Saturday, April 14, 2012

Speed Reading: Improve comprehension

If you have your hand closed around an object, you prevent it from being open to hold other things.  Likewise, you may feel that when reading for comprehension, you need to slow down.

However, it is possible to both read fast and retain comprehension.  One simple technique is to actively search out the topic sentence in each paragraph.  Around 90-95% of the topic sentences are located within the first line of each paragraph.  In fact, this is what we're taught in our public schools.

Unfortunately, with it being increasingly easy to communicate via tweets, instant messages, texts, emails, and blogs, many younger writers fail to develop the need to structure their thoughts.  It can be incredibly frustrating to read this type of writing and in fact, the shortened attention span of today's readers, the need for constant stimulation, and the proliferation of poor writing has resulted in the glut of articles spouting "Ten easy tips for..." and other poorly developed or rambling blogposts. 

On this webpage, I've always tried to concisely present my ideas and you'll find that I often bold or underline my main points to help readers follow.  

1.  Make it a goal this coming week to prioritize both speed and comprehension when you read.  Find that topic sentence!
2.  Pick up a good piece of writing.  Any work of man that has persisted over several generations is usually a noteworthy accomplishment.  It doesn't have to be a lot of time.  Even something as short as 5-10 minutes can be incredibly refreshing.

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