Skimming and Scanning
- Word count: 1771
- Category: Reading
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Scanning is a reading technique to be used when you want to find specific information quickly. In scanning, you have a question in your mind and you read a passage only to find the answer, ignoring unrelated information. Scanning can be done by:
• State the specific information you are looking for.
• Try to anticipate how the answer will appear and what clues you might use to help you locate the answer. For example, if you were looking for a certain date, you would quickly read the paragraph looking only for numbers.
• Use headings and any other aids that will help you identify which sections might contain the information you are looking for.
• Selectively read and skip through sections of the passage.
Skimming refers to the process of reading only main ideas within a passage to get an overall impression of the content of a reading selection. Skimming can be done by:
• Read the title.
• Read the introduction or the first paragraph.
• Read the first sentence of every other paragraph.
• Read any headings and sub-headings.
• Notice any pictures, charts, or graphs.
• Notice any italicized or boldface words or phrases.
• Read the summary or last paragraph.
READING SELECTED SECTIONS FROM ACADEMIC BOOKS AND JOURNALS
• It is important that you read widely.
• There is no need to read an entire book from cover to cover. To avoid wasting time on irrelevant text, skim and scan.
• Look at the title and read the back or inside of the cover, which will usually give some indication of what the book is about.
• Read the table of contents to see if your topic is dealt with. Turn to those sections.
• If you cannot find your topic look at the back of the book to see if there is an index. This may indicate several pages in different sections of the book in which the subject is mentioned.
• When you turn to the relevant section read the first few sentences of the paragraph or read the part of a section that you think might be helpful. This will often give an indication of whether the text will be helpful or not. Read the last few sentences of the paragraph or section. This often summarises the argument in the book.
• Now read what is relevant and make notes of the useful information from the text. Do not forget to write down the title, author, and page number so that you can refer to it again.
UNDERLINING AND HIGHLIGHTING
Underlining and highlighting should be done because it forces you to decide what\’s important in what you are reading and how ideas are related; it tests your understanding by putting ideas into your own words; and, you concentrate because you read actively rather than passively. Underlining and highlighting can be done by:
• Read the entire paragraph or section before underlining. Decide what the main idea is and which the supporting details are.
• Always try to make your own sentences. Select keywords and short phrases to make smooth and complete sentences. Sometimes you may have to write in a word or two to make the sentence complete.
• Underline the right amount. Make sure your underlining covers ALL the necessary material for recall on tests. But, make sure you don\’t underline too much.
• Every once in a while review the type and amounts of marking in earlier chapters to ensure consistency.
• Use the margins–for writing keywords, correlation with lecture notes, your own thoughts or reactions.
• Remember always that the main purpose of underlining is to reduce the amount of material to be specifically remembered and thus to be reviewed.
• Review often, regularly, and quickly–the material underlined and highlighted.
USING TABLE OF CONTENTS
A table of contents is defined as a list of the parts of a book or a document that are arranged according to the order of their appearance or sequence in the book or document. Documents that have more than ten pages usually have a table of contents. It includes the titles and description of the headers or sections of the book or document and in books that contain works of different authors, their names are also listed in the table of contents. The page numbers are also indicated in the table of content. It appears after the title page and copyright notices, before the foreword, the preface, and the lists of tables. A good table of contents is one that only has two pages at the most
When you open a magazine, a study guide that you are unfamiliar with you may read the table of contents. This will direct you to the relevant pages of the article you want to read. Table of content can be identified by:
• A table of contents is a list of the parts of a book.
• A table of contents is located at the beginning of the document usually after the title page and copyright notices.
• Only those documents that are more than ten pages must have a table of contents.
• The contents in a table of contents are arranged according to their appearance in the document or in sequence
William Penn once said ‘Time is what we want most, but what we use worst’. Time is something one can lose and never get back. No one can control the time, but we can learn to use it more efficiently and effectively by planning carefully, proper time management is in our power.
There is a huge difference between high school and university when it comes to managing time and academic responsibilities. In high school, there was the kind of learning that includes an explanation of everything, while in the university one needs to learn mostly on their own especially if you are studying part-time.
Time management also means how to plan and execute the day to day activities over the amount of time. Planning in advance helps in setting an agenda for every day in mind and self-discipline is the key to manage time well.
Time management is one of the most important life skills an individual can learn, I have learned over the years that procrastination is a thieve of time. I always follow a certain routine in order for me to manage my time and studies. I have come up with the following strategies and it really works for me:
Prioritizing my assignments
I manage my time very effectively; preparing a list of tasks to be accomplished during the day helps me a lot. I make a schedule according to my priorities, meaning I look at the important dates for the assignment and then write them down on a calendar as a reminder note. This makes me see the whole semester a lot easier and simpler. I also schedule time for fun and relaxation. I have realized that being organized saves a lot of time.
I always try to do my assignments as soon as I get them, and divide them into small portions so that the load is not too much. It helps in reducing stress levels, by doing more tasks in less time and with lesser efforts.
Find a dedicated study space
A key to ongoing time management is to find a dedicated study space free from distractions where you can concentrate. If you want to change up your study space, that\’s fine, just make sure to find a study space that works and stick with it.
Create blocks of study time
Not only should you have a dedicated study space, you should have dedicated study time–blocks of time where you focus on your studies. Blocks around 40 to 50 minutes are ideal but may be longer or shorter based on the subject and your ability to focus. It\’s okay to take study breaks during your blocks for a snack, or just to get up and walk around, but make sure to return to your studies.
Schedule activities for after your school work
One of the most difficult, yet important, elements of effective time management is to put your school work first. It\’s easy to say you\’ll get your school work done later, or just before you go to bed. It\’s just as easy to say you\’ll do it tomorrow when bedtime arrives and you no longer have the disposition or energy to get it done. Complete your school work as soon as possible. Putting off less important activities until after you complete your school work will allow you stay on track and focus on your \”fun\” activities without the pressure looming school work.
Exercising, eating right and getting plenty of sleep. If I’m not at my peak, I won\’t be able to focus or concentrate, nor will I have the energy or stamina to get my studies completed efficiently. Going to bed an hour early really makes a difference.
You can\’t plan for everything. Unforeseen obstacles are bound to pop up, so I plan accordingly and be flexible. I just make sure to get back on track as soon as possible and maintain my schedule.
As I have mentioned earlier that procrastination is a thief of time, some psychologists’ researchers, affirm that the root of procrastination takes place in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. When this area of the brain is not constantly being active, the person reduces its ability to filter out distracting stimuli. The prefrontal cortex is in charge of planning, impulse control, attention, and to decrease distracting stimuli from other brain regions. There is a manner in which one can manage the habit of procrastination and make sure that you have clear goals, one needs to:
• Focus on the one thing you have to do now and not what you still need to do.
• Remind yourself of your long-term goals
• Plan your study tasks ahead of time and prioritize what is important.
• Keep track of what you have completed
• Break a big task into smaller tasks.
• Don\’t make excuses, make progress – everyone has interruptions and crises that prevent them from completing something. If your plans for studying were sabotaged, devise a new plan to start studying again.
• Find others to study with – talking to others about your studies helps you to gain perspective.
• Think about the positive and negative aspects related to completing or not completing a task.
• Don’t think too much about the task you need to do – try it and see how you can manage.
Successful students are good time managers. Time management is a very important skill to be learned and to be mastered in order to have a better lifestyle. By managing well time, you will no longer suffer from stress and your work will be done on time and with great quality. Remember that it is important to have the attitude to change your schedules and to change procrastination.