Glossary of Reading Comprehension

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What One Principle should override your strategy on the reading comprehension section?
Answer all questions following the passage on the basis of what is stated or implied in the passage. When answering questions, refer each of them to some place in the passage. Do not rely on memory, since too many traps are used with these questions, or base answers on your daily life experience or college knowledge.
What are the Two Types of writing styles used in the LSAT reading passages?
Presentation and Argumentation
What is the Presentation technique?
The author presents an idea with which he will agree or partially agree. Sometimes the author intentionally contrasts his position with an opposing view. Most often, the author is just anticipating an objection that he will soon refute.
What is the Argumentation writing technique?
May vary, but usually the author develops two to three ideas and then points out why one is better than the other or just simply refutes all of them and develops his own idea.
What are some common tip-off phrases of the argumentation style?
= it was traditionally assumed...
= it was once believed...
= it was frequently assumed...
= it was universally accepted...
= many scientists have argued...
What are the advantages of identifying the author's writing style (presentation or argumentative?)
To diagram the mental road map of a passage;
to identify the author's intention to cite evidence;
to find the main idea of a passage;
to pick up the right choice quickly and easily.
What are two major patterns of organizational structure the reading passages will use to reach a conclusion?
General-to-specific and
Give an example of general-to-specific structure.
A general claim, followed by
first evidence or reasoning,
second evidence or reasoning,
more evidence of reasoning.
Give an example of specific-to-general structure.
Starts with the first example or reasoning;
then gives the second example
then more examples or reasoning,
then a conclusion.
What are Three Subjects normally found in LSAT reading comprehension passages?
Natural Science,
Social Science, and
Give related subject areas to Natural Science.
Biology, chemistry, geology, and archeology.
Give related subjects to Social Science
Art, literature, and civil rights.
Give related subject matter to Business.
Marketing, advertising, management, and economics.
What is the strategy for Natural Science reading passages?
Skim the passage to determine it's central idea and organizational structure (presentation or argumentation).

Look for "key words" from the question to get the answer.

Don't memorize details or try to figure out the author's reasoning.
What is the strategy for Social Science reading passages?
The passage is easier to understand but the questions will be harder.

You will need to synthesize several sentences or make some reasoning before you pick the right choice.

In general, do not choose the answer that contains exact words or phases from the passage.
What is the strategy for Business reading passages?
Don't depend on recall questions, but look to use reasoning before you pick the correct answer.

Don't rely on memory or previous knowledge. Make sure your refer to the passage when answering the questions.
What is the Four-Step Process of Reading?
1. Analyze the first paragraph.

2. Skim the passage and get an idea of the main idea.

3. Identify the purpose of each paragraph and the structure of the passage.

4. Answer the questions and don't forget to refer to the passage.
What is the best way to skim the passage to get the author's main point?
1. Focus on the first sentence of each paragraph.

2. Pay attention to the mood words, positive and negative.

3. Pay attention to the "counter-evidence" indicators, such as actually, despite, admittedly, except, even though, nonetheless, nevertheless, although, however, in spite of, do, and may.

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