Writer’s Blog

The Four Types of Reading

If you want to be a writer you should read often, but what kind of reading method should you use?

An Imposter’s Guide
4 min readSep 27, 2019


Four types of reading can be used for absorbing varying amounts of information. They all have their pros and cons, so it’s essential to know when and how to use each type.

Most of these techniques won’t be used in casual reading, so if that’s what you’re looking for. This article isn’t for you.

As a writer, we often have to do extensive research on topics, and that can mean reading through a lot of academic or research papers depending on what the subject is. These reading methods will help you save time when trying to digest what a large piece of text is saying!

So how do you read?

The best way to start enhancing your reading and note-taking abilities is to understand what level you are on now. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get to know your reading ability:

  • Do you jot down any feelings or thoughts while you’re reading?
  • What do you take notes on?
  • How long does it take you to read?
  • Do you read an article straight through or take breaks?
  • Do you have to go back and reread certain parts?
  • Do you read each word individually, or do you read fast to get the idea of a story?

Don’t worry if you’re not where you think you should be when it comes to reading. Many different types of reading require different approaches. I won’t scan my favourite book to get the gist of it. I will devour the words. I won’t take notes on everything I read, but I will if I want to learn something from it.

Knowing your reading style can help you actively adjust your style to what you’re reading. Recognising which kinds of texts deserve your time and attention in a focused read, and which can be skimmed is vital for a writer on a deadline!

Reading techniques


Scanning is used to get an overview of any given text. You’re looking at the text as a whole. Focusing on the shape, the…



Beth van der Pol
An Imposter’s Guide

Writer and author with an MA in creative writing, sharing knowledge and teaching techniques to level up your writing! Find me at https://imposters-guide.com/