What do you mean by skimming and scanning


Skimming means reading the matter and gathering the necessary and main features. It, in a way, is a technique applied in extensive reading where a learner reads the content, jots down the main points and then utilizes the information gathered for future use. E.g. skimming a prose lesson, for instance, a story or a narrative means going through it by reading it silently and collecting the main points or reaching the story’s climax to get the moral out of the story, to understand the theme of the story.

Talking in terms of poetry, skimming means going through the whole poem, deriving pleasure from it and course the gist or crux of the poem. Skimming saves a lot of time. It is usually helpful for higher classes where they have to read a lot and draw conclusions rapidly. It develops self-confidence among learners as they can interpret things in their ways.


Scanning can be summed up in words, “to read in-between lines” meaning to read each and everything. Everything contained in the text is read thoroughly, intensively and very objectively. The learner has to scan the book for the content or information one needs. There is no scope for leaving anything. The reader has to read the most difficult as well as the easiest item.

Scanning is again of use in higher classes to develop the habit of intensive study, hard work and deep understanding. It develops the scientific attitude of looking at things minutely, and patiently; observing and understanding them and then drawing out conclusions instead of rushing to conclusions.