Writing 3: December 2011 Archives

Speed-reading consists of a number of reading strategies that attempt to make people read faster, while still being able to interpret and retain the information they are reading. Many people cannot grasp the concept that they are reading unless they read it slow and allow their brain to process it. Who wouldn't want to be able to read at a fast pace and save time, while gaining just as much knowledge as if a person were to read slowly? There are a number of advertisements that promote courses designed to teach people how to speed up their reading rate. Is it possible that a course can really speed up people's reading rates and allow them to fully comprehend what they are reading? It has been proven that reading is subject to a speed-accuracy trade-off: the faster we read, the more we miss. There have been numerous amounts of people who claim they are able to read between 15,000 and 30,000 words per minute when the average rate ranges between 250 and 300 words per minute. These extraordinary claims are yet to be proven. This is an important theory because speed-reading classes are very expensive and make promises that don't come true a lot of the time. In the article attached below, Gordon Legge, a vision researcher at the University of Minnesota said, "Although you might have the illusion that you see the whole page, you can actually only see small groups of letters at the point where your eyes are focused. Only eight or 10 letters fit in this tiny window, called the visual span. The rest of the letters are just a blur." Legge is saying that even the actual idea of being able to speed-read is bogus and that it is impossible for our eyes to really see enough words to be able to read them at such a fast rate. If this is true, there is no way that a course would be able to help people learn how to speed-read because it is physically impossible. But what about the people who claim that they can speed-read and that the courses are effective? When tested, most of the people who have made these claims fail to prove their extremely fast reading rate, while still comprehending the material.


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This page is an archive of entries in the Writing 3 category from December 2011.

Writing 3: October 2011 is the previous archive.

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