speed reading >
Tips for reading magazines and newspapers
If you know what you want from an article, and recognizing its type, you can
extract information from it quickly and efficiently.
Get 80% of the information in 20% of the time by simply reading the title, subtitle,
bold type, last paragraph and first paragraph--spend only 30-45 seconds. Then reflect
on the relevance of the information for you. If it is important to read more, go
to the next step. Otherwise, find another article.
Take 1-2 minutes to skim through the article to find the core idea. Know what is
being expressed. Do you need more details? If not, find another article.
Read lightly and flexibly. Know what you need. Slow down to fulfill your purpose,
answering questions that are most important to you. Since very few words carry the
meaning, speed up to pass redundant or useless information.
Try reading several words, a phrase, or even a sentence at a time. A good way
to practice this is to read newspaper articles by scanning down the column, digesting
all the words across, instead of reading each word at a time. A newspaper column
usually has 4 or 5 words per line, and you should be able to process all of them
Newspapers tend to be arranged in sections. If you read a news paper often, you
can learn quickly which sections are useful and which ones you can skip altogether.
The most effective way of getting information from magazines is to scan the contents
tables or indexes and turn directly to interesting articles. If you find an article
useful, then cut it out and file it in a folder specifically covering that sort
of information. In this way you will build up sets of related articles that may
begin to explain the subject.
This method is one of the best for getting used to reading phases instead of
words. Just practicing reading this way should noticeably increase your speed.
Browse through the publication (frontward or backwards) and you get to know what
is in it and where it is located. Notice the layout and how the information is presented.
Notice the table of contents and any special sections.
Notice which articles pique your interest, but don't read them yet. Reading for
information should be a goal seeking activity. Decide how much time you can afford,
and then go for it. Catch titles, subtitles, pictures, and charts. When you find
something interesting, think of how you can use it.
These tend to give a very fragmented coverage of an area. They will typically
only concentrate on the most interesting and glamorous parts of a topic - this helps
them to sell copies! They will often ignore less interesting information that may
be essential to a full understanding of a subject. Typically areas of useful information
are padded out with large amounts of irrelevant waffle or with advertising.
Be active, ask the questioning and be goal oriented. Save time and get more information
from the time you spend reading. Storage important articles, pass them on, or recycle
the publication. Don't be serious, It's best to be playful.
Follow this tips and your reading will become purposeful.
Types of articles:
Articles within newspapers and magazines tend to be in three main types:
- News articles: Here the most important information is presented first,
with information being less and less useful as the article progresses. News
articles are designed to explain the key points first, and then flesh them out
- Opinion Articles: Opinion articles present a point of view. Here
the most important information is contained in the introduction and the summary,
with the middle of the article containing supporting arguments.
- Feature Articles: These are written to provide entertainment or background
on a subject. Typically the most important information is in the body of the
If you know what you want from an article, and recognize its type, you can extract
information from it quickly and efficiently.
Read headlines and first paragraphs only.
Review headlines and select articles you want to read based on your interest
or purpose for reading. Read the first paragraph to preview the article.
Reporters present 80% of the key information in the opening paragraph. The subsequent
supporting text should be read only as needed. Follow this strategy:
Ask yourself what other specific details you want. Let it go if there are none.
Skim the article for the desired details. "Dip" into the article and read those
paragraphs. Don't read all the words unless you have the luxury of unlimited time.
When finished with an article, go on to the next. This whole process should not
take more than 10-15 minutes.
How to read news
News is redundant: previewed yesterday...detailed today...summed up tomorrow.
When reading news, whether from a report, newspaper, magazine or newsletter, skip
what you already know. Make sure to you get the new information you need.
Look for the most pertinent information to match your purpose for reading. A strong
purpose immediately increases your reading speed and comprehension. Be clear about
what you want, then quickly search to find it. Don't just read for the sake of reading
unless you have chosen to pass leisure time.
Give yourself just 10-15 minute in the morning to review the news. This time constraint
gently forces you to get focused. Come back in the evening to get whatever you "have
to" or "want to." You may discover it to be ancient history by evening.