We cannot discuss skimming without scanning, and verse-versa. The both are rather closely related and intertwinned in nature, and both are used especially in comprehension for the aid of knowledge. Therefore, Skimming and scanning are tools for understanding a comprehensive passage. When we skim, we read at a fast pace to get a general idea or overview of a passage. While Scanning involves reading to search for a particular information.
Skimming involves a quick glance of a passage or comprehension, or essay or any written piece for the sole aim of getting a general idea or to grasp the central idea of the piece. At this stage, we just want to have an idea of what the passage talks about. Whereas, in skimming we read the entire passage while scanning we stop reading once the information we are searching for is found.
Acording to Advanced Oxford Dictionary, it defines skimming as, “the process of reading something quickly in order to find or get the main point and also to get a general knowledge of the material being read”.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SKIMMING AND SCANNING
It is used to get a general idea or overview.
It is used to search for a particular or point information.
Skimming involves reading the entire passage or piece of information
Scannning involves reading just a sentence or paragraph pending on where the information is found.
After skimming, one can give a summary of the passsage.
After scannng, one can only give the information which was searched for.
FUNCTIONS OR USES OF SKIMMING
Skimming is used to cover a reading material quickly.
Skimming helps to locate and find longer strings of information. For instance, in order to find the answers to a specific question; by first fixing the question in your mind and skimming the passage for the answer.
It helps in getting the gist of the passage in term of;
The author’s/ writer’s organisation; it help you quickly understand the setting and the plot organization of the passage.
The topic sentence; that is it helps to locate the main sentences, thoughts or statements of the writing.
It helps to locate illustrations like diagrams, tables, e.t.c.
HOW TO SKIM EFFECTIVELY
In order to skim effectively, the following steps are to be taken, they are;
Survey the organisation of the passage in terms of titles and subtitles.
Read the first and last sentences of the paragraphs in order to locate the topic sentences.
Survey to pick up important words, phrases or illustrative materials.
Skip sentences or parts of paragraphs which does not contain specific informations or details you need.
Skip sections of the paragraphs or sentences when you have found the specific informations you need.
Skimming is one of the techniques used for faster reading in recent times, in order to cover a large volumes of pages within a short period of time. It is a selective reading for details. Skimming involves reading at twice the average reading speed of a person.
The following are the references used in making up of this material;
Ukmaka, Chioma Ibe (2004) Complete English Course, For Senior Secondary Schools; Onitsha, Nigeria.
Benson O. A. Oluikpe, and others, (1991) Intensive English For Secondary Schools; Onitsha Nigeria.
Advanced Oxford English Learners Dictionary;