Difference between Skimming and Scanning Reading

difference between skimming and scanning reading

Difference between Skimming and Scanning.| Reading not only helps one to improve vocabulary but also improves basic knowledge. However, when we have to read and do research on something from a lot of material in a limited time, someone will do skimming or scanningdepending on the destination.

Skimming reading technique means reading something at a relatively faster pace without having to read more deeply, thus getting an idea of ​​what the job really is. Otherwise, reading technique scanning implies a reading technique in which a person looks at a document, so as to find the specific information contained in the written material.

Since both reading skills involve very fast eye movements on the text, it becomes difficult for students to distinguish between the two, but their difference lies in the goal itself.

Definition of Skimming

Reading skimming‘ means ‘glance‘. Skimming can be understood as a speed reading technique in which the reader pays attention to the main points or essence in the passage only, so as to get a general concept about the content.

In skimming reading, text that contains unnecessary details, stories, examples, or other data is intentionally skipped. In other words, skimming reading does not require intimate reading but must be focused.

Readers mainly read introductions, summaries, bold/italics, bullet points, names, titles and subtitles, dates, numbers, etc. This technique is commonly used when reading newspapers, letters, and messages. Skimming is said to be effective when the reader can understand the main information correctly and clearly.

By skimming, a lot of time is saved by the reader, as you don’t have to spend hours reading the entire material in full. But, this technique should not be applied all the time, unless you are in a hurry. However, it is also possible that when you read skimming, you missed a relevant point, or misunderstood something.

Skimming can be used to take chapter overviews while revising exams or to take book overviews to decide whether or not it is worth reading.

difference between skimming and scanning reading-1

Definition of Scan

Scanning‘ means ‘looking for something‘. Scanning refers to a selective reading method which is generally used by the reader when he is looking for some information or certain text, which is contained in the passage, without reading the text in its entirety. Therefore. When you scan some material that you already know what you are looking for, you just have to look and swap it.

It involves rolling your eyes over the study material until you find the keywords or information you need. It has more to do with searching, than reading. Therefore, it can be said that scanning is a search-oriented reading process, which is used to find answers to specific questions, and once the answers are found, the reading process is stopped.

Basically, when you do a scan, there is a specific goal or question at hand, and you read the given text to find the answer to that question and thus avoid reading the text which is not relevant to your goal or question.

For effective scanning, readers must first understand the way the material is structured/presented and differentiate whatever is read, in order to easily identify the required information.

Key Differences Between Skimming and scanning

The difference between skimming and scanning reading is presented in detail below:

  • Skimming can be defined as a type of reading in which the reader reads the text quickly to have an idea of ​​the concepts, subject matter, main points and gist, without paying attention to excessive details. On the other hand, scanning refers to a reading technique, in which the reader moves his eyes throughout the text to find certain keywords that are in his mind.
  • Skimming is a speed reading method, while scanning is a selective reading method.
  • Skimming reading technique is reading a minimum amount of material in a minimum time, scanning is a method of finding something quickly.
  • Skimming technique is used with the aim of taking insight into what is contained in the research material without reading it verbatim. Conversely, when a reader uses scanning, he wants to know facts, keywords, or specific information about his needs.
  • Skimming is used to get acquainted with texts that you haven’t read. On the other hand, in the case of scanning, the reader has knowledge of what he is looking for in the given text.

Red thread

Basically, skimming tells you what information is contained in a section or in the document as a whole. In this case, the reader casts his eye quickly over the large bundle of material to select the main point.

Instead, scanning tells you where the information you need is in the text. Therefore, one can read a passage to understand its essence, whereas one can scan to find words, numbers, dates, etc.