“One disadvantage of learning to read quickly is that by the time you realize a book is boring, you’ve already finished it.”


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Skimming means quickly reading a text to get a general idea of the content. It can help you decide where to focus your attention, especially if you only have a limited amount of time to read. You do not read every word, but only what is necessary for the purpose.


Reading deepens your perceptions of the text due to familiarity. Before beginning to read in depth, skimming is an effective way to get started with the type of reading required for academic work. It is beneficial to gain an understanding of the matter’s progression.


So, what do you read, and what do you skip? Here are some guidelines to follow when skimming a text. You can change it to suit your reading preferences.

Guidelines for skimming a text.

Guidelines for skimming a text.

  1. To understand the topic, read the first passage – the introduction.

  2. Then read the first one or two sentences of each of the following paragraphs, as well as the final sentence.

  3. Attempt to determine the direction of the explanation or arguments.

  4. While you’re at it, resist the urge to read the details you don’t need.

  5. Consider the purpose and what you need to take away from it.

  6. The goal is to grasp the text’s broader concepts and significance.

  7. Only look up unfamiliar terms or words if they appear multiple times.

  8. The final paragraph includes a conclusion or summary. There is no need to skim it; instead, read it thoroughly to grasp the author’s overall point of view.


Skimming can help you quickly find relevant information in texts and articles. It also saves time. We may have skimmed through a newspaper, either knowingly or unknowingly, because there was not enough time to read the entire article. It is an excellent technique for students to use when reviewing a large amount of practice material for an upcoming test or competitive exam.

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