5 Reasons Why Word-by-Word Reading Hinders Idea Comprehension

How to Become a Faster Reader: Tips for Processing Information Efficiently

Reading is an essential part of our daily lives. We often find ourselves reading lengthy documents, emails, or news articles that we need to understand quickly. However, our conventional habit of reading word-by-word could be holding us back from processing the information efficiently. In this article, we will explore some tips on how to become a faster reader while still retaining the essential details.

Reading word by word slows you down from processing the idea

Most of us read word-by-word since that is how we’ve been taught to read. However, this technique can hinder our ability to comprehend the text and absorb the essential details. Each fixation – stopping at every word – slows down the speed at which our brains can process the concept.

Instead of focusing on individual words, try to focus on understanding the context. Reading with the context in mind will help you to identify relevant words that carry more weight in expressing the author’s idea. Once you’ve understood the context, you can focus your attention on the critical words and the phrases that convey the message.

Try to read phrase by phrase instead

Reading word by word can be exhausting and time-consuming. To increase your reading speed, try to read in groups of phrases. Research shows that your brain can recognize and understand phrases of three to four words at a time, rather than individual words. This technique can improve your reading speed and help you to process the information more efficiently.

When you read group phrases, you’re not searching for each word’s meaning but instead focusing on understanding the phrase’s overall meaning. Reading phrase by phrase helps your brain to process information quickly while improving comprehension and retention.

Skim for the keywords only

Sometimes, it’s possible to skim through the text rather than read every word. You can skim for keywords that give you a hint about the passage’s central idea. Skimming helps you to identify the critical points, making it easier to understand the context.

Not every word in a sentence is equally important. Some words are essential, while others are unnecessary for understanding the text. Keep this in mind as you skim through the text, searching for critical phrases and words. This technique can help you to save time and increase your reading speed without sacrificing comprehension.

Remember, ideas are bigger than words

Lastly, always remember that the primary goal of reading is to understand the author’s ideas and messages, not just individual words. When you focus on the central idea, you’re more likely to process the information faster and retain it better.

Reading word by word limits your ability to understand the text’s broader meaning. However, by promoting a more comprehensive understanding of the text, you can read faster and more efficiently while retaining the critical details.


Becoming a faster reader isn’t just about increasing your reading speed. It’s also about improving your comprehension and retention of the information. If you’re struggling to read faster, consider adopting these techniques. With practice, you can become a faster and more proficient reader without sacrificing comprehension or detail.

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