Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning

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Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning. Lesson 3 Strategies, Tactics, and Tips for reading the VR Passages according to Kaplan. Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan. Select a passage. Skip passages if necessary, but avoid wasting time. Don’t try to rank passages.

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## Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning

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### Lecture Notes for Verbal Reasoning

Lesson 3

Strategies, Tactics, and Tips for reading the VR Passages according to Kaplan

Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Select a passage.
• Skip passages if necessary, but avoid wasting time.
• Don’t try to rank passages.
• Keep in mind many test-takers make more mistakes with topics in which they are familiar.
• Mistakenly rely on their own outside knowledge.
• Passages typically move from less difficult to more difficult.
Strategies, Tactics, Tipsaccording to Kaplan
• Critically read the passage.
• Use keywords to help navigate the passage.
• Conclusion keywords identify opinions, especially central claims or the primary argument.
• Examples: therefore, wrong, must, conclude, perhaps, unhappy.
• Evidence keywords identify rationale, support or premises.
• Examples: because, illustrates, several reasons, due to.
• Contrast keywords identify a reversal or opposing shift in thought or opinion.
• Examples: but, rather, than, distinction, ironically, alternatively, in contrast, on the other hand, conversely, etc.
Strategies, Tactics, TipsAccording to Kaplan
• Critically read the passage (cont’d.)
• Emphasis keywords identify comparative importance or relevance.
• Examples: most of all, especially, only, primarily, occasionally, sometimes, etc.
• Sequence keywords identify an order at work.
• Examples: first, then, finally, moreover, before/after.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Paraphrasing—putting the content or idea of a passage into your own words.
• Put the main idea of each paragraph in your own words.
• Write this out in a short sentence or two.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Topic, Scope, and Purpose
• Quickly figure out the broad subject matter, the specific focus, and the purpose of the passage.
• By the 1st third-to-half of the passage you should have a fairly good idea of topic, scope, and purpose.
• Author’s purpose(s) includes(s) describing, analyzing, comparing, arguing, or rebutting.
• Two-thirds of VR passages reveal the main idea in the last paragraph.
• Half of VR passages involve main idea in the first paragraph.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Structure
• Look for a logical, consistent structure/organization to the writing based on author’s purpose.
• Passages are typically organized much like college essays or academic writing.
• Introduction—thesis—counter-thesis—synthesis—conclusion
• Passages can be excerpts from published work
• Might be missing an element of the pattern, which can make the passage more challenging.
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Critical analysis of arguments.
• Break down the argument to better comprehend the passage.
• Conclusion, premises, evidence, counter-arguments, refutations.
• Identify assumptions or warrants.
• What’s assumed?
• Deduction or unstated evidence.
• The connection between facts and opinion.
• Toulmin Argument
• A schema for analyzing argument
Strategies, Tactics, Tips according to Kaplan
• Critical Analysis of Arguments (Cont’d.)
• Be able to restate the argument in your own words.
• Determine facts from opinion first.
• Do not impose outside information on the argument.
• Avoid letting biases determine your analysis.
• Use keywords to separate fact from opinion.
• Use context to separate fact from opinion.
• An Example.
• My apartment is a mess. My refrigerator is empty. I haven’t done laundry in a month. I’m the world’s worst housekeeper.
• My apartment is a mess. The living room needs to be vacuumed. The sink is full of dishes. Dust clings to everything.