English Comprehension and Composition – Lecture 32 Objectives: • Review of the Course Contents • Grammar • Writing (Composition) • Message Composition • Presentation Skills
Strengthening Your Reading Comprehension
Analyze the time and place in which you are reading ; mental fatigue or distractions or interruptions • Rephrase each paragraph in your own words; approach complicated material sentence by sentence, expressing each in your own words. • Read aloud sentences or sections that are particularly difficult; makes complicated material easier to understand.
Reread difficult or complicated sections • Slow down your reading rate - reading more slowly and carefully will provide you with the needed boost in comprehension. • Turn headings into questions - Refer to these questions frequently and jot down or underline answers. • Write a brief outline of major points - This will help you see the overall organization and progression of ideas. [for more complicated passages]
Highlight key ideas - After you've read a section, go back and think about and highlight what is important. • Write notes in the margins - Explain or rephrase difficult or complicated ideas or sections. • Determine whether you lack background knowledge - Comprehension is difficult, at times, and it is impossible, if you lack essential information that the writer assumes you have. Source: http://academic.cuesta.edu/acasupp/as/304.HTM
Skimming • Skimming is used to quickly gather the most important information, or 'gist'. Run your eyes over the text, noting important information. Use skimming to quickly get up to speed on a current business situation. It's not essential to understand each word when skimming. Examples of Skimming: • The Newspaper (quickly to get the general news of the day) • Magazines (quickly to discover which articles you would like to read in more detail) • Business and Travel Brochures (quickly to get informed)
Scanning • Scanning is used to find a particular piece of information. Run your eyes over the text looking for the specific piece of information you need. Use scanning on schedules, meeting plans, etc. in order to find the specific details you require. If you see words or phrases that you don't understand, don't worry when scanning. Examples of Scanning • The "What's on TV" section of your newspaper. • A train / airplane schedule • A conference guide
Vocabulary in Context Context clues are words and phrases in a sentence which help you reason out the meaning of an unfamiliar word. Oftentimes you can figure out the meanings of new or unfamiliar vocabulary by paying attention to the surrounding language. Below are the types of clues, signals and examples of each clue.
Type of Context Clue Antonym or Contrast Clue Definition Phrases or words that indicate opposite Signals but, in contrast, however, instead of, unlike, yet Examples Unlike his quiet and low key family, Brad is garrulous.
Type of Context Clue Definition or Example Clue Definition Phrases or words that define or explain Signals is defined as, means, the term, [a term in boldface or italics] set off with commas Examples Sedentary individuals, people who are not very active, often have diminished health.
Type of Context Clue General Knowledge Definition The meaning is derived from the experience and background knowledge of the reader; "common sense" and logic. Signals the information may be something basically familiar to you Examples Lourdes is always sucking up to the boss, even in front of others. That sycophant just doesn't care what others think of her behavior.
Type of Context Clue Restatement or Synonym Clue Definition Another word or phrase with the same or a similar meaning is used. Signals in other word, that is, also known as, sometimes called, or Examples The dromedary, commonly called a camel, stores fat in its hump.
PREVIEWING Previewing a text means gathering as much information about the text as you can before you actually read it. You can ask yourself the following questions:
What is my purpose for reading?Are you asked to summarize a particular piece of writing? Are you looking for the thesis statement or main idea? Or are you being asked to respond to a piece? If so, you may want to be conscious of what you already know about the topic and how you arrived at that opinion.
What can the title tell me about the text?Before you read, look at the title of the text. What clues does it give you about the piece of writing? Good writers usually try to make their titles work to help readers grasp meaning of the text from the reader's first glance at it.
Who is the author?If you have heard the author's name before, what comes to your mind in terms of their reputation and/or stance on the issue you are reading about? Has the author written other things of which you are aware? How does the piece in front of you fit into to the author's body of work?
How is the text structured?Sometimes the structure of a piece can give you important clues to its meaning. Be sure to read all section headings carefully. Also, reading the opening sentences of paragraphs should give you a good idea of the main ideas contained in the piece.Source: http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/reading/critread/pop5a.cfm
The main idea of a passage or reading is the central thought or message. In contrast to the term topic, which refers to the subject under discussion, the term main idea refers to the point or thought being expressed.
Reading Tips 1. As soon as you can define the topic, ask yourself “What general point does the author want to make about this topic?” Once you can answer that question, you have more than likely found the main idea. 2. Most main ideas are stated or suggested early on in a reading; pay special attention to the first third of any passage, article, or chapter. That’s where you are likely to get the best statement or clearest expression of the main idea. 3. Pay attention to any idea that is repeated in different ways. If an author returns to the same thought in several different sentences or paragraphs, that idea is the main or central thought under discussion.
Which one of these is a complete sentence??? Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall. Outside the window Political parties
SENTENCE A group of words that makes complete sense is called a sentence. Examples: • "Children are all foreigners."(Ralph Waldo Emerson) • "I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can't get my wife to go swimming."(attributed to Jimmy Carter, among others) • "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Theodor Geisel) • Open the door!
PARTS OF A SENTENCE • Every sentence has two parts • The part that names the person or thing we are talking about is called a subject • The part that tells something about the subject is called the predicate of the sentence. Example: They wake up early in the morning.
English has four main sentence types: • Declarative Sentences are used to form statements.Examples: "Mary is here.", "My name is Mary." • Interrogative Sentences are used to ask questions.Examples: "Where is Mary?", "What is your name?" • Imperative Sentences are used for commands.Examples: "Come here.", "Tell me your name.“” • Conditional Sentences are used to indicate dependencies between events or conditions.Example: "If you cut all the trees, there will be no forest."
Sentence Types One way to categorize sentences is by the clauses they contain. (A clause is a part of a sentence containing a subject and a predicate.) There are 4 types of sentences in this category:
Simple • Contains a single, independent clause. • I don't like dogs. • Our school basketball team lost their last game of the season 75-68. • The old hotel opposite the bus station in the center of the town is probably going to be knocked down at the end of next year.
Compound • Contains two independent clauses that are joined by a coordinating conjunction. The most common coordinating conjunctions are: and, or, but, so. • I don't like dogs, and my sister doesn't like cats. • You can write on paper, or you can use a computer. • A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured.
Complex • Contains an independent clause plus one dependent clause. (A dependent clause starts with a subordinating conjunction. Examples: that, because, although, where, which, since.) • I don't like dogs that bark at me when I go past. • You can write on paper, although a computer is better. • None of the students were injured when the tree fell through the school roof.
Compound-complex • Contains 3 or more clauses (of which at least two are independent and one is dependent). • I don't like dogs, and my sister doesn't like cats because they make her sneeze. • You can write on paper, but using a computer is better as you can easily correct your mistakes. • A tree fell onto the school roof in a storm, but none of the students was injured although many of them were in classrooms at the top of the building.
MODIFIERS • A word, phrase, or clause that functions as an adjective or adverb to limit or qualify the meaning of another word or word group (called the head). • Modifiers that appear before the head are called premodifiers. Modifiers that appear after the head are called postmodifiers.
Dangling Modifiers • A dangling modifier is a phrase or clause that is not clearly and logically related to the word or words it modifies (i.e. is placed next to). Two notes about dangling modifiers: • Unlike a misplaced modifier, a dangling modifier cannot be corrected by simply moving it to a different place in a sentence. • In most cases, the dangling modifier appears at the beginning of the sentence, although it can also come at the end.
Misplaced Modifiers • A misplaced modifier is a word, phrase, or clause that is improperly separated from the word it modifies / describes. • Because of the separation, sentences with this error often sound awkward, ridiculous, or confusing. Furthermore, they can be downright illogical.
PUNCTUATION MARKS Punctuation marks on a page are similar to signs on a road. They guide you and direct you. 1. A period ( . ) ends a declarative or imperative sentence. I live in Pasadena. They don’t live in Pasadena. Listen to me. Don’t drink and drive. Please come here. Eat your vegetables. 2. A question mark ( ? ) ends an interrogative sentence. Do you live in Pasadena? Don’t you like chocolate ice cream? 3. An exclamation mark ( ! ) ends an exclamatory sentence (a sentence that contains a lot of emotion). Help! Stop! Don’t call me again! 4. A comma ( , ) separates items in a list. I like coffee, soda, milk, and tea. Sara, Maria, Robert and Steven will eat lunch.
5. A semicolon separates equal parts of a sentence. Mary is at home; Bob is at school. Give me a hamburger, with onions and lettuce; a coke, with a straw; and fries, with ketchup. 6. A colon ( : ) usually precedes a list. Bring these things with you: a book, a pencil, and a dictionary. 7. A dash ( – ) usually indicates a break in thought. I’ll have a hot dog with mustard – no, make that ketchup. 8. A hyphen ( - ) separates syllables to make a word easier to read. co-ordinate re-elect pray-er A hyphen also separates syllables when it’s necessary to continue a word on the following line. 9. Parentheses ( ) or a pair of dashes contain extra information. John (my brother) is coming to the party. John – my brother – is coming to the party.
10. An ellipsis (...) shows that information is missing or deleted. “To be or not...the question.” (“To be or not to be. That is the question.”) 11. Quotation marks (“ ”) enclose the exact words of a person. Maria said, “Where are the keys?” 12. An apostrophe ( ’ ) is a substitute for a letter or letters (in a contraction). isn’t = is not can’t = cannot don’t = do not I’ll = I will I’m = I am He’s sick. = He is sick. Bob’s rich. = Bob is rich. What’s new? = What is new? They’ve worked. = They have worked. ’99 = 1999 An apostrophe also shows possession. This is Sara’s book. (Don’t say: This is the book of Sara.) Where is the dog’s dish? 13. Capitalization: Begin all sentences with a capital letter (i.e., capitalize the first word in all sentences) and end all sentences with a punctuation mark. Capitalize the first word in a sentence and finish the sentence with a punctuation mark.
Verb Tense • A verb indicates the time of an action, event or condition by changing its form. Through the use of a sequence of tenses in a sentence or in a paragraph, it is possible to indicate the complex temporal relationship of actions, events, and conditions
The four past tenses are 1. the simple past ("I went") 2. the past progressive ("I was going") 3. the past perfect ("I had gone") 4. the past perfect progressive ("I had been going") The four present tenses are 1. the simple present ("I go") 2. the present progressive ("I am going") 3. the present perfect ("I have gone") 4. the present perfect progressive ("I have been going") The four future tenses are 1. the simple future ("I will go") 2. the future progressive ("I will be going") 3. the future perfect ("I will have gone") 4. the future perfect progressive (“I will have been going”)
The Function of Verb Tenses The Simple Present Tense The simple present is used to describe an action, an event, or condition that is occurring in the present, at the moment of speaking or writing. The simple present is used when the precise beginning or ending of a present action, event, or condition is unknown or is unimportant to the meaning of the sentence. • The simple present is used to express general truths such as scientific fact. • The simple present is used to indicate a habitual action, event, or condition • The simple present is also used when writing about works of art • The simple present can also be used to refer to a future event when used in conjunction with an adverb or adverbial phrase
The Present Progressive • While the simple present and the present progressive are sometimes used interchangeably, the present progressive emphasizes the continuing nature of an act, event, or condition. • The present progressive is occasionally used to refer to a future event when used in conjunction with an adverb or adverbial phrase, • The present perfect tense is used to describe action that began in the past and continues into the present or has just been completed at the moment of utterance. The present perfect is often used to suggest that a past action still has an effect upon something happening in the present.
The Present Perfect Progressive Tense Like the present perfect, the present perfect progressive is used to describe an action, event, or condition that has begun in the past and continues into the present. The present perfect progressive, however, is used to stress the on-going nature of that action, condition, or event.
The Simple Past Tense The simple past is used to describe an action, an event, or condition that occurred in the past, sometime before the moment of speaking or writing.
The Past Progressive Tense The past progressive tense is used to described actions ongoing in the past. These actions often take place within a specific time frame. While actions referred to in the present progressive have some connection to the present, actions referred in the past progressive have no immediate or obvious connection to the present. The on-going actions took place and were completed at some point well before the time of speaking or writing.
The Past Perfect Tense The past perfect tense is used to refer to actions that took place and were completed in the past. The past perfect is often used to emphasize that one action, event or condition ended before another past action, event, or condition began.
The Past Perfect Progressive Tense The past perfect progressive is used to indicate that a continuing action in the past began before another past action began or interrupted the first action.
The Simple Future Tense The simple future is used to refer to actions that will take place after the act of speaking or writing.
The Future Progressive Tense The future progressive tense is used to describe actions ongoing in the future. The future progressive is used to refer to continuing action that will occur in the future.
The Future Perfect Tense The future perfect is used to refer to an action that will be completed sometime in the future before another action takes place.