Skimming is used to get a general overview and the Main idea in a text while scanning locates specific information quickly at a glance. Both Skimming and Scanning are fast-reading strategies.
Functions of Skimming and Scanning
Skimming and scanning are both reading skills-building practices. They help a reader become more efficient and skilled than the common reading practices. Also, they assist the reader to read faster by skimming and scanning a text in a short amount of time. Although the functions of these strategies are similar, their purposes are entirely different. For example, when we want to read something fast to obtain a general idea, we skim. But when we want to read something quickly to discover a specific piece of information, we scan a text.
Characteristics of Skimming
- Efficient Reading Method
- Fast-Reading Method
- Time-Saving Method
Efficient Reading Method
It improves our ability to read quickly. So, instead of reading every single word, we should focus on:
- Typographical signals
- Italic fonts
- Bullet Points
- Numbered lists
Skimming is a fast-reading strategy that we employ to quickly gain a general overview and information about the text. It is a speedier reading method than any other fast reading technique. Because it allows us to obtain a broad range of information from a vast part of the text.
Skimming allows us to read longer texts without having to read them thoroughly. We take a cursory glance at the text or document via this lens. Then, rather than reading a book, it saves us many long-sitting hours. As a result, it saves us a lot of time.
Apply Methods of Skimming
We use skimming to get a quick look of:
Examples of Skimming
- Take a glance at what’s going on in the news or the newspaper’s headlines.
- We go through a book to see whether it’s one we want to read.
- Look through the TV schedule to find what’s on that evening.
- Take a look at the table of contents.
- It is necessary to read the first and last sentences of each paragraph.
- Pay attention to the headers and subheadings.
- Examine any images or visual elements.
- Summaries should be read.
Three Ways of Skimming Texts
- Preview Skimming: It entails having a mind toward reading before you start reading. It’s a great way to get a head start on more in-depth reading.
- Overview Skimming: It means getting a gist of the material and a broad understanding of what it’s about.
- Review Skimming: It entails returning to a selection with a lot of content after you’ve finished reading it.
Characteristics of Scanning
- Locate Particular Information
- Find Question Answers
- Find particular Facts
Locate Particular Information
We utilize it to search for only one piece of information using a single word or phrase. For example, when we look for a word in the dictionary, we start scanning. Because the objective of scanning is to look for something specific, not something general.
Find the Question Answers
At the end of a chapter or a story, we are asked to give exact answers to the questions for comprehension. As a result, we can search for the textbook to get answers to the queries we’re required to. Scanning is the practice of reading quickly to discover specific information.
Find particular Facts
Scanning allows us to research complex issues. The issues which require fact-based evidence. For example, we scan the fact-based answers to the comprehension questions at the end of a story or a chapter.
Apply Methods of Scanning
The objective of scanning is to find specific data. Apply it to check for:
- Primary headers
- Theme lines
- Main Ideas
- Underlined Words
Examples of Scanning
- Take a look at the contents page.
- Check to see whether there is a question that we need to answer.
- Scan when you are looking for a phone number.
- Look up a term in a dictionary by using the index.
- Use one of our fingers to scan the area carefully.
- Look for terms that are relevant to our topic.
- Look over the sidebars and bulleted information.
Three Ways of Scanning Texts
- Linear scan: This method involves reading through the text one character or word at a time, from start to finish.
- Keyword scan: This method involves searching for specific keywords or phrases within the text. It can be done using string-matching algorithms such as Boyer-Moore or Rabin-Karp.
- Regular expression scan: This method involves searching for patterns within the text using regular expressions. It is often used for parsing or validating text.
Key Difference between Skimming and Scanning Table
|Reading technique used to get an overview||Reading technique used to find specific information|
|Skimming is a fast reading technique||Scanning is a quicker reading technique|
|Used to preview or get the gist of the content||Used to find answers to specific questions|
|Focuses on headings, subheadings, and bold texts||Focuses on keywords and phrases in the text|
|Helps to identify the main points or key ideas||Helps to locate specific details or facts|
|Good for reading lengthy documents quickly||Good for finding specific information in a hurry|
|Example: Skimming a newspaper to get the headlines||Example: Scanning a research article for keywords|
|Example: Skimming a novel to understand the plot||Example: Scanning a menu for a specific dish|
|Example: Skimming a website for the main content||Example: Scanning a legal document for a clause|
|Skimming can lead to missing details or nuances||Scanning may miss important context or connections|
|Skimming can be used for leisure reading||Scanning is often used for academic or work tasks|
|Skimming requires some background knowledge||Scanning requires specific questions or prompts|
|Skimming can help determine relevance||Scanning can help answer specific questions|
|Skimming can help with decision-making||Scanning can help with research or analysis|
|Skimming can be used as a pre-reading technique||Scanning can be used as a study or research method|
|Skimming can be subjective and open to interpretation||Scanning is more objective and precise|
|Skimming can be a helpful reading habit||Scanning can be a valuable time-saving skill|
|Skimming can be combined with other reading strategies||Scanning can be combined with note-taking or summarizing|
|Skimming can be used to increase reading speed||Scanning can be used to increase reading accuracy|
In summary, skimming is used to get an overall understanding of a text while scanning to locate specific information. Skimming and Scanning are both efficient reading strategies that allow a person to quickly identify either general or specific information in a text fast.