Incremental reading

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Incremental reading is a technique for reading articles and learning/retaining information.

Incremental reading seems to combine several techniques into a package:

  • It uses the regular spaced repetition suite of techniques (spaced repetition, active recall, especially cloze deletions)
  • It mixes learning of new material with review of old material (in particular, one encounters completely new material during incremental reading, unlike a regular spaced repetition flashcard program where each card must be created individually). In other words, the temporal pacing controls both the pacing of new material and of the review.
  • Probably some sort of interleaving where learning/review of different subjects are combined in a single session.
  • Possibly some sort of prioritization process that controls the temporal pacing between subjects.

Goal/sales pitch

  • How does this technique improve learning, retention, or transparency?
  • Why would one expect this technique to work at all?


This technique is used by the learner.


  • Under what learning conditions can this be applied? For what kind of students?
  • What kinds of material are required?

Some sort of spaced repetition software


Scope for improvement

Basically: how big is the difference between the gains a novice can expect, versus the gains a master of this technique can expect?


SuperMemo seems to have the most complete implementation of incremental reading, but there is a plugin for Anki that implements some of the features of incremental reading.


  • studies, data, anecdotes, opinion pieces

External links