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    Reading Comprehension
  I: Introduction  
  II: The Challenge  
  III: The Five Steps  
     1. Passage Classification  
     2. Breaking Down Each Passage  
     3. See the Organization  
     3a. Short Essays  
     3b. Long Essays  
     4. Find the Big Idea  
     5. Diagnose Author's Purpose  
  IV: Question Types  
  V: Tips  
  VI: Sample Essays  
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III: The Five Steps
 
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Now that we know the question types, let's begin to break down the passages. Here is the basic strategy for approaching Reading Comprehension passages:

Perform these five steps while you read:

1. Classify the passage.
Is this passage persuasive or descriptive? Is it about science, business or humanities?
2. Break down each paragraph.
Look for the main idea, tone and transitions.
3. See the organization.
Make a mental road map of the essay and/or draw an outline on your dry erase scratch paper.
4. Find the big idea.
Look for unusual language that makes an important point.
Pay more attention to the first and last paragraphs.
5. Diagnose the author's purpose.
Look for intention in the essay.
   

III: Question Types

Passage Classification