How does one recognize filler in reading material and separate it from the important learning content? Filler takes many forms–especially in historical learning content. There are author’s asides, which are little extras that the author wanted to add to the main idea in the form of a side note, often the result of extensive research. Then there’s the background story that serves to illuminate some idea. If you already understand that idea, this becomes skimming material.
Another kind of filler is the insertion of extra details and unnecessary evidence to support an idea in the learning content. Sometimes authors get carried away, and you should feel free to skim the excessive information. And finally, there are exceptions. Historians want to make sure they are giving accurate information, so they often mention exceptions to whatever point they’re making.
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