Skimming & Scanning

 Scanning Techniques

Scanning: Looking for something you KNOW.

Ex: Your mom’s phone number in a list of contacts.

CNTRL + F  =  Find on a page.

Type in the word you are looking for and hit the Enter key.

Skimming Techniques

Skimming or Speed Reading: Looking for something UNKNOWN.

Ex. The main idea of an article you haven’t read.

RELAX YOUR EYES! Don’t read every word!

Move your eyes back and forth down the page.

Look for:

  • Title, subtitles, headings
  • Images or boxes
  • Nouns and numbers
  • bold words
  • unknown words (especially if the term is used a lot)

Consider reading:

  • First and last sentence of a paragraph.
  • First and last  paragraph of a long article (introduction and conclusion!).


1.) Skim BEFORE READING to decide: 

  • READ IT (go to step 2)
  • or SKIP IT! (move on to next article or search)

2.) Skim DURING READING to find:

  • main ideas
  • main charachters
  • major details
  • sequence of events
  • patterns to how the text is organized

3.) Skim AFTER READING to:

  • review main ideas
  • organize thoughts
  • make connections
  • put it all together

More Resources

BBC: Skimming and Scanning Speed read or skim text to get the gist. Scan text to find a specific piece of information.

 Skimming Techniques  Online module on Skimming techniques.   
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