Topic, Main Idea (Stated and Implied) and Supporting Ideas and Details
How to Find the Stated MI.docx
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Implied MI-Compose (10 Paragraphs).pdf
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Theory and Various Exercises.pdf
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A word about Skimming: general sense of the text [ gist ] and Main Idea [central message]
Description of Skimming
Skimming is used to obtain the gist (the overall sense) of a piece of text. E.g. Use skimming to get the gist of a page of a textbook to decide whether it is useful and should therefore be read more slowly and in more detail, of if, on the contrary, it's really not relevant.
HOW TO USE IT
(1) Read the title, subtitles and subheading to find out what the text is about.
(2) Look at the illustrations to give you additional information about the topic.
(3) Read the first and last sentence of each paragraph.
(4) Don't read every word or every sentence. Let you eyes run over the text, taking key words.
(5) Continue to think and meditate about the meaning of the text.
When to Use It
(1) When one needs to know the overall sense or the main ideas of a text.
(2) When there are large amounts of reading and limited time to review it in detail .
(3) When one is seeking overall message rather than reading for comprehension or pleasure.
(4) When it's necessary to find out if a book should be read at all or in more detail.
(5) When one needs to know if a text may be relevant in one’s research.
Description of Scanning
Scanning is a fast reading technique. It's a way of reading to look for specific information in a text. Scanning can be used to look up a phone number, read through the small ads in a newspaper, or for browsing TV schedules, timetables, lists, catalogs or web pages for information. For these tasks you don't need to read or understand every word.
Scanning is often confused with skimming, but is in fact a distinct reading strategy involving rapid but focused reading of text, in order to locate specific information, e.g. looking for particular details such as dates, names, or certain types of words. It is processing text at a high speed while looking for answers to specific questions. When you scan, you must begin with a specific question which has a specific answer. Scanning for information in this way should be both fast and accurate. For example, if you need to know the hospital's phone number in an emergency: you scan for numbers in two groups of four numbers each. If you need to find in a text someone's birth date: you scan for month+number. One more: if you need to buy the ingredients for the recipe, your eyes run to the word Ingredients. And there they are.
Types of materials appropriate for scanning:
- Simple: lists, dictionaries, phone directory, tables, signs, classified ads.
- Less Simple: yellow pages, Bibliographies, tables of contents, indexes, websites.
- Complex: continuous prose - documents, articles, books, long descriptions.
How to use it
- Start at the beginning of the passage.
- Move your eyes quickly over each line, looking for key words related to the information you want to find.
- Stop scanning and begin reading as soon as you find any of the key words you're looking for to confirm the relevance of that line.
When to use it
- When one needs to find a particular or specific piece of information.
- When one only needs to extract specific details from a text.
- When studying or looking to find specific information from a book or article quickly as there is not always time to read every word.
- For example:
- The "What's on TV" section of your newspaper.
- Departure times in a train/airplane schedule
- Topics of the exam in a content list
- Homework hand in and midterm exam dates/time in a calendar.
- For example:
- Don't try to read every word. Instead, let your eyes move quickly across the page until you find what you are looking for.
- Use clues on the page, such as headings and titles, to help you.
- In a dictionary or phone book, use the 'header' words to help you scan. You can find these in bold type at the top of each page.
- If you are reading for study, start by thinking up or writing down some questions that you want to answer (Pre/reading technique here!!). Doing this can focus your mind and help you find the facts or information that you need more easily.
- Many texts use A-Z order. These include everyday materials such as the phone book and indexes to books and catalogues.
- There are many ways to practice scanning skills. Try looking up a favorite recipe in the index of a cookbook, search for a plumber in your local Yellow Pages, or scan web pages on the Internet to find specific information.
Some Main Strategies for Reading Comprehension
- Identify your purpose in reading a text.
- Apply spelling rules and conventions for bottom-up decoding.
- Use lexical analysis (prefixes, roots, suffixes, etc.) to determine meaning.
- Guess at meaning (of words, idioms, etc.) when you aren’t certain.
- Skim the text for the gist and for main ideas.
- Scan the text for specific information (names, dates, key words).
- Use silent reading techniques for rapid processing.
- Use marginal notes, outlines, charts, or semantic maps to understand and retain info.
- Distinguish between literal and implied meanings.
- Capitalize on discourse markers to process relationships.
What is the main Idea?
Put it simply, Topic: what the text is about, the Main Idea is the point of the text, in other words, what is said about the topic. The message, the essence... the juice...
There are 6 major text types:
- Narrative: where a story is told. It uses sequence and order to narrate. It includes any type of writing that relates a series of events and includes both fiction (novels, short stories, poems) and nonfiction (memoirs, biographies, news stories).
- Descriptive: where a description is made, Colors, shapes, places are used. Descriptive Text is a text which says what a person or a thing is like. Its purpose is to describe and reveal a particular person, place, or thing. ... Most descriptive text is about visual experience, but in fact experience other than the sense of sight, we can also use it to make descriptive text.
- Directive: where directions are given. Imperative mode is very common here. They also describe the plans to be done in the future as a way of guideline. Basically they tell you what to do or what you or others will do.
- Expository: where concepts and ideas are presented. Proposals are normal here. This is a type of informational text that provides factual information about a topic using a clear, non-narrative organizational structure with a major topic and supporting information. Expository texts can include topics such as historical, scientific or economic information. The basically present information.
- Argumentative: where reasons are given to convince to do something (like buying a product) or change your mind. In an argumentative text you discuss a subject or a problem, often with no obvious solutions. In this type of text you should discuss the topic from different angles, compare and contrast, and give your own opinions as arguments.
- Cause-Effect: Where something is explained and the effects it causes.
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