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Reading strategies: A short guide

Scanning and skim reading

Scanning and skim reading enable you to get a quick over view of the text and decide if it is relevant.


Scan the text for particular information or for key words to confirm that the content is relevant. Use the contents page and index page or use the search function to locate keyword


Skim read the text to ‘get the gist’ of what it is about and how it is arranged. 

Read the abstract, the introduction, and the conclusion as these will give you an idea if the article is really relevant. If you decide not to use an article, make a note of it if you think it might be useful for a future project or piece of work. Use headings and subheadings if there are any to navigate around the text. Pay particular attention to the first sentence of each paragraph as this indicates what the paragraph is about. Also look at any illustrations, tables, etc. as these will summarise information. 

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