ERIC Number: ED270724
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Mar
Reference Count: 0
A Content and Critical Analysis of Forty Speed-Reading Books. College Reading and Learning Assistance Technical Report 86-04.
Brozo, William G.; Johns, Jerry L.
Content and critical analyses of 40 speed reading books were undertaken to determine to what extent discussion and teaching reflected current research. Particular attention was given to the information provided on eye movements, span of recognition, and the upper rates of speed attainable through practice. Content analysis revealed the following: (1) 72% of the 32 books that dealt with the span of recognition encouraged readers to process phrases of three or fewer words in a single fixation, while 28% discussed expanding the field of vision to include clusters larger than three words as well as entire lines or large blocks of print; (2) 15% of the 27 books in which eye regressions were discussed indicated that they were useful in some cases, while 52% advocated the total elimination of regressions; and (3) 57% of the 28 speed reading books reporting upper rates of reading proposed rates above 1,000 words per minute (WPM). However, it is concluded that research supports the following: readers have a span of recognition physiologically fixed at about two or three words, regressions are sometimes necessary and useful, and rates above 1,000 wpm are not achieved with what is usually thought of as normal reading; skimming or scanning are employed instead. In an effort to improve speed reading books, collaboration between researchers and writers is recommended. (A list of all 40 speed reading books is appended, as are the references upon which the criticisms were based.) (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgia State Univ., Atlanta.