Intensive Reading

Intensive Reading: Characteristics and Examples

What is intensive reading skill in English? When a reader practices intensive approach of reading, he will read with concentration and pay close attention to every word, phrase, clause and sentence in a text. Intense approach of reading is unique one which actually involves close examining of the text to obtain precise details, broaden comprehension, and enhances communication skill, in contrast to extensive reading, which places an emphasis on reading for amusement and good understanding.

Improving knowledge of the language through word recognition, expansion, linguistic correction, and ability to comprehend skill improvement is one of the main objectives of intensive approach of reading. Because it allows them to engage closely with the text and evaluate its structure and meaning to comprehend the nuances and complexities of language use, this method is particularly beneficial for language learners.

Examples and activities of intensive reading

Intensive approach of reading usually follows a methodical approach, with pre-reading activities designed to stimulate background knowledge, while-reading assignments focused on text comprehension, and post-reading activities designed to enhance comprehension and foster critical thinking.

Exercises in vocabulary, comprehension queries, summarizing assignments, and language structure analysis are a few examples of these activities. Furthermore, reading intensively can be modified to meet various learning goals and proficiency levels. While advanced readers may dive into complex texts and analyze themes, literary devices, and authorial intent, beginners may concentrate on word decoding and basic sentence structure understanding.


Intensive reading; a unique and focused approach that gives thorough understanding of the text and considered ideal for academic writing and professional growth. It gives detailed analysis of the text by uncovering the hidden meaning of text and helps in building strong vocabulary. This purposeful reading involves close analysis of grammar, syntax, and semantics that expand the vocabulary of readers. It is used to enhance comprehension skills, critical thinking and inferencing.

This reading is supportive in actively engaging the student with text by retaining and recalling. In this reading the techniques like annotation, questioning, summarizing, paraphrasing and discussions are applied. It has a lot of benefits such as deep analysis, language proficiency and analytical skills.

Skills of intensive reading

Several skills are involved in intensive approach of reading. Some key skills are as under.

  • Detailed comprehension for understanding vocabulary, grasping the structure and interpreting the figurative language.
  • Critical thinking for analyzing arguments, comparing and contrasting the text ideas and for identifying the perspective.
  • Annotation and note taking for highlighting the key points summarizing the paragraph and for making marginal notes.
  • Read reading and reviewing for revisiting the complex text, annotation and reinforcing the memory.
  • Questioning and synthesizing of information by asking questions and connecting ideas for drawing conclusion.
  • Reflective reading for contextual understanding historical and cultural perspective.
  • Paying full attention to detail for understanding pattern and structure of the text.

Difference between intensive reading and speed reading

Intensive approach of reading and speed reading both are different and distinct approaches for reading. These approaches have their own merits according to the context and purposes.

Intensive approach of reading focuses on the close analysis of text for deeper meaning, critical analysis and in-depth analysis. It is used for studying and academic purposes. Slow and careful reading, paying full attention to grammar, vocabulary and structure of the sentences by taking notes, highlighting and annotation are its key characteristics.

On the other hand, speed reading focused on the gist or main ideas by quick reading to get the maximum amount of specific information. Skimming and scanning are its key points that are used to read summary, abstract and for getting general overview. In speed-reading large volume of information processed quickly for key information.

Characteristics of intensive reading

Following are the characteristics of reading intensively.

1) Improved Critical Thinking Capabilities: Readers who engage in intensive approach of reading must critically assess, examine, and comprehend text. Readers who actively engage with the content improve their capacity for critical thought, assumption-challenging, and logical conclusion-drawing.

2) Improvement and Identity: Readers experience a sense of empowerment and self-confidence as they develop their language proficiency and expand their comprehension through reading intensively. Their academic and personal lives are positively influenced by this confidence, which goes beyond reading and writing skills.

3) Encouragement of Lifelong Learning: Reading intensively fosters a love of reading and learning, which inspires people to pursue knowledge acquisition throughout their lives. People who are proficient readers develop into lifelong learners who actively seek out new knowledge and concepts.

4) Contextual and Content Knowledge: Readers who read a lot are exposed to a variety of subjects, genres, and viewpoints. Their awareness of the outside world is broadened by this exposure, which also enhances their knowledge of culture.

5) Read a lot: One of the most important skills for success in school and the workplace is reading a lot. It gives professionals the tools they need to properly evaluate reports, research papers, and other professional documents, and it helps students understand and tackle challenging texts in a variety of subjects, from science to literature.

6) Better Retention and Recall: The concentrated nature of intensive reading helps readers retain and recall information more effectively. Through close examination of every word and sentence, readers can increase their retention of important details and ideas from the text.

7) Development of Analytical Skills: Readers who engage in intensive approach of reading are encouraged to evaluate a text’s organization, style, and content closely and purposefully. By guiding readers in identifying functions, patterns, and literary devices, this analytical method updates a deeper comprehension of the text.

Difference between intensive and extensive reading.

Intensive reading

  • It is used for deeper understanding of text.
  • It focused on detailed analysis of vocabulary, grammar and structure.
  • Material used in it is often complex and challenging like academic article, technical manual and of literature.
  • It develops strong vocabulary, detailed comprehension, analytical skills, retention and recalling.
  • It engaged students actively through interaction with the text but it is slow and meticulous.
  • It aims at the mastering of specific text in education.

Extensive reading

  • It is used for general understanding and pleasure.
  • It focused on reading of large text for overall comprehension.
  • Its material is simpler and of valued text like novel, magazine and newspaper.
  • It develops fluency, general comprehension, broad vocabulary and speed of reading.
  • Its approach is fast and broad for overall understanding but has less emphasis on detailed analysis.
  • It aims at the improvement of general reading for enjoyment.

Benefits of intensive reading

  • It lays stress on the improvement of critical thinking and analytical skills.
  • Language proficiency and academic performance are enhanced by it.
  • It gives deeper understanding of the text by dissecting the complex text.
  • It sharpens our critical thinking, retention and recalling.
  • This reading builds strong vocabulary through exploring the hidden meanings.

Techniques of intensive reading

Following techniques are utilized in this reading approach.

  1. Annotation
  2. Questioning
  3. Summarizing
  4. Paraphrasing
  5. Discussion


All things considered, reading intensively is an effective way to improve language proficiency, promote deep comprehension, and ignite a passion for reading. Readers can enhance their language skills and develop a greater understanding of written texts by approaching them methodically and purposefully.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

It is a valuable approach that unlocks the full potential of the text by close and careful reading. It is used to extract deep meanings and for thorough understanding of the text.

Intensive reading is purposeful reading that improves comprehension and understanding through the thorough analysis while extensive reading is an approach that is applied on a large quantity of the text for getting general information.

Important goals of this reading approach are as under.

  • It is used to get active engagement of the readers.
  • It is helpful in improving comprehension.
  • It develops critical thinking skills.
  • It is purposefully done for thorough analysis of the text.
  • It is supportive in vocabulary building and retention of information.

It develops close reading, purposeful analysis, note taking, annotations, evaluation and synthesizing of the information.

This reading approach is used to improve the comprehension by engaging the participants actively. Critical thinking and thorough analysis of the text on deeper level are also helpful in improving reading comprehension.

It is applicable to any type of text including literary works, academic articles and other texts because of its session that remains from 30 minutes to several hours which depends upon the interest of the readers complexity of the text and individual goals.

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