Skip to Main Content

Introduction to Academic Reading and Writing: Preview

Writing tip Icon


Pay close attention to the visual signals (headings, bold text, images, tables and charts) in the text.  


  • Previewing is not reading every word; rather, it is skimming a text for its main idea and supporting points. 
  • Note the title and look at the opening paragraph to identify the main idea.

  • Check the closing paragraph for a summary of the text’s main ideas.  

  • Identify each paragraph’s topic sentence to find supporting points.

  • Look for visual signals that might indicate important ideas in the text.

Video Produced by Distance Learning, Kirkwood Community College, 2014.