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5.2.1: Skimming and Scanning Exercise Presentation

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    How are skimming and scanning in reading different?

    • Skimming: the practice of moving eyes over text quickly to get an overview and main ideas of the text.

    • Scanning: the practice of reading texts very quickly to find a particular piece of information. 

      • This is where “control-f” (PC) or “command-f” (Mac) comes in handy in the digital age!

    • Video: BBC’s “Skimming and Scanning”


    SCANthe Anne Arundel CC Study Skills Lab handout to locate the steps in skimming and scanning.
    In your notes, make chart and list the steps in skimming and scanning.

     Reflect on Skimming and Scanning

    1. In your notebook, answer these two questions briefly.

      • Are you using skimming and scanning to your best advantage?

      • What are disadvantages of skimming and scanning?

    2. Then, read and annotate the following article for main idea and supporting detail. Note anything you relate to personally as well. Think about the ways you skim and scan in your own reading – in school and out.

    The article: 

    Rosenwald, Michael. “Serious Reading Takes a Hit from Online Skimming and Scanning, Readers Say.” Washington Post. 6 April 2014. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.

    Written Reflection on Skimming and Scanning

    1. Exit slip:On a separate sheet of paper, write a paragraph that explains how you use skimming and scanning in your daily life and in your academic work. Then, explain how you could use skimming and scanning more effectively in either or both. Begin with a clear topic sentence and follow with examples of how you skim and scan currently and how you could improve each. Here’s a framework to help you organize your paragraph:

           I can improve my use of skimming and scanning in my school work and my day-to-day reading. First,I currently use skimming  in my school work to ____.  For example, I _______.  I also use skimming when I am reading ______ to ___________. This works well for me, but I think if I alsoadd _____ to my skimming, I  . . . . Second, I currently scan texts when I want to  . . . . .  For instance, I recently _______. I could use  scanning more effectively  by  _____________. While my skimming and scanning skills are_________________, I can see with some improvement, I can ________________.

    5.2.1: Skimming and Scanning Exercise Presentation is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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