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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 pointer.

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 software 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 wrist.

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.

Speedreading tips

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.


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Feature Highlights
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Habitually returning to what is already read, that usually decreases the speed of reading, no longer happens. Reading each word individually becomes unnecessary because skillful fast readers do not individualize the text when reading at high speeds. 
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