Topic Name Description
Course Syllabus Page Course Syllabus
1.1: Identifying Textual Evidence Page Strategies for the Test: Keeping Track of Time

Before we jump into textual evidence, let's look at some simple strategies to help you balance the time you use during the test and help you keep track of the important parts of a text passage.

The exam is a timed test, meaning that if you take too long on one section, you may need to rush through another section or not complete the entire test. For this reason, it's essential to manage your time carefully. Review the resource on time management to help you balance the time you spend on each passage and not become "held up" anywhere in the test.

Page Strategies for the Test: Using Annotations

One way to manage both your time and the information you're reading is to annotate. Annotating, or taking notes, can help you remember critical details without becoming overwhelmed or lost in a text. Review this article for ideas on how to annotate a text in the way that works best for you.

Page Main Ideas, Supporting Points, and Implied Ideas

Textual evidence consists of all the parts of a text an author uses to support their claims. This includes a main idea or theme, supporting details, and even the implied ideas (the things the author says without explicitly stating them).

As you read, it's essential to keep track of which ideas are important for understanding the reading's meaning and purpose. Review this article on textual evidence and complete the exercises to practice finding and using these details.

Page Summarize Using Key Details and Ideas

Now that we know how to find textual evidence, we can use it to summarize a text. As you read, be sure to take notes or annotate your text to keep track of important details. In the exam, you may be able to underline, highlight, or add notes in the margin to help you, or you may have a piece of paper where you can keep track of what you read. Either way, tracking the textual evidence will help you determine the general meaning of the text and describe it in your own words.

Read this lesson and complete the exercises to practice summarizing a text.

Book Section 1.1 Knowledge Check

This knowledge check will allow you to review what we've covered so far. Feel free to go back over anything you're still unsure of.

1.2: Drawing Conclusions, Analyzing, and Critiquing a Text Page Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions

In addition to the explicit details an author provides, many readings also include inferred meaning. This means that an author is indirect with their main idea or supporting point and expects the reader to figure it out themselves. But how do we do this? As we read, we can keep an eye out for signposts, certain types of content (like questions or repeated terms), and keywords.

Once we figure out what the author is trying to tell us, we can draw conclusions about the reading's purpose. This video will show you how to make inferences and "read between the lines" of a text.

Page Consider Idea Development and Cause and Effect

While it's essential to identify the ideas, keywords, and inferences in a text, it's equally important to understand how a text is structured. Cause and effect is an organizational structure used in many fields, from arts and humanities to science and technology. When we're able to examine how a text is structured, we can look for connections and see how the author develops relationships between ideas.

Page Analyzing Central Ideas with Topic Sentences and Supporting Points

One thing we need to be careful of as readers is making sure we differentiate the main idea from a supporting point. When we read, we need to find the central theme and then critique how supporting details tie back to it. This sounds difficult, but by keeping track of topic sentences and keywords, we can determine what ideas are central to a passage and what ideas are there for support. Watch these videos for strategies for keeping track of the different parts of a text.

Page Tips for those Taking State Certifying Exams: Reading/Question Order

As we mentioned at the beginning of the unit, you have some options with which strategies you want to use on your exam. One option you have is the order that you review the material. You could read first, then answer questions, or review questions first and then read – it's up to you to decide what works best.

This brief article describes both strategies. You can practice each and choose which you prefer in the practice exercises for this unit.

Book Section 1.2 Knowledge Check

It's time to check your knowledge! Complete this exercise to see how well you understand these topics. Review the resources again if you need to before moving on to the Unit 1 Assessment.

2.1: How Words Affect Meaning Page Figurative Language

How do you know when an author is being direct in their wording or "saying something with saying it"? Recognizing the difference between literal and figurative language makes it possible to determine that distinction. When you are aware of these types of language, it becomes easier to fully comprehend a text's meaning and purpose.

This lesson about figurative language explains how literal and figurative language differ and how to find clues for identifying each.

Page Connotation and Denotation

In addition to specific figurative or literal words, entire phrases can offer implied or direct meanings. We refer to these differences in presenting meaning as connotation or denotation. Connotation is when meaning is implied, and denotation is when meaning is directly stated. Authors may use either or both of these within a text to make a point or provide supporting details.

Review this article on connotation and demotion and pay attention to the examples.

Page Specialized and Technical Language

Depending on the intended audience of a text, an author may choose to use words or phrases specific to that audience. This is referred to as "specialized language", which can change between general and specific audiences. For example, if you fall off a bike and injure yourself, you may say you "broke" your arm, but a physician would say you "fractured" your arm. While you may not always know the meaning of a specialized term, if you can recognize that such a term is being used, you can use context clues to find its meaning.

Watch this video to learn how to identify specialized language.

Book Section 2.1 Knowledge Check

In this exercise, you will practice identifying word and phrase devices in a text. Don't hesitate to review the previous resources if you are unsure of an answer. It may help you to either print or copy and paste the text into a separate document so that you can annotate the text to help you remember the language devices you see.

2.2: The Meaning of Structure and Style Page How Word Choice Influences Meaning and Tone

Authors have a lot of style choices to make when creating a text. One of these choices is tone, which has a big impact on the presentation of meaning and purpose. Knowing how tone influences a text will help you find the author's purpose and understand the reading as a whole.

Review this presentation on identifying word choices and their effect on a text.

Page Writing Patterns

Specific writing patterns or organizational choices help an author keep a text focused and easy to read. Additionally, these organizational or structural patterns help the reader follow the author's thoughts and better understand the text. Watch this video on different writing patterns an author may choose. How do these patterns make a text and its purpose easier to understand?

Page Compare and Contrast Texts

While some readings are organized linearly (from point a to point b, point c, and then the conclusion), many authors will specifically choose to present a compare and contrast structure. This allows an author to explain two sides of an issue and show how they considered all points before coming to a conclusion.

Review this lesson for strategies in recognizing and understanding the compare and contrast structure.

Book Section 2.2 Knowledge Check

This exercise will help you practice recognizing how details in a text create a clear structure. It asks you to read a science-based article and identify which details are used to compare two ideas and which elements are used to contrast them. Feel free to go back over the resources in this section if you want to review and better familiarize yourself with writing patterns and structures.

3.1: Relevancy, Sufficiency, Validity and/or Reasoning Page Types of Evidence

Authors need to include evidence when supporting their claims. An author must choose evidence that is easy for the reader to understand and clearly matches the ideas they want to convey. This can be a difficult task for an author since there is a wide variety of evidence available.

As you read, look for different kinds of evidence. Do you see facts and statistics? Do you notice interviews or anecdotal accounts? Did the author look back at historical documents or refer to literary pieces? Recognizing the different kinds of evidence will help you better comprehend and analyze a text. Review this lesson on the variety of evidence you may encounter in a text.

Page Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Evidence

One more way to differentiate between evidence is to consider where the evidence originates. Is it first-hand knowledge from an expert, or has it been examined and analyzed after the fact? This is the difference between primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of evidence. Authors may use several evidence types within a single text to best support their central idea. Review this article to see how and when an author may choose to use and shift between these types of sources for textual evidence.

Page Analyzing Evidence

After differentiating types of evidence, it is essential to analyze it for its usefulness. If evidence is not reliable or credible, it will hinder an argument and detract from the author's main ideas. Asking questions as you read can help you determine if the information an author uses benefits the text. This article provides a series of questions you can ask to help analyze the evidence provided in a text.

Book Section 3.1 Knowledge Check

This exercise asks you to consider how an author may integrate different types of evidence in a single text. Think about how and why an author may choose different ways to support a central idea. Go back over the resources from this section if you're unsure which type of evidence is being used.

3.2: Reading Different Authors on the Same Theme Page Identifying the Conversation between Authors

Believe it or not, authors "talk" to one another through their writing. Even when texts are written hundreds of tears apart, the authors are in conversation. Authors read each other's writing, do more research, draw more conclusions, and write their own ideas. They may never meet face to face, but their texts about the same topic are reviewed by the next set of writers (and teachers and students).

This text explains how writers work in conversation with each other and how readers can identify that conversation.

Page Synthesis

After you've identified the conversation happening across texts, it's essential to synthesize the authors' ideas. This means that you'll look at where they agree and disagree and bring your own ideas to build new conclusions.

Watch this video for strategies on using synthesis to better understand how different authors develop similar themes.

Page Tips for those Taking State Certifying Exams: Recognizing Question Types

Finally, we'll cover one last test-taking strategy. We've discussed three competencies in teaching the subject of reading. When tested on these competencies, the questions for each one will look a little different. Using the words and phrases in a question will help you better understand the question and have a better chance of answering correctly.

Review this presentation and think about how the questions can be annotated to help you find success on your exam.

Book Section 3.2 Knowledge Check

In this final exercise, we'll practice synthesizing two texts about the same topic: chocolate chip cookies! Even though the authors discuss the same topic, they do so in different ways and emphasize different points. As you've seen in our resources, this demonstrates a conversation surrounding the issue. Feel free to refer to this section if you need more reinforcement on analyzing and synthesizing texts.

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