Become a better, faster reader

Learn the difference between skimming, scanning & close reading, 

And how to apply these strategies to your pre-, during & post-reading stages


Skimming involves reading quickly over headings, sub-headings and first & last sentences of paragraphs to get the main idea or ‘gist’ of a text.

Think about which text types you use skimming strategies for.

Useful for:

  • pre-reading texts to establish relevance during the ‘research’ stage of your assignments;
  • pre-viewing texts before you close read them or for the first ‘during’ reading stage of complex texts.
When scanning text, our eyes move quickly across and down the page over main and sub-headings, sentences and paragraphs to find specific key words or information.

Think about which text types you usually scan-read.

Useful for:

  • pre-reading lecture notes. Always ensure you understand the terminology used in your lectures as without this understanding you won’t fully understand the basic lecture content;
  • reading most websites;
  • pre- or first ‘during’ reading of complex texts to research unknown vocabulary/terms;
  • establish relevance of texts during your ‘research’ stage.

Remember, the subject you’re studying has its own language and you need to learn that language and how it’s used in your professional context.

Close reading involves reading each word, sentence and paragraph of a text carefully in order to fully comprehend meaning and context. This strategy is used to read complex texts written in complex ways which are common at higher levels of study. Complex texts usual require multiple readings so you should expect to read them at least twice.

Think about how often you use close reading strategies.

Do you allocate enough time for close reading and multiple readings of your most complex texts?

reading strategies, reading skills, active reading, interactive reading, close reading, critical reading
reading strategies, reading skills

Is your approach to reading more random than structured?  Are you constantly overwhelmed by your reading lists?  Is it taking you much longer than anticipated to get through your reading?

You need to read The Unlocked Learner’s Guide to Skilled Reading. It will teach you:

– how to approach your reading in a more purposeful strategic way;

– how to apply pre-, during and post-reading questions;

– how to apply the 3 fundamental strategies of skimming, scanning & close reading;

– what the myths of higher level academic reading are & dispel those myths;

– how to break out of ‘highlighter happiness’ & implement active and interactive approaches to your reading. 

It also provides valuable links to more online learning tools & resources. 

Get your free Guide to Skilled Reading and start using better, faster reading strategies.

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