Skimming is an important skill, particularly in research. It requires some practice, though. Below are some points to keep in mind when skimming.

  1. Look at the title, subheadings, pictures, bulleted lists, and graphs (as present) to get a sense of what the material is about.
  2. Pay attention to words in italics and bold. These are usually key words.
  3. Read the first sentence of a paragraph.
  4. Keep in mind what you know about the writing:
    1. setting
    2. characters
    3. relationships
  5. Pare careful attention to dialogue but don’t read every word: simply look at the first few exchanges to get a sense of what the dialogue is about.
  6. Remember: you’re not reading this for comprehension; you’re reading it to get the main idea.
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