Everyday English 2
Everyday English 2

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Everyday English 2

2 Skimming, scanning and detailed reading

Described image
Figure 3 Skim, scan or read?

It can be difficult to read and digest lots of important information in a short time, but skimming and scanning can help.

  • Skimming involves reading the headings and subheadings of a text to get the main idea or ‘gist’ of the text. This can be useful when trying to decide whether to read it.

  • Scanning involves looking through the text to find keywords and phrases that are important or interesting.

Imagine you are looking at the magazine shelf in a supermarket. You may skim the titles of the magazines to find one you like and then scan the articles to find specific words or pieces of information.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus