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Reading Comprehension Strategies

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There are good practices and techniques to help students ease past comprehension in English tests or exams and this well researched and knowledgeable article on reading comprehension strategies at World Scholars Hub will help you do just that.

We recommend every reader of this content to carefully and patiently read through each line because each sentence in this article is as important as the other starting from the principles of reading comprehension, Specific method of reading comprehension passages, the characteristics of the correct option in comprehension, and the characteristics of the interference option which all guide you to the right strategies you need to enable you ace your upcoming test or exam more swiftly and comfortably.

This is going to be a long read but be assured that this article would be the gamechanger for you. Let’s go straight into the principles which would lead us into the reading comprehension strategies you need to know as we go deep into the article.

If you need to unsure about what writing comprehension is all about, you can visit Wikipedia for more information on that. Let’s go ahead.

1. The Principle of Reading Comprehension

a.) Analysis of the Syntactic Structure of Peeling Onion

Determine how many main clauses and subclauses are in a sentence (referred to as onions later).

If there is no “and” or “or” in a sentence, and the “and” before and after the sentence are juxtaposed, then the front and the rear constitute an onion independently. Peel the skin separately to see if there is a but or yet in the sentence. If there is a but, yet, then the front and rear independently become an onion.
See if there are any special punctuation marks in this sentence: semicolon, colon, dash, and if there are a few sentences peeled off.

Peel each onion separately. From the first layer, the so-called core subject-predicate-object structure, each onion forms a grammar, even if it is a layer of skin.

Get the meaning of each layer, and use the method of questioning to connect these sentences together to form a complex sentence!

Try not to let the onion make you cry

Peel the onion and be careful not to cry.

b.) Score Sentence and Auxiliary Sentence

When the first sentence of a certain paragraph of the score sentence pattern, then the auxiliary sentence is the remaining text of this paragraph.

The last sentence, then the auxiliary sentence is the penultimate sentence.

The middle sentence is the sentence before and after this sentence.

c.) The Principle of Coordinate Axis

is to choose the meaning that is closest to the original meaning. If it is not close, choose the one with a larger scope.

It is important to determine the zero point: the head word.

Determine the central word:

See if there are names, place names, capitalization, time, data, etc.,
see subject, predicate, and other words to find out: several. Compare them one by one and confirm that the sentence is not found: the principle of order.
Exceptions to the calculation principle : Which of the following is correct ? Look for the central word from the options and compare it one by one. Some neutral words cannot be found.

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2. The Specific Method of Reading

Be sure to look at the question first to know what is being asked and what type of question is it? (What are the different types of questions, I will talk about them later)

If you know what type of question it is, find the method and steps for solving that type of question (again, I will talk about it later).

Find the corresponding paragraph of the article and find the correct answer in it!

After completing a question, look at the stem of the next question and find the answer in the next paragraph. Generally, one question and one paragraph correspond to each other.

Questions like “Which one is right below and which one is wrong” generally correspond to the paragraph, so it’s best to do it at the end!

After finishing, be sure to check with the article to see if the answer you choose is in line with the main point of the article

Avoid that candidates can get answers based on common sense without reading the article! So what seems to be common sense is definitely wrong!

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3. The Characteristics of the Correct Option and the Characteristics of the Interference Option

⊗1. The Characteristics of the Right Option

In fact, the correct option has some characteristics. When choosing the answer, you can pay attention to these characteristics. Even if you don’t know these characteristics, you must be more scientific.

Feature 1: The content is often related to the subject of the article

It is related to the central idea of ​​the article. The correct answers to many articles correspond to the main idea of ​​the article. Therefore, you should pay special attention to the options that involve the main idea of ​​the article.

Feature 2: The position is often at the beginning, end and turning point of the corresponding paragraph

Needless to say, the beginning, end, and turning points of the paragraph are the main points of the article, and they are also the places where the topic is often asked. It is worth paying attention to.

Feature 3: When rewriting the words, pay attention to synonymous substitutions, reciprocal or contradictory words in the original text

Synonymous substitution, reciprocal remarks, or repetitive remarks are the three most common ways to write answers. Understanding them is equivalent to grasping the problem from the propositional perspective.

Feature 4: Tone often contains uncertain and euphemistic particles

The answers to some questions, especially inference questions, often contain uncertain and euphemistic particles, such as may, to show the relativity of reasoning.

Feature 5: It is often general and profound.

Since the object of the reading test is the main points and key points of the article, the answers are usually general and profound. Therefore, when choosing an answer, be wary of options that contain too trivial details.

When doing reading questions, if you can think based on the original text and combine the five characteristics of the correct answer above, the result will be ideal.

⊗2. Features of Interference Options

① It seems reasonable, but in fact it is taken out of context.

Or make up options using common sense of life not mentioned in the article.

Either take the facts and details in the article as the main point, and take the one-sided, secondary point of view as the main point.

Therefore, we have to find the basis from the text and find the answer. What seems reasonable is not necessarily the correct answer.

In the main topic, we should eliminate the interference of details and grasp the theme of the article.

②Stealing the beams and changing posts, arrogant and wearable

Either make changes to the subtle parts of the original sentence, or intercept the words or similar structures in the article and fabricate them.

Either in the alternatives, the cause is the result, the effect is the cause, and the opinions of others or the opinions opposed by the author are the author’s opinions.

Therefore, we should pay attention that the options that are too similar may not be correct unless the degree and scope are exactly the same as the original text.

We should pay attention to: “The more original texts, the less likely it is to be correct”!

③Use regular meanings instead of partial word meanings. In word-meaning sentence-meaning questions, the normal meaning of the word or sentence to be investigated is usually regarded as an interference item.

④ Excessive extension. Pay attention to whether the options are far beyond the scope of the article, and do not overuse them.

⑤The most confusing option is half right and half wrong.

The Common Question Types and Reading Comprehension Strategies
The Common Question Types and Reading Comprehension Strategies

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The Common Question Types and Reading Comprehension Strategies

Common question types for reading comprehension generally include:

  • Subject Questions,
  • Detailed Questions,
  • Inferred Questions and
  • Word Meaning Questions.

1. Subject Matter (Subject Questions)

Features: This type of question often uses words such as title, subject, main idea, topic, theme and so on. Subject questions are generally divided into inductive heading type and general idea type. Let’s take a look at the two types.

(a) Induction Standard Type

Features: short and concise, usually more than one phrase; strong coverage, generally covering the meaning of the full text; strong accuracy, the scope of expression should be appropriate, and the semantic level or color cannot be changed at will. Common proposition forms are:

What’s the best title for the text?
The best title for this passage is ___.
Which of the following can be the best title for the passage?

(b) Summarize the general idea

Including finding the topic and the main idea of ​​the article.

Common proposition forms are:
What is the general/main idea of ​​the passage?
Which of the following expresses the main idea?
What is the subject discussed in the text?
What’s the article mainly about?

problem-solving skills

This article is generally a bit more argumentative and explanatory. The structure of the article can be summarized as: asking questions-discussing problems-drawing conclusions or clarifying opinions.

For this kind of article, it is necessary to grasp the topic sentence, which usually appears at the beginning or end of the article. The topic sentence has the characteristics of conciseness and generality. The position of topic sentence in the article mainly has the following situations.

① At the beginning of a paragraph: Generally speaking, in an article written by deduction, the topic sentence is often at the beginning of the article, that is, the topic is first pointed out, and then a specific statement is made around this topic.

To determine whether the first sentence is a topic sentence, you can specifically analyze the relationship between the first sentence of the paragraph and the second and third sentences; If the first sentence is explained, discussed or described from the second sentence, then the first sentence is the topic sentence.

In some paragraphs, there are signal words that clearly lead to details after the topic sentence, such as for example, an example of; first, second, next, last, finally; to begin with, also, besides; one, the other; some, others, etc. .

In reading, the above signal words should be used as much as possible to determine the location of the topic sentence.

② At the end of the paragraph: Some articles will list facts at the beginning, and then explain the author’s core argument through argumentation. Therefore, if the first sentence is not general or comprehensive, it is best to quickly read the last sentence of the paragraph to see if it has the characteristics of a topic sentence.

If it has the characteristics of a topic sentence, the topic idea of ​​the paragraph can be easily determined. Generally speaking, when a point of view is difficult to explain to others or is difficult to be accepted by others, the topic sentence does not appear until the end of the paragraph.

Students can make full use of the signal words that lead to conclusions. Such as so, therefore, thus, consequently; in conclusion, in short; in a word, to sum up, etc. to determine the position of the topic sentence at the end of the paragraph. When there is no obvious signal of this kind, students can add a signal word leading to a conclusion before the last sentence of the paragraph to determine whether it is a topic sentence.

③ Located in the paragraph: Sometimes the paragraph introduces the background and details first, then uses a comprehensive or general sentence to summarize the content or examples mentioned before, and then develops an in-depth discussion of the relevant issues around the theme.

The topic sentence of this kind of article often appears in the middle of the paragraph. In summary, there are two main situations: first ask the question, then give the answer (topic sentence), and finally give an explanation; or, first ask the question, then point out the main idea (topic sentence), and finally give an explanation.

④ Echoing at the beginning and the end: The topic sentence appears at the beginning and the end of the paragraph one after another, forming a pattern of echoing before and after.

These two topic sentences describe the same content, but they use different words. This not only emphasizes the theme, but also appears flexible and changeable.

These two sentences are not simply repeated. The latter topic sentence may be a final comment on the topic, or a summary of the main points, or leave it to the reader to think about.

⑤ No clear topic sentence: Find keywords (higher frequency), summarize them.

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2. Detailed Questions

The content of the examination mainly involves time, place, people, events, reasons, results, numbers and other exemplified details and definitional details in the argument. The common feature of this type of question is: the answer can generally be found in the article. Of course, the answer is not necessarily the original sentence in the article.

You need to organize your own sentences to answer the question based on the information provided in the article.

(a) Facts and details questions → reading method

It is divided into direct comprehension questions and indirect comprehension questions. The former often asks who, what, which, when, where, why and how, or judges right or wrong; the latter needs to be converted from the original information, and the expression is different from the original. Common proposition forms are:

What can we learn from the passage?
All the following are mentioned except
Which of the following is mentioned (not mentioned)?
Which of the following statements is true/right/false/wrong about…?

(b) Sorting questions → head-to-tail positioning method (find out the first event and the last event, and use the elimination method to narrow the scope)

It often appears in narrative and explanatory texts, generally in the order of events. Common proposition forms are:

Which of the following is the correct order of…?
Which of the following shows the path of signals described in Paragraph…?

(c) Picture-text matching questions → sort out clues according to the picture

Question format: give a chart and ask questions based on the chart.

(d) Numerical calculation questions → (Method: review questions → find details with questions → compare, analyze, and calculate)

The relevant details can be found directly, but calculations are required to find the answer.

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3. Reasoning Questions (Inferred Questions)

It mainly tests everyone’s ability to understand the implicit or deep meaning in the article. It requires candidates to make logical inferences based on the content of the article, including the candidate’s understanding of the author’s point of view, judgment of attitude, and understanding of rhetoric, tone, and implicit meaning. Topic keywords: infer, indicate, imply/suggest, conclude, assume.

(a) Detailed reasoning and judgment questions

Generally, you can make inference and judgment based on the information provided in the essay or with the help of common sense in life. Common proposition forms are:

It can be inferred/ concluded from the text that __________.
The author implies/ suggests that_____.
We may infer that _________.
Which of the following statements is implied but NOT stated?

(b) Predictive, reasoning and judgment questions

According to the text, guess the next content or possible ending of the article.

Common proposition forms are:

What do you think will happen if/when…?
At the end of this passage, the writer might continue to write_____

(c) Infer the source of the article or the target audience

Common proposition forms are:

The passage is probably take out of_____

The passage would most likely be found in_____

Where does this text probably come from?

(d) Inference questions about writing intention, purpose and attitude

The author’s tone and attitude are often not directly written in the article, but can only be understood from the author’s choice of words and their modifiers by reading the article carefully.

Questions that ask about the purpose of writing, the words that often appear in the options are:

explain, prove, persuade, advise, comment, praise, criticize, entertain, demonstrate, argue , tell, analyze, etc. Questions that ask about tone and attitude, the words that often appear in the options are: neutral, sympathetic, satisfied, friendly, enthusiastic, subjective, objective, matter-of-fact ), pessimistic, optimistic, critical, doubtful, hostile, indifferent, disappointed.

Common propositional form

The purpose of the text is_____
What is the main purpose of the author writing the text? By mentioning…, the author aims to show that_____
What is the author’s attitude towards…?
What is the author’s opinion on…?
The author’s tone in this passage is _____.Answering skills

Inference questions are to test your ability to analyze, synthesize, and induce logical reasoning through the text information on the surface of the article. Reasoning and judgment must be based on facts, and don’t make subjective judgments.

①The content stated directly in the article cannot be selected, and the option deduced from the article should be selected.

② Reasoning is not guessing out of thin air, but inferring the unknown based on the known; when making the correct answer, you must find a basis or reason in the text.

③ Faithful to the original text, based on the facts and clues provided by the article. Don’t substitute your own opinions for the author’s ideas; don’t divorce the original subjective assumptions.

You may want to Checkout the Standard Requirements for College.

4. Word Meaning Questions

Test site:

①Guess the meaning of a certain word, phrase, sentence
②Define the polysemous word or phrase in the text
③Judge the referent of a certain pronoun.

Common proposition forms are:

The underlined word/phrase in the second paragraph means _____.
The word “it/they” in the last sentence refers to______.
The word “…” (Line 6. para.2) probably means ______.
The word “…” (Line 6. para.2) could best be replaced by which of the following?
Which of the following is closest in meaning to the word “…”?

Answering skills

(1) Guess the word through causality

The first is to find out the logical relationship between the new word and the context, and then you can guess the word. Sometimes articles use related words (such as because, as, since, for, so, thus, as a result, of course, thus, etc.) to express cause and effect.

For example: You shouldn’t have blamed him for that, for it wasn’t his fault. Through the reason expressed in the sentence introduced by for (that is not his fault), you can guess that the word meaning of blame is “blame”.

(2) Guess the word through the relationship between synonyms and antonyms

To guess words by synonyms, one is to look at the synonymous phrases connected by and or or, such as happy and gay. Even if we don’t know the word gay, we can know that it means happy; the other is to use it in the process of further explanation. Synonyms for, such as Man has known something about the planets Venus, Mars, and Jupiter with the help of spaceships. In this sentence, Venus (Venus), Mars (Mars), Jupiter (Jupiter) are all new words, but as long as you know planets, It can be guessed that these words all belong to the meaning of “planet”.

Guess words through antonyms, one is to look at conjunctions or adverbs that show the transition relationship, such as but, while, however, etc.; the other is to look at words that match not or express negative meaning, such as: He is so homely, not at all as handsome as his brother. According to not at all…handsome, it is not difficult for us to infer the meaning of homely, which means not handsome and not beautiful.

(3) Guess the word by word formation

Judging the meaning of new words based on the knowledge of word formation such as prefix, suffix, compound, and derivative Such as: She is unlikely to have stolen the money. (“un” has a negative meaning, so it means “unlikely”.)

(4) Infer the meaning of words through definitions or paraphrase relations

For example: But sometimes, no rain falls for a long, long time. Then there is a dry period, or drought.

From the above of the sentence where drought is located, we know that it hasn’t rained for a long time, so there is a period of drought, that is, drought. It can be seen that drought means “long drought” and “drought”. And a dry period and drought are synonymous.

This kind of synonymous or paraphrase relationship is often represented by is, or, that is, in other words, be called, or dash.

(5) Infer the meaning of words through syntactic functions

For example: Bananas, oranges, pineapples, coconuts and some other kind of fruit grow in warm areas. If pineapples and coconuts are new words, we can judge their approximate meaning from the position of these two words in the sentence.

It is not difficult to see from the clause that pineapples, coconuts and bananas, oranges are the same kind of relationship, belong to the fruit category, so they are two kinds of fruits, to be precise, pineapple and coconut.

(6) Guess the word by describing

The description is the description of the external appearance or internal characteristics of the person or the thing by the author. For example: The penguin is a kind of sea bird living in the South Pole. It is fat and walks in a funny way.

Although it cannot fly, it can swim in the icy water to catch the fish. From the description of the example sentence you can get Know that penguin is a bird that lives in Antarctica. The living habits of this bird are described in more detail later.

Since you got to this point, I celebrate you cause leaders are definitely readers. Goodluck to you scholars as you ace your English Exams. Cheers!!!

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