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Difference between Skimming and Scanning

Difference between Skimming and Scanning

Do you know the difference between skimming and scanning? If not, you’re not alone. A lot of people don’t know the difference or use the terms interchangeably. But there is a big difference between skimming and scanning. In this blog post, we’ll explain the difference, and show you how to do each one. So whether you’re a student trying to get through your reading assignment, or an employee trying to find information fast, you’ll be able to skim and scan like a pro!

What is Skimming?

Skimming is a technique used by readers to quickly gather the main points or ideas from a text. When Skimming, readers will often scan the text for keywords or phrases, and then read the sentences surrounding these words to get a better understanding of their meaning. Skimming can be an effective way to quickly get an overview of a text and is often used before starting a more in-depth reading. Skimming can also be helpful when trying to identify the main points of an argument or find supporting evidence for a claim. By Skimming a text, readers can save time and effort while still gathering important information.

What is Scanning?

  • Scanning is the process of quickly moving your eyes over a text in order to find specific information. When you scan a text, you are not reading it in detail; instead, you are looking for a particular word, phrase, or idea.
  • Scanning can be useful when you need to find a specific piece of information in a large document, such as a phone number or an address. It can also be helpful when you are trying to get an overview of a text before reading it in depth.
  • In order to scan effectively, it is important to practice skimming texts quickly. With enough practice, you will be able to find the information you need without slowing down your reading speed.

Difference between Skimming and Scanning

Skimming and scanning are two important reading skills.

  • Skimming is when you read quickly to get the main idea. Scanning is when you look for specific information.
  • Skimming is used when you want to get an overview of a text, or when you’re looking for something in particular but you’re not sure where it is.
  • Scanning is used when you know what you’re looking for and you want to find it quickly.
  • Skimming is faster than scanning because you’re not trying to read every word, but it’s not as effective at finding specific information.
  • Scanning is slower because you have to read every word, but it’s more effective at finding specific information.

Skimming and scanning are both important reading skills, and they each have their own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing when to use each one will help you become a better reader.


We hope that this article has helped to clear up any confusion between skimming and scanning. Remember, skimming is a technique used to get the gist of a text, while scanning is a technique used to find specific information. Both techniques are important tools for students and professionals alike.

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