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    Reading Comprehension
  I: Introduction  
  II: The Challenge  
  III: The Five Steps  
  IV: Question Types  
       Macro Questions  
           1. Main Idea  
           2. Purpose of the Passage  
           3. Tone  
           4. Passage Organization  
           5. Category of Writing  
           6. Identity of the Author  
       Micro Questions  
           7. Detail of the Passage  
           8. Definition of a Term  
           9. Support for a Premise  
           10. Function of Passage Part  
           11. Inference  
  V: Tips  
  VI: Sample Essays  
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IV-5: Question Types: Macro Questions- Category of Writing (Advanced)
 
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GMAT passages represent some form of writing found in the real world. Is it a letter to a newspaper? An excerpt from a book? The position paper of a lobbyist?

How to identify Category questions: Look for questions asking about the origin of the passage's writing.

In what type of publication would this passage most likely appear?

Which of the following best describes the passage?

From which of the following sources was the passage most likely excerpted?


How to tackle them: As always with macro questions, it comes back to main idea and purpose: Who is the author and why did he or she write the passage? If you know that, you’ll almost certainly know in what type of real-world setting the passage should appear.

For example, let's say you decide that the purpose of the passage is to discredit a politician and that its official language indicates it was probably meant to be read by the public. Once you know that, you can infer that the writer is a reporter or journalist. You know the author and the purpose. You have everything you need to answer the question.

From which of the following sources is the passage excerpted?

A) A nationally distributed newspaper
B) A press release from a big company
C) The diary of a senator
D) A governmental budgetary report
E) An encyclopedia

You know the answer must be A.

 

4. Passage Organization

6. Identity of the Author