The Learning Game
Different Methods of Reading
Use to look over topic headings, illustrations, graphs, table of contents.
Gives you a general overview of what a book (or several books) contain.
Use to get the main idea in a chapter or article. Look for specific facts.
Check the index. Gives you a good idea of the main gist of the material.
3. Speed Reading
Use to follow the sequence of events, get an overview or analyze an organization.
(Read faster than 250 words per minutes.) Gives you a general idea of the
4. Study Reading
Use to critically appraise and understand material. Read slowly (about
40-70 words per minute). Achieves in-depth understanding. Enables recall
of the material.
Note: Reading at 40 w.p.m. which is very slow, would probably only be required
at advanced study levels when the subject matter is very complex and theoretical.
What and Why
As you can see, each of these different methods of reading is done with
a different purpose in mind. Most people use some of these methods without
even thinking about it. To improve your reading habits you need to consciously
think about what and why you are reading. When you are about to start reading
always ask what is your purpose and then adjust your method to fit.
Study material is a resource from which you select
for a particular purpose. The most important thing about efficient reading
is that you read with a purpose and adjust your reading style to different
Many students believe that they need to read faster. There are many varying
ideas on what the average reader's reading speed is. For light reading the
range is between 100 to 250 words per minute. This speed varies depending
on the familiarity of the material to the reader, the difficulty of the
material and most importantly the individual reader's own reading habits.
The most important point is that unless you have a serious reading handicap
your speed probably falls within normal parameters. So, if you complete
the exercise below you will simply get an indication of what your reading
speed is. But no matter what it is, it can be improved. If you are aware
of your own habits and speed, you will be able to work towards improving
GO TO SPEED READING ACTIVITY
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The page was designed and edited in May 1998 by Karl Mair.