Applied Linguistics

What is Pre reading characteristics what it is for and examples

Pre reading  is a tool whose main objective is to help a person understand a text as comprehensive and detailed as possible through a series of preliminary steps to reading. Therefore, it is a preparation system that helps to improve reading comprehension and the effectiveness of this activity.

Pre reading is one of the three phases into which the exhaustive reading process is divided, the first being. Your goal is to find out what the general idea of ​​a text is before tackling it, as well as its secondary themes. That way, during the reading itself, it will be easier to be aware of details that would not be possible to detect otherwise.

To perform correctly and achieve its goal, the Pre reading process must follow certain steps and have certain characteristics. For example, it is necessary for the person to identify the main theme of the text that he will face, understand its organization and discover the type of reading and its purpose.

While it can occur in many different contexts, it is typically a tool used primarily in the education system. In this article, we will see some of its main features, functions and an example to better illustrate the process.

Pre reading features

– It is usually done with short and complex texts

Pre reading can be used in almost any situation. However, it is better suited for certain contexts and can only provide maximum utility when used with certain types of texts. For this reason, it is common to find this tool only in areas such as education or science.

What kind of text is Pre reading most common with? As it requires studying writing for the first time before doing careful reading, it is usually only used with relatively short and more complex texts than usual.

Examples of such writings would be a scientific article or a text commentary. These are pieces with a generally higher complexity than normal, with few pages and that require a lot of attention to be properly understood.

– Seeks to understand the general idea of ​​the text

The main objective of Pre reading is to allow the person to have a first general idea of ​​the subject of the studied text. In this way, during a second, deeper reading, the individual can be more attentive to details and nuances that would otherwise escape him.

Typically, it is part of a broader process that seeks to help the person understand a complex process in the best possible way, accompanied by in-depth reading and post-reading to provide the best results.

– May involve investigation

For the best results when reading text or a book, you can take several different steps before starting the actual reading process. For this reason, it will always be different, and you can find different methods to run this tool.

However, on almost all occasions, Pre reading will require a more or less exhaustive investigation of the text itself, the author and his intention in writing. In this way, the person will be able to collect a lot of information that will help them better understand what they read.

For example, while reading a book, an individual could investigate who its writer was, what time the work is located, and what its context was. At the same time, you can also read the back cover and the chapter titles to try to get a general idea of ​​the work.

In some cases, it may even be interesting to collect opinions and written comments about the work in question before starting to read it, in order to have a more formed idea before even diving into it.

What is Pre reading for? (Functions)

– Increase understanding

The main objective of Pre reading in all the contexts in which it is applied is to allow the person to understand as deeply as possible the text that he will face. That is why this technique is mainly used in areas where difficult readings or very complex subjects are required.

When we are reading a complicated text without knowing in advance the ideas that are exposed in it, it is very likely that we miss many of the ideas exposed, in addition to not understanding their nuances.

On the contrary, if we face a text with clear ideas about its content, it will be much easier to understand and make the most of it.

– Improve motivation

Motivation is one of the most important aspects of reading. Unfortunately, the habit of reading is being lost in many cases, something that can pose a serious problem in areas such as education. In this sense, prior reading can help to interest people in a text that they have to face in a mandatory way.

Often, lack of interest in a work or text is closely related to poor understanding of the message, the author’s motivations, and the nuances of the book. It can help improve a person’s interest, helping them to better understand the work they are supposed to read.

– Encourages retention

By allowing greater attention to the details of a work or text, Pre reading has also proved to be very useful to improve memorization and retention of data that has been read. This is especially important in areas like education or science.


Let’s imagine that a medical student needs to read a scientific article about one of the latest techniques being investigated to cure cancer. It is a complex text and full of technical community was welcomed with affection by its members. To distinguish himself from the others, the neophyte wore white clothing. In Christian religious terminology with which the student is not familiar; therefore reading seems to him a very complicated and unpleasant task.

However, after researching the topic on web pages, videos, and forums, the student’s interest is piqued. In addition, the explanation of one of his professors on the subject allows him to better understand the technical terms that appeared in the article. After going through this whole process, the student will find it much easier to understand the text and get the most out of it.

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