Chapter 8: Understanding Longer Readings

Chapter 8: Understanding Longer Readings

Chapter 7: Focusing on Supporting Details in Longer Readings From this chapter, youll learn how to adapt what you know about supporting details in paragraphs to longer readings. how opening sentences of supporting paragraphs guide your understanding of the authors thought. how the location of the thesis statement affects the placement of supporting details. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. A Quick Overview of the Similarities Between Single Paragraphs and Multi-Paragraph Readings Individual paragraphs and multi-paragraph readings both 1. generally focus on one central idea.

2. move back and forth between general and specific levels of thought. 3. make use of introductions that pave the way for the main idea. 4. sometimes introduce or restate the main idea at the end. 5. employ transitional devices that help readers follow the authors train of thought. 6. sometimes imply rather than state the overall main idea. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. What are the Differences? 1. Thesis statements expressing the main idea of a longer reading often extend beyond a single sentence. 2. Major and minor details are entire paragraphs rather than single sentences. 3. Titles frequently introduce the topic or even the main idea.

4. Headings in longer readings frequently help readers identify the point of the supporting detail paragraphs. 5. The purpose of the reading is easier to identify. 6. The opening sentence of supporting detail paragraphs frequently tell you how the new paragraph connects to the previous one. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. The Key Difference: The Importance of Developing Double Vision With multi-paragraph readings, you have to keep an eye on how the overall main idea is developed paragraph by paragraph. However, you also have to understand each individual paragraph in its own right. Put another way, you have to figure out how the

overall main idea controls the individual paragraphs and how the individual paragraphs develop the main idea of the entire reading. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Controlling Main Idea Determines What Appears in the Supporting Detail Paragraphs. Supporting Details Make the Controlling idea Meaningful by Answering Questions it Raises.

Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. A Six-Step Outline of the Thought Process Appropriate for Multi-Paragraph Readings With a Thesis Statement 1. Start reading with the intention of finding a sentence or group of sentences more general than the rest. 2. Once you find one or more, check to see if the idea expressed continues to be developed in more specific detail. 3.

If it is, then you have probably found the thesis statement. 4. Consider what you need to know to make that statement convincing. 5. Read to see if the remaining paragraphs provide answers to the questions raised by the thesis statement you have identified. 6. If they dont, re-think your first idea about the thesis statement.

Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Ulrich Flemming A Few Words to the Wise Pay special attention to how the paragraphs following the thesis statement begin. Its at the beginning of those paragraphs that you are most likely to find clues to how the new paragraph connects to the previous one. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Ulrich Flemming

BUT if you think the thesis statement opens a chapter section or reading, then start looking for the supporting details in the very first paragraph. In other words: Be a flexible reader and adapt your strategies to the material. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Heres the first paragraph of a four-paragraph reading. Is there one or more sentences in this paragraph that could function as a thesis statement? Searching for Romance on Craigslist Pretty much everyone who uses it agrees. Craigslist, the free Web

classifieds offering everything from used bikes and laptops to apartment rentals and antiques, is a godsend. Theres nothing that cant be found on Craigslist, and that even includes romance. Scan the Missed Connections section, for instance, and youll spot ads like these: I was wearing a black suit and a blue tie. You were walking along West 45th. I told you that you had the legs of a dancer. You smiled at me but said you were in a hurry. Your last words were, Too bad, I cant chat. If you meant what you said, can you get in touch with me here? And who knows, maybe the guy in the black suit and blue tie did get the response he wanted. For him at least, posting on Craigslist may have been the right thing to do. But if it was, was he just a lucky exception, or is Craigslist a convenient and appropriate place to go when romance isnt turning up close to home? Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Does this paragraph continue the same train of thought? Why is the word advice highlighted? What does the word however signal?

Do you see a general sentence you think might be further developed? Paragraph 2: Certainly, many people seem to think so, and the Web is filled with advice about how to find a date on Craigslist. However, much of that advice is also tinged with a warning: Be smart about how you go about it because there are dangers. One piece of advice is to meet initially in public places. And whatever you do, dont give out all your contact information right away. Make sure, too, that you let a friend or family member know where you are meeting someone youve met through a Craigslist posting. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Where do you see the authors train of thought going now?

Paragraph 3: While many of the men or women answering ads may be perfectly delightful, its still true that Craigslist does not vet any of the people who submit or respond to ads. Thus, its perfectly possible for a psychopath to slip through the safety net, because, in point of fact, no safety net exists. Its also true that those who are mentally disturbed enough to commit assault, rape, or murder dont have the words certified crazy tattooed on their foreheads, so one meet-up before a date is probably not enough. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Is this a major or a minor detail? What train of thought does it develop? What does the phrase after all signal? How does the last sentence connect to the opening paragraph?

Paragraph 4: After all, its unlikely that troubled individuals will give themselves away in one short meeting, and when they do reveal themselves, it just might be too late. Thus, its smarter to meet the person you are interested in several times rather than just once before actually going out on a date. And when you do get together, make it for a party or a movie, or some other nice public place. In other words, if you do turn to Craigslist for romance, make sure to play it safe. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Ulrich Flemming Finishing Up: Focusing on Supporting Details in

Longer Readings Youve previewed the major concepts and skills introduced in Chapter 7. Take this quick quiz to test your mastery of those skills and concepts, and you are ready to read the chapter. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Finishing Up: Focusing on Supporting Details in Longer Readings 1.With longer readings, what does the title usually do?

2.Should readers expect longer readings to focus on several key ideas rather than one? 3.Why do you need double vision when reading a multi-paragraph selection? Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Finishing Up: Focusing on Supporting Details in Longer Readings 4. What word or words would you expect to be developed in the supporting details following this thesis statement? What questions do you think the supporting details would need to answer? Wallets are fast becoming a thing of the past as smartphone apps offers us more and more ways to make purchases.

Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. 5. Heres a scratch outline for a brief paper. Of the main ideas shown for the paragraphs supporting the thesis statement, which two would you eliminate and why? Thesis statement: A new study suggests that happiness can be contagious. In other words, if we are around people who are happy, we start to feel happy too. Supporting Main Ideas 1. An additional study reveals that pet owners experience less anxiety and live longer than non-pet owners do. 2. In the study, American researchers tracked close to 5,000 people to answer this question: Does your happiness depend on your actions and thoughts or the actions and thoughts of others? 3.

The study showed that being around happy spouses was important but being around happy friends of the same gender was even more important. 4. Money did not seem to play as significant a role in making people happy as being around other happy people did. 5. Almost every study on the effect of children on marriage suggests that the arrival of a child does not enhance marital happiness. Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization. Ulrich Flemming Brain Teaser Challenge Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

Sentences a and e would be unlikely to appear in the supporting details for the opening thesis statement. Can you explain why would they be ineffective as supporting details? Wallets are fast becoming a thing of the past as smartphone apps offer us more and more ways to make purchases. a. Jack Dorsey, the creator of Twitter, is also the creator of Square app. b. With a few taps of your Smartphone, you can order a meal, buy a movie ticket, or loan your friend twenty bucks. c. Starbucks alone has processed more than 45 million digital payments made by customers using a smart phone. d. With the StubHub app loaded on their phone, movie goers can purchase tickets without standing in line. e. In 2010 the number of individuals who got hacked via applications installed on their Smartphone doubled.

Laraine Flemming. All rights reserved. No distribution allowed without express authorization.

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