We all need to read in whatever job we do. Reading is an essential life skill you need whether you’re writing a research paper, planning a website or drafting a project report. 

But do you sometimes find yourself struggling to cope with reading in this fast-paced digital world? Do you re-read documents often to understand them? You need to develop keen and acute reading strategies. Effective reading strategies help you read better, understand the content in a simplified way, and save you time.

What are the reading strategies?

Reading strategies are techniques to better absorb and understand content. Incorporating these techniques in reading will allow you to read with focus and concentration so you don’t end up re-reading the same content over and over again.

  • Scanning

Scanning is one of the important techniques in reading. It is best used when the objective is to pick out selective parts from a text for your goal. This time-saving technique of scanning the documents before a deep dive into the contents is an effective method of reading. 

  • Active reading 

Different techniques in reading are used for different purposes altogether. Active reading means getting actively involved with the content of the document as you are reading it. This allows you to get a deeper insight and understanding of the content simultaneously. This technique involves relating the content with your past experiences, personal incidents, and comparable first-hand knowledge. Although time-consuming, the active reading technique ensures you understand and remember the content.

Stages of reading

To master the art of effective reading, you should follow the three stages of reading: pre-reading, during reading, and post-reading. This framework helps compartmentalize and evaluate content so that you fulfill the purpose of the prescribed reading.

  1. Pre-reading

The stages of reading start with pre-reading. In the pre-reading stage, the reader sets up a mental goal for reading. This preview stage is when you skim and scan a document to get a broad overview of the document. If you are reading a report or a research paper, ask yourself questions such as,  “Why do I want to read this?” or “What is the specific purpose behind the reading exercise?” This will give a clear purpose and make reading the document easier for you. 

  1. During reading

During reading is when you actually read the content. You go through each and every word and read between lines to understand the document. Active reading is best utilized in this stage. By paying attention to the words and re-reading the lines if needed, one can gather deeper insight. This is the stage when you analyze, question, visualize, and activate any prior knowledge.

  1. Post-reading 

The post-reading stage is as important as the through-reading one. After you are done with the entire content, evaluate what the content means. See if all the questions that you came up with, in the pre-reading stage, are answered to your satisfaction. Discussing the read content with friends, co-workers, or like-minded people will definitely help you understand the content better and give a clear idea of how much information is really understood. The post-reading stage will also reveal some missed facets of the content.

Harappa Education’s Reading Deeply course teaches you about effective reading strategies,  different reading levels, and how to distinguish between descriptive, predictive and prescriptive data from leading educators and trainers. Enroll for the course and amp up your reading skills.


Explore topics such as the Importance of Reading, the Types of Reading, the Reading Habits, and the Levels of Reading from our Harappa Diaries blog section and improve your reading quotient.

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