The art of skimming

Imagine having to read all three of these books in one night. Skimming could come in handy.

As a college student, reading is an everyday thing. Some classes differ with reading out of textbooks, doing practice problems or being in an entirely different language. There are all sorts of reading done in college, but a universal method used by many college students is skimming. Skimming is the practice of reading a text, but reading it very quickly and sometimes just scanning the section needed to be read.

As an English major, I read A LOT. Since I have to read so much, I practice the art of skimming like a religion. I have multiple works of literature that need to be read all before the next class. Skimming comes in handy by reading the beginning of the work, skimming a line or two, then continuing on while processing all of the information. I usually use this during a unnecessarily, long description.

Here’s an example to skim:

(read the first line) Once upon a time, there lived a bunny in the summer. (skim this) The long, hot days radiated on the adorable little bunny. The bunny was normally white and fluffy, but when the sun is burning and scorching, the bunny’s fur turns grey and dark. The temperature has been steadily rising in the past couple of days and the bunny’s fur has slowly, but surely gotten darker and less vibrant.

Basically, the bunny’s fur isn’t as nice when it is hot. That is the art of skimming at work. Unfortunately, skimming doesn’t work for everything. Skimming doesn’t exactly work with foreign language classes. If the text is a story, biography, or some other type of set text, then skimming can come into play. But if there is a section that actually teaches a new addition to the language, then it shouldn’t be skimmed.

Another example would be calculus or chemistry. These reading assignments normally aren’t as long and are very in depth. They also usually include a section that requires practice problems to be done.

In all reality, ALL of the reading assignments in college should be read, but when time is a constraint, skimming is a nifty tool. Thanks for reading another college tip from Rudy Uhde and how to shortcut daily assignments. Here is a link to “Effective Reading” if you would like to find more tips.  ***WARNING: Skimming will not give you the full effect of actually reading THE WHOLE SECTION/ASSIGNMENT

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