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speed reading reducing skip back eyes triples.
Don't reread the same phrases from the text! Poor readers read and reread the
same phrase over and over again. This habit of making "regressions" doubles or
triples reading time and often does not result in better comprehension. A single careful,
attentive speed reading may not be enough for full comprehension, but is often more effective
than constant regressions in the middle rate of a reading. It is best to work on paying closer
attention. Do a preview first before the careful reading and try
the tips I mentioned above. You'll remember better without the rereading.
Donít let regress eyes. Keep them moving forward. They will have a tendency to
go back a few words occasionally. That continual little movement backwards adds up. If you
stop doing it, your reading speed will increase. Studies indicate that rereading words
like that doesnít increase comprehension anyway.
Avoid regressing (rereading). The average reader read at rate 250 words per minute and
regresses or rereads about 20 times per page. Rereading words and phrases is a habit,
which will slow your reading speed down. Usually, it is unnecessary to
reread words, for the ideas you want are explained and elaborated more fully in later
contexts. Furthermore, the slowest reader usually regresses most frequently. Because he
reads slowly, his mind has time to wander and his rereading reflects both his inability to
concentrate and his lack of confidence in his comprehension skills.
To reduce the number of times that the eyes skip back to a previous sentence, run a
pointer along the line as you read. This could be a finger, or a pen or pencil. Your eyes
will follow the tip of your pointer, smoothing the flow of
speedreading. The speed at
which you read using this method will largely depend on the speed at which you move the
It can be useful to scan the line being read with a pointer, whether this is a
finger, or a pen or pencil. The eyes will follow the tip of your pointer, smoothing the
flow of speedreading.
If this seems silly, the point can be illustrated by drawing a circle on a piece of
paper in front of you. If you think about the way in which your eyes are moving when you
look around the circumference of the circle, you will probably find that your eyes are
moving in fixations: actually the track of the movement of your eyes is probably a series
of lines, not a circle. If, however, you run a pointer around the outside of the circle
you will find that your eyes are smoothly following the tip of the pointer.
To a large extent the reading speed at which you read using this method will depend on the
speed at which you move the pointer.
Regressions in eye movements cause the eyes to return to re-read words you already
read. It is as though the mind is not sure it saw what it saw. Computer programs try to
change this habit by allowing you to see only the words showing through a
"window." The window moves across the lines of text at a speed set by you, the
reader. It never allows you to re-read and consequently helps break a bad habit.
You may correct this habit by using a pacer to drag the eyes across the lines. Use a
pointer like the eraser end of a pencil or pen or like your fingertip. Practice refines
your pacer movements until some people simply run their finger down the center of a column
of text the width of those printed in the newspaper or in the Readers Digest.
Break the habit of reading and reading
Use the card for breaking rereding habit
Use a card or a folded-up piece of paper above the line of print to block the words
after you read them. Draw it down the page slowly and evenly and try to read the passage
before you cover the words up.
This helps break you of the habit of reading and reading a passage over and over again.
It makes you pay more attention the first time. Be sure to push the card down faster than
you think you can go. Slide the card down once per page.
Use the hand while reading
Place your right hand on the page and slowly move it straight down the page, drawing
your eyes down as you read. Keep an even, slow motion, as if your right hand has its own
mind. Your eyes may not be exactly where your hand is, but this simple motion will help
you go faster. Don't start, read a little, stop, read a little, start, read a little. Keep
the movement slow and easy. Only do it once per page. If you are "left-handed"
use your left hand as the dominant pacing hand.
Use the finger moving while reading
Lift your fingers and make two even bounces on each line. Each time you bounce, you are
making a fixation which hopefully catches sets of three or four words. Moving to a
"finger moving" method also makes it easier to keep a steady pace as it is a lot
like tapping our fingers on a desk. Balance on your arm muscle, don't just wiggle your
Use the sweep while reading
Use your hand to help draw your eyes across the page. Slightly cup your right hand. Keep
your fingers together. With a very light and smooth motion, sweep your fingers from left
to right, underlining the line with the tip of your tallest finger from about an inch in
and an inch out on each line. Use your whole arm to move, balancing on your arm muscle.
Imagine that you are dusting off salt from the page.
Once you start, don't stop! Read each item straight through. If you finish and have
questions, go back and re-read the pertinent sections. If you don't have questions, you
got what you needed and are ready to move on. Having finished your thorough reading, try
to synthesize the entire passage. Make certain that it has continuity for you, that you
understand the whole as well as the parts.
Re-read the marked sections of the text. Write a small (one to four sentences) summary
at the beginning of the chapter. If you ever need to return to the text, the information
is much more easily found with summary markings.
Read once. You can't read everything all at once (and wouldn't want to). If it's
important, read it now. If it's not, let it wait.
Read the title and the first paragraph
- If there is a summary at the end of a chapter, read it.
- Get a grasp of how the material is organized.
- If you need more background, seek another source.
- Now decide if you have enough background to begin reading.
Tips: Preview Speed Reading strategy
Write down keywords of what you know already to help you to later eliminate
what you don't need to read.
Get an overview of the content by going through the text quickly, looking
at paragraph headings, chapter headings, illustrations, covers, contents page,
index etc. Imagine that you're starting with a bare skeleton, and through each
step you are slowly padding it out with skin and muscles. Each step will help
you to make more informed decisions.
Speed reading techniques