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READING COMPREHENSION

Reading comprehension is the act of gaining meaning from print. It is an active process which summons reaction to and interaction with the author's ideas. It is important to remember that reading comprehension can be improved. 1. Develop an active procedure. a. Preview the selection by reading the title, introductory material, headings and subheadings. Note graphics. Determine the author's organization. b. Pose questions based on the title, headings and subheadings. c. Actively read to find answers to your questions. 2. Know what to look for. a. Main ideas: summarizing statements, stated or implied, containing the author's main points. b. Enumerations: lists of items that may or may not be numbered in the text. 1. Frequently used to support main ideas 2. Typically initiated by phrases like: "There are three reasons why;" or, "The two causes of" 3. Often signaled by words such as: "First of all," "also," "next" c. Inferences: reasonable conclusions based on presented evidence 1. Found by blending background knowledge with ideas presented by the author a. Require reflection b. Improve with practice 2. Determined on the basis of what you know 3. Use a procedure to find main ideas. a. Make a hypothesis (educated guess) about the main point. b. Test it against the details; most should offer support. c. Reformulate the hypothesis if necessary to find a summary statement. 4. Notice road signs. a. Signal words 1. Emphasis (e.g. "most of all," "remember that") 2. Addition (e.g. "also," "furthermore") 3. Change of direction (e.g. "but," "however") 4. Illustration (e.g. "for example," "such as) 5. Conclusion (e.g. "therefore," "as a result") 5. Build vocabulary. a. Context clues: use surrounding text to gain meaning of unknown words. 1. Synonym-The author may give a word of similar meaning to help you. 2. Antonym-Contrasting words are presented which point to an opposite meaning. 3. Definition-A word is clearly defined, often in a following sentence. 4. Circumstances-Your own background knowledge may help you discern word meanings.

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