Reading Strategies - Speed Reading Is Not Good for Studying...

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Speed Reading Is Not Good for Studying * By David A. Gershaw, Ph.D. When students had lots of reading to do, many professors gave the same advice. "Don't read every word. Scan it. Read quickly. ignore unimpartant words. Focus on key concepts." Because of this, students view skimming as a study skill. Some take speed-reading lessons locally or online, off the World Wide Web. One method, the Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics course, claims Lo triple reading speed while still increasing comprehension. Jumping bm the average college reading rate of 300 words per minute (wpm) to 1,000 wpm can be accomplished. However, research indicates that you will absorb less of wbat is read. , Ronald Carver is an educational psychologist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He indicates that speed-reading works best for people who are aiready familiar with the material being read. It helps if you are reviewing old material or checking mgterial for changes. However, it is not effective for students an trying to learn new information Carver notes that it is a good way to absorb unfamiliar^^ By skimming their material, they skip words and miss imporcant facts. If you ski words, you will understand less. It doesn't allow readers to appreciate good poetry or literature either. (It is like gulping down a fine wine rather than savoring its taste.) Carver did a in the mid- 1980s, comparing pained spced readera with naturally fluent readers. In both pups, comprehension deteriorated as their speed went higher than 600 wpm. rtcatlii &tails from a long book, naturally fluent readem were better than speed readers. uses the analogy of driving. For most people, the rtading speed of 200-300 wpm is a comfortable *gear" that works for most textual terrains. When the material is more difficult, students need to "dmp gears" to a slower mading speed. In contrast, and speed art "ov&e that can speed ahdy kuowledgeablc reah to new infomtim Prior knowledge crucial for successful speed-reading. This demonstrated by a 1996 study done by psychologist Walter,Kintsch and his associaies (Institute of Cognitive Science, University of Colorado). He used children 10-1 5 ye$ of age. They read either highly detailed or cursory articles about heart disease and mammals' traits. Children with backgrounds in those areas learned more hm the cursory texts. In contradt, tbse without background knowledge learned more the detailed infodon. -------------------- "Sure, speed-reading helps you tofind the kcy concepk. .but ifyon real& want to understand the material, it's no1 a whe strategy. " -- Skimming the material is a first step in gaining information. However, after you bve gained the major points by skimming, more detailed reading is required Let's say you have been assigned a chapter in a text. First, skim the summary and the chapter to get an overview the main points. Second, pick a small part of the chapter - a page or two, or hrn one section heading to another. Read it over the second time mom carefully.
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Reading Strategies - Speed Reading Is Not Good for Studying...

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