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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Students skim to success


A new semester calls for a new, heavy workload.

Some students have no issue being assigned 50-plus pages to read a night. However, others definitely feel the stress when they are involved in other activities that require a significant amount of their time.

They may partake in many different activities such as clubs, work, sports or Greek life. This means that many of them are forced to manage their time wisely in order to balance school and their social lives.

It’s no surprise that young adults, particularly college students, have been categorized as the “skimming generation.”

Students want to get everything done while figuring out some way to speed up the process.

While it is unrealistic to ask professors to reduce the amount of content they are assigning to read, we do have the option to read quicker while still attempting to absorb all the necessary material.

Skimming can be an effective method of understanding content, if done correctly.

Finding out how long an assignment is and how much time is available could give students insight regarding how of much of their time will be spent on the assignment.

Titles, major headings and sub-headings are all placed in the text for a reason, so paying more attention to them before looking any further could give a better idea of what the reading is about.

I find it easiest to read the first and last paragraphs of articles to see if there is a significant connection or point that is brought up in both the beginning and the end of any article.

After I read both paragraphs, I then highlight any words that stand out to me or are being repeated.

Taking notes is one of the biggest aids to anyone who likes to skim. I find it nearly impossible for me to remember any of the material I read unless I was taking notes.

The note taking comes in handy when professors assign questions about the reading material.

Some students find it useful to look at the assigned or chapter review questions before they read, so that they can highlight any key words that may answer questions while they’re skimming.

Skimming can also benefit those who choose to thoroughly read the material.

Once a person skims, they are already that much more knowledgeable about the material before actually diving in and reading the “correct” way.

Readers may be thinking, “Why waste our time reading when we can skim through everything?”

It is important to note that skimming is not a substitution for reading, and it is necessary to read as much as possible for all of your courses.

Even if it feels as if the assignment is never-ending, just remember that in the end, all of the extra time reading will be worth the grade. If skimming teaches students how to take better notes, understand the material and look for details in the readings that they never did before, then being a part of the “skimming generation” doesn’t sound so bad.

Veronica De La Cruz can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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