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4 reading habits you must break to read fast

Any research career or educational course requires extensive reading. The number of scholarly articles published each year has increased rapidly. Researchers need to read plentiful material, but have less time to invest in reading most articles. There is a way for the researchers to carefully choose what they read and not waste their time on unwanted material and to increase their reading speed. This post informs you on how to improve your reading speed and break the habits that keep you from improving your reading pace. It also proves to be helpful to academic editors in academic editing jobs involving extensive reading.


Inefficient use of eye motion

Most slow readers do not utilize their peripheral vision for the end of a sentence. These readers tend to focus on each word and move across to scan the document, which reduces the reading pace.

An easier way is to sit back calmly, relax your face, and soften your gaze when reading. This will help you to read in bigger blocks, scan across the page quickly, and use your peripheral vision to see the last set of words in a sentence.


Backtracking, also known as regression, is when the reader skips back to previously read content after reading a few sentences to ensure the information read previously is right. This habit breaks the natural flow of the reader, reduces your overall understanding, and slows down your reading speed.

Backtracking can be avoided by refraining from frequent re-reading. Read only when necessary, and use a pen, cursor, or pointer when you read as this will keep you from skipping lines. Note that your reading pace largely depends on the speed at which you move your pen, cursor, or pointer.

Academic editors and proofreaders working in Academic English Paper Editing companies must definitely use this trick because they need a thorough understanding and a smooth flow to read academic papers on a daily basis.

Reading word by word

Reading every single word not only slows you down but you also fail to understand the complete meaning of a sentence in one read.

The trick is to start grouping sentences and focus on the bigger picture of the given text. This will increase the number of words read at a time and improve your overall reading speed.


Do you say the words to yourself in your head while reading? If yes, then it is advisable to read with your eyes rather than reading each word in your mind because it is quite time consuming and hampers your reading pace.

A simple way is to first acknowledge that sub-vocalization occurs, then practice not to speak in your head when you read. If this fails, try this trick: Count 1,2,3,4 as you read the content. This will train you to stop reading with your head and start reading with your eyes, thereby increasing your reading speed.

Continuous practice and concentration does help in breaking poor reading habits. Several free internet resources are available to improve your reading skills. Hope this post has shared a few extremely useful and doable tricks to improve your reading speed, particularly for those who are academic editors or proofreaders.