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Lecture Comments (3)

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Post by Vivian Wang on November 20 at 10:59:01 PM

Hi Professor Vincent, I have a question about the 'order of the questions.' So lets say question 2 is in between questions 1 and 4 that refer to line 20 and line 40 respectively. We would assume that the answer to question 2 is in between line 20 and 40. But what if question 2 is followed by 3 question that says "which choice provides the best evidence for the answer to the previous question?" and all the answer choices in question 3 don't have a lines in between 20 and 40? do the questions always come in order or not necessarily? Thanks!

1 answer

Last reply by: Professor Selhorst-Jones
Mon Aug 3, 2015 5:48 PM

Post by Shahram Ahmadi N. Emran on June 18, 2015

nice haircut on critical reading: passage-based reading

Critical Reading: Passage-Based Reading

  • Each Passage-Based Reading subsection will have a few passages of varying length, and each passage is followed by some questions about it.
  • The passages come in two different types: short and long. The short passages are normally one paragraph, while the long passages can range from three to six paragraphs or so. Occasionally you will also get a double passage-a pairing of either two short or two long passages on the same topic.
  • Start off by reading the italics at the beginning of each passage. They give a short description of the passage and help frame what you're about to read.
  • To do well on Passage-Based Reading, you need to be a capable reader. If you struggle a lot with reading, that means you need to practice! The best way to improve is to get in the habit of reading regularly. Get a book, a magazine, or a newspaper and start reading every day! Also, make sure to check out the next lesson on reading strategies that can help you make it through the passages.
  • In English questions, your job is to find the "best" answer. This means you have to always read all the choices before answering. It also means that the correct answer is not always a great answer-just the least bad choice.
  • Most of the questions in the Passage-Based Reading subsection are put in the order they appear in the text. Normally the questions help you find where they appear in the text by giving a line number, or at least mentioning the location in some other manner.
  • Use these line references! It's critical that you go read the part of the text being referenced. You'll also need context to understand what's going on, so start a few lines above and read until a few lines after.
  • Every answer must come from the text. When you answer a question, you should be able to point out your evidence in the text. If there's no evidence for a choice, then it's not the answer. Normally the answers will be very near the line reference and won't require deep analysis.
  • The correct answer is almost never extreme. If you see a choice with a very strong viewpoint, it's probably not right.
  • As you read the passage, try to get a sense of what the author's main point is. Most of the questions about a passage will be somehow connected to the main idea the author is exploring or arguing. Once you know what that is, it's much easier to find the answers.
  • It's especially important to understand each author's viewpoint on the double passage questions. A lot of the questions in a double passage are about how one author would view the other author's text. To be able to answer those questions, you need to know the essence of each author's argument.

Critical Reading: Passage-Based Reading

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Legal Disclaimer
      • Introduction
      • Types of Passages
      • Read the Italics!
      • Reading Skills: They Matter
      • 'Best' Choice
      • Other Words for 'Best'
      • Questions by Order
      • Help! No Line Number!
      • Read Before and After Reference
      • Use the Passage!
      • Keep It Simple
      • Keep It Calm
      • What's the Author Saying?
        • Double Passage and Author Viewpoint
        • Eliminating Wrong Choices
        • Short Tips
        • Intro 0:00
        • Legal Disclaimer 0:11
        • Introduction 0:20
          • Talk More About the Building Blocks of Passage-Based Reading
        • Types of Passages 1:09
          • Short Passage Is About 10-15 Lines Long
          • Long Passage is About 50-100 Lines Long
          • Double Passage
        • Read the Italics! 3:03
          • Some Questions Can't Be Answered Without Reading the Italics
        • Reading Skills: They Matter 3:52
          • Improve Reading Skills by Practice Reading
        • 'Best' Choice 5:46
          • Read All the Choices
          • Best Doesn't Mean Perfect
        • Other Words for 'Best' 6:47
          • Look for a Choice That's Better Than the Others
        • Questions by Order 8:36
          • The Questions Usually Help You Find Where to Look in the Text by Giving the Line Number
        • Help! No Line Number! 9:42
          • Questions About a Specific Reference in Text
          • Consider These Questions
          • Order of Questions
          • Sometimes, You'll Be Asked About the Passage as a Whole
          • These Questions Come After Questions About Specific References
          • General and Specific Reference
        • Read Before and After Reference 13:25
          • You Need Context, Not Just Reference
        • Use the Passage! 14:41
          • The Answers Are in the Passage, No Outside Knowledge Needed
          • Should be Able to Point Out Your Evidence in the Text
          • Every Answer Must Come from the Text
        • Keep It Simple 16:32
          • The Farther You Get From the Reference, The Less Likely to Find the Answer
          • Example
        • Keep It Calm 18:13
          • Passages Are Calm and Responsible
        • What's the Author Saying? 19:45
        • Double Passage and Author Viewpoint 20:48
          • Figure Out What Each Author's Main Point Is
          • Need to Know the Essence of Each Author's Argument
        • Eliminating Wrong Choices 22:24
          • Necessary for Critical Reading Questions
        • Short Tips 24:00
          • Quote
          • New Idea: Chunking
          • Sarcasm
          • Why Is There Quotes Around a Word(s)?
          • Positive Light on Minority Group Questions
          • Careful on Double Passages
          • Answer to a Question is Unlikely to Contradict Established Facts