How to scan English articles as your reading practice

G’day mate, howz it going? Today, I am going to talk about how to scan English articles as your reading practice. I’ve already explained how to skim, and when you’ve done skimming reading, you probably think about the next procedure, which is scanning reading, right? This skill is critical to conducting a research academic essay or in some cases oral presentations as well. Let’s dive into it.

Read keywords and around them for each paragraph based on information and knowledge of what you’ve gained from skimming

Before scanning, you should’ve already done skimming around the article you were having a look. Without having obtained any prior information, scanning reading won’t work out effectively. So, make sure you’ve already had a flick through, and jotted down some keywords or already in your mind as well. Then, you scan the keywords within the article, and read them around, but not everything. You can do it very quickly. This skill is essential for reading tests like IELTS, PTE and TOEFL reading questions under time condition. Scanning the keywords is so much easier and more effective than rapid reading. It’ll still take much longer time than scanning, obviously. If you just focus on the keywords, then it’s possible to omit too much extra details that tend to be redundant.

After having done scanning the keywords and around, then read thoroughly through the most important paragraph that contains key contents that you’re after

In order to garner the most important key information for your essay, what you should do next is to read thoroughly through the key paragraphs only. Normally, when you are researching in a specific topic, you don’t want to take too long to read every research paper or reference, but just need to garner necessary data and ideas, right? To this end, you want to minimise the time spent for scoping out. And so, you’ve got to synthesise the data you’ve gathered, instead of reading every single paragraph. As you know, when you want to read through pdf files, you just filter them out, which makes your research so much easier and smoother.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that checking out any extra data such as statistics, graphs and other figures

Last but not least, you don’t want to ignore extra data as a part of scanning reading. When you are reading English articles, especially scientific ones, you often find some graphs, statistics and figures, in which case there are several hidden key data that espouse your key argument in a coherent way. So, checking out those sorts of information is also critical to boosting your scanning reading skills. You don’t need to spend much time for doing it, you just pinpoint the source of data that you’re after. Not good essay contains too much redundant information, but lacks key figures or data that back up your arguments. In order to avoid this situation, you skim and then scan the article, but keep in mind that you always try to read mainly the most important paragraph, and therefore you shouldn’t have the situation in which you have a deluge of irrelevant reading stuff.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

Have a good one!

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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