In order to read quickly for the main ideas in a text (skim reading), we need to focus on the main ideas, and avoid the detail – but how?
- Read the title and the questions – don’t worry about understanding every word, try to get an overall idea.
- Focus on the content words (nouns, main verbs, adjectives, and adverbs). Learn not to look at “grammar words”, e.g. a, an, the, in, on, is, are etc.
- Focus more on the subject, verb and object (adjectives and adverbs are less important).
- Train your eyes to notice the linking words (however, in addition, as a result).
- Look for paragraph patterns, e.g. reasons, causes, effects, examples
- Pull your finger vertically through the text forcing your eyes not to read every detail.
- Ignore any words that you don’t know.
All in all, skimming takes practice. Don’t give up!