Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Speed Reading Tips - How To Understand Passages Better

By Adrian Hargray

It doesn't matter what you're reading, you can sort through the fluff and filler if you know how to do it. If you practice enough, you'll be able to see what you need to read and what parts you can simply skip over. It is the intent of this article to show you how to do this all while improving your reading comprehension also.

One thing that you can do to get a general idea of what you're reading is to look at the page that you are reading. Take a quick glance at the passage and see if there are any repeated words that you see. Usually words that are in bold letters will tell you what the passage is all about. When you glance at the page like this, when you're ready to read it, you will know the important parts to read and what you can skip.

Try your best not to reread sentences also. This just slows you down and hinders you from understanding the whole piece. Rereading sentences is a practice that poor readers do, so you don't want to copy this part of bad readers. Rereading sentences can become a bad habit and usually you don't even have to reread a particular sentence. To help you stop rereading, one thing that you can do is take a ruler and read each sentence or line with it. You will want to move the ruler in a slow motion, while gradually increasing your speed as you continue.

Another thing that you don't want to do is pronounce words to yourself. When you read to yourself like this, it can slow you down. Your goal should be to be aware that you're doing it as it's a bad habit to acquire. What you want to do is visualize words as soon as you see them. Sometimes it helps to pay more attention to particular keywords and not read others. Or you can try humming as a way to stop sub-vocalizing. It may be in your best interest to even put a finger over your lips while you read to help stop your lips from moving.

Use a ruler or a sheet of paper to help guide your reading. If you want to be a better speed reader, this technique will help. This will also help to stop rereading words as this is a bad habit to acquire also. Your eyes will follow the movement of the ruler and it will help you to keep moving forward.

Also, stop reading word by word and start reading blocks of words. Every word that you read isn't important so it's okay to skip over some words. You probably already do this if you regularly read newspapers. When you read a newspaper, you probably don't read the entire news section, but instead you skim and take only the most important parts of the article. You want to do the same thing here with your speed reading.

You have to keep working at it if you want to see results with your speed reading. Eventually your skills will develop and you will be reading faster than you ever imagined.