures, charts, etc.
* Read first and last sentences of each paragraph if time permits.
* Read the questions at the end of the paragraph/chapter.

Always know why you are skimming the material, and what specific things you are looking for in the material.


Frender, G. (2004). Learning to learn. Nashville, TN: Incentive Publications