Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Four Different Kinds of Reading

Did you know that there are different kinds or types of reading? Indeed, there are actually four of them, and each has its own specific purpose or objective. It is important to know these four different kinds of reading as well as practice and perfect your ability to use them. In doing so, you'll be able to improve your overall reading success. This is especially important if you are a student who wishes to reach your full academic potential.

This week we have created for you a short list of the four different kinds of reading. We hope that you will review these and practice each in the coming week. Try to use each kind as you read the newspaper, a textbook, a novel or perhaps even a research report or term paper. Also, consider the kinds of reading required for specific types of printed materials or even digital media. At the end of the week, you should be much more conscious of and skilled at utilizing every one of the four different kinds of reading. You will also be improving your reading skill level, being much more prepared for a great academic term in the coming school year.

The Four Different Kinds of Reading

1. Skimming - moving the eyes quickly over text on a page, to get the main idea or "gist" of a selection

2. Scanning - looking for a specific item of information in a selection

3. Extensive reading - (usually for shorter selections) reading for pleasure or just to get a broad understanding of the material

4. Intensive reading - (usually for longer selections) extracting specific information, accurate, in-depth reading for details

Skimming and scanning might be used when beginning to read a newspaper. If a specific story would be located in that newspaper, then you might then use intensive reading. Extensive reading might be done with a novel, but if you were editing a novel for potential publication, you would more likely do a considerable amount of intensive reading.

These are just a few examples of the different kinds of reading and when they are used most effectively. If you are a challenged reader, you might consider trying one (or more) of the specialized tools available to help facilitate your reading. A few of these tools can be used with all four kinds of reading (even when using some tech devices, too!) We hope you will increase and perfect your use of each of these kinds of reading in the coming week---and in the future. We think you'll become a much better reader because of your dedicated efforts!

Happy Reading, everyone!


Reading Skills: different kinds of reading - with exercise

Four Kinds of Reading by Bill Stiffler

Hall, Donald. "Four Kinds of Reading." Thinking in Writing. 2nd ed. Ed. Donald McQuade and Robert Atwan. New York: Knopf, 1983: 163-166. Print.

For more information on customizable reading tools for better focus & attention, please visit: Tools for struggling readers of all ages! Info & support for struggling readers

Image courtesy of:
Brennan Innovators, LLC at

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