Skimming in practice

Pretend you need to do a report on American history and want to find out if the text below would be a good source. Skim the text and answer the questions to see if it contains material for your report.


skimming practice At the time of the American Revolution (1775-1783) the United States was a nation of farmers. More than 95 percent of the population was engaged in agriculture. Today, only two percent of the American population works on farms. Even though this number may seem relatively small, the United States is still considered “the breadbasket of the world” and one third of the crops produced in the United States are exported to other countries.

It is not as an agricultural nation, however, that most people see the United States, but as one of the world’ leading industrial nations. One historical reason for this was that natural resources were plentiful on the American continent, for example coal and iron by the Great Lakes and oil in the South. In addition, American manufacturers were quick to adopt the factory system which gathered many workers together in one place and this made industry more effective and the products cheaper.




The text deals with

  1. the United Kingdom
  2. the United States
  3. Australia


The main topic of the first paragraph is …

  1. new technology in the US
  2. agriculture in the US
  3. factory workers in the US


The main topic of the second paragraph is …

  1. why the US became a leading industrial nation
  2. where coal can be found in the US
  3. cheap manufactured goods

After skimming these two paragraphs, would you want to read the entire article for your report on the history of the United States? Explain your answer.