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Using Written Resources

Using Libraries

Using Libraries in Person

Reading Skills

Finding out your Reading Speed

Researching and Writing Assignments

Note Taking

Writing a Research Report.











The Learning Game

Different Methods of Reading

1. Browsing

Use to look over topic headings, illustrations, graphs, table of contents. Gives you a general overview of what a book (or several books) contain.

2. Scanning

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 subject matter.

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 needs.

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 them.


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The page was designed and edited in May 1998 by Karl Mair.