In an effort to reduce the burden of his homework load, LSA sophomore Lawrence Hettle spent three hours skimming the first fifty pages of Pride and Prejudice last Wednesday, reportedly making sure to only pay attention to key plot points, characters, locations, literary devices, and all other aspects of the text he deemed relevant.
“I’ve just got so much work that it doesn’t make sense for me to prioritize reading this stuff wordfor-word,” Hettle told his friend, Dawn Lifford.
“I always read the first and last sentence of every paragraph. If that doesn’t work, I go back and read the whole paragraph real fast. Sometimes, I need to give it another read through or two, just to make sure I got everything,” said Hettle.
In response to Lifford questioning the efficiency of his strategy, Hettle assured her that he was an “expert skimmer.” “I really am able to extract the major points from a text when I skim it. And if I’m ever confused, I usually just bop over to Sparknotes and spend an hour or two more reading their summaries and analyses. Works like a charm.”
Hettle also employs a highlighting method to save additional time. “I just highlight the entire reading. That way, I make sure I retain everything I read. It’s also super useful, because when a professor asks for the main idea of something, I can just read off all the sections that I highlighted.”
Sources reported during class the next day that, despite his comprehensive skimming, Hettle was unable to recall the names of the main characters in Pride and Prejudice.