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Education Resources

Extensive and Intensive Types of Reading from MB0023 of Business Communication

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Extensive Reading:

As we already mentioned our way of reading is influenced by the purpose of our reading. Most of us have the habit of reading especially when we are free or have a lot of leisure time. We might get hold of a novel, a comic strip, a magazine etc.

When we read for the pure pleasure of reading we call it extensive reading. But, we should not give it a lesser priority because it is extensive reading. It is enjoyable as well as informative. Here, we practice rapid reading to get the global/overall understanding of the matter.

Intensive Reading:

When we read shorter texts like a research paper, for getting specific details / information we read slowly with a lot of concentration. This is intensive reading. When you read a book as a resource material for research you read it intensively because the overall understanding is not the objective/purpose of our reading.

When you read an article in order to write a review on it, you read it intensively. We use all the skills of reading when we do intensive reading.

For example - Every star is a sun, like our own sun. This means that stars are huge balls of glowing gases. They are so hot that if a piece of steel were placed there, it would disappear in a cloud of gas! In many of the stars, the gases are very thin. This is because the particles or atoms of matter in the gas are far apart.

But stars do have matter in them. We know, for example that the sun contains more than sixty of the chemical elements present in the earth. Among the elements in the sun are hydrogen, helium, iron calcium and magnesium.

In cooler stars, the matter may be more nearly liquid, somewhat like the boiling iron in a blast furnace. In some very old and cold stars, the matter may be so closely packed that a cubic inch of it would weigh a ton.

It is the next chapter of skimming and scanning types of reading which is taken from Business Communication of SMU MBA MB0023 book.

Skimming and Scanning Types of Reading from MB0023 of SMU MBA

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

As we have already said, we read in different ways depending on the purpose for which we are reading a text. Let us look at skimming and scanning types of reading.


Let’s say that you are a student of Management; and as suggested by your professor, you need to buy a reference text book on Investment Management or you need to write a paper on Computer Graphics. You go to a book store and see a rack full of books, with the same title, but different authors. You don’t have time to read the pages before deciding on buying the book. Hence, you quickly go through the contents, title page and the blurb (it is a slang meaning, a short piece of writing that praises and promotes something, especially a paragraph on the cover of a book).

By now, you have decided to buy one book. The type of reading that you did in the bookstall is “skimming.” Thus, skimming means, “looking quickly over a text/book to get a general superficial idea of the content.”


As you read a text, editorial or an article, you suddenly come across a word that is not familiar to your. Naturally, you would like to know the meaning of the word, for your own benefit.

So you get the dictionary and carefully find the word. You see the spelling, pronunciation, meaning and also the various uses of the same word (if any). This type of careful reading, to find out the specific, clear details, is known as Scanning. Here you don’t just run your eyes across the page, but look into the information for specific details.

Skimming and scanning types of reading have been taken from Business Communication (MB0023) Book of SMU MBA. It is the next chapter of reading and purpose of reading.

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