Posts Tagged ‘reading comprehension passages’

How to read comprehensive passages effectively? ….. Continuation

This is con­tin­u­a­tion to my pre­vi­ous post which is about the adjec­tives that are used by the author to describe his tone.

1. Adjec­tives that are used to describe mod­er­ately neg­a­tive tones:

    1. Angry or indig­nant – is annoyed about some­thing that he con­sid­ers unjust or unfair.
    2. Apa­thetic or indif­fer­ent – has adopted an uncar­ing atti­tude towards the issues mentioned.
    3. Biased, col­ored, par­ti­san, prej­u­diced, big­oted, chau­vin­is­tic – is par­tial to a cer­tain view­point with inad­e­quate justification.
    4. Con­de­scend­ing, patron­iz­ing, super­cil­ious or dis­dain­ful – thinks him­self supe­rior to oth­ers and tends to talk down to them.
    5. Cyn­i­cal – believes that peo­ple are moti­vated by the self­ish­ness. Deny­ing the sin­cer­ity of people’s motives and actions or the value of living.
    6. Skep­ti­cal – has his doubts about some­thing behind somebody’s actions, the ful­fill­ment of a promise made, the out­come of a course of action.
    7. Dog­matic, opin­ion­ated or peremp­tory – is arro­gantly and pos­i­tively stat­ing some­thing as the truth with­out car­ing to sup­port his claim with evidence.
    8. Obse­quious – is overly sub­mis­sive to a per­son or an organization.
    9. Crit­i­cal – is find­ing fault with some­body or something.
    10. Hyp­o­crit­i­cal – is pre­tend­ing to be what he is not or being self-righteous when dis­cussing the issue on hand.
    11. Sar­cas­tic or sar­donic – is jerk­ing at or taunt­ing some­one using ironic and bit­ing remarks.
    12. Satir­i­cal – is using ridicule, sar­casm, irony to expose attack or deride vices, fol­lies, stu­pidi­ties and abuses.

read­ing comprehension

2. Adjec­tives that are used to describe pos­i­tive tone:

    1. Opti­mistic, pos­i­tive, san­guine, cheer­ful or buoy­ant – is very hope­ful of the prospects of some­thing or some­body and feels that good things are in store.
    2. Humor­ous – has tried to present the topic in a funny and amus­ing man­ner with an express view to enter­tain the reader.
    3. Intro­spec­tive or con­tem­pla­tive – has attempted to analy­sis his own mind, feel­ings, actions, motives tec.
    4. Lauda­tory, acclam­a­tory, com­pli­men­tary or adul­tery – is prais­ing some­body of some­thing he con­sid­ers praiseworthy.
    5. Com­mis­er­at­ing or sym­pa­thetic – has pity or com­pas­sion for somebody’s suffering.

3. Adjec­tives that are used describe the tones that are nei­ther pos­i­tive nor negative:

    1. Neu­tral – does not favor one point of the view over the other.
    2. Apolo­getic – is express­ing regret for some­thing he has said or done.
    3. Emo­tional – was moved at the time of writing.

4. Adjec­tives that can be used to describe the nature or type of a passage:

    1. Spec­u­la­tive – it sur­mises or pon­ders over var­i­ous aspects of a given sub­ject or var­i­ous out­comes of a course of action.
    2. Roman­tic – the views expresses are fan­ci­ful and impractical.
    3. Human­is­tic – the author evinces keen inter­est in human affairs, nature, wel­fare, val­ues etc.
    4. Tech­ni­cal – it exten­sively uses the ter­mi­nol­ogy that is spe­cific to a cer­tain field.
    5. Didac­tic – its author has attempted to instruct his read­ers through the passage.
    6. Nar­ra­tive – it’s essen­tially details of a story or incident.
    7. Descrip­tive – it attempts to describe a per­son, place, thing or con­cept in detail.
    8. Evo­cate – it encour­ages the reader to con­struct men­tal pic­ture of a place or an event.

How to read comprehension passages effectively?

Read­ing com­pre­hen­sion is one of the impor­tant com­po­nents in any exams in which Eng­lish is a com­po­nent. There are some exam­i­na­tions which will have very less time for read­ing these pas­sages which were very lengthy. So we have to fol­low some tips and tricks and also some basic meth­ods to read a pas­sage successfully.

One of the most impor­tant things that we have to find is the tome of the pas­sage which means that which mes­sage will best describes the pas­sage in brief. This also refers to the gen­eral atti­tude of the author towards the topic that is given in the passage.

How to clas­sify a tone?

Tones of pas­sages can be broadly clas­si­fied as pos­i­tive, neg­a­tive and neu­tral. Neg­a­tive tones are fur­ther divided into very neg­a­tive and mildly negative.

read­ing passages

Iden­ti­fy­ing a tone in passage:

This can be done by study­ing the nature of the adjec­tives or nouns or verbs that the author uses to express his views on the topic under dis­cus­sion. So we have to focus on the state­ments that the author makes in the pas­sage care­fully but not on the state­ments that the author quotes some­body else as saying.

After iden­ti­fy­ing the verbs, adjec­tives, nouns they should be ana­lyzed care­fully. Some of the tips are:

  1. Try to find out that the word is a neg­a­tive word or pos­i­tive word.
  2. Is it a mild word or strong word?
  3. Does the author mean what he says or is he being sar­cas­tic or ironic?
  4. Is the pat­tern in the nature of adjec­tives or nouns or verbs used in the pas­sage? Are they all neg­a­tive or pos­i­tive? If all the key adjec­tives or nouns or verbs used in the pas­sage are neg­a­tive, then it can be safely con­cluded that the tone is negative.

Let’s know some of the words that reflect the strength of the words.

  1. Adjec­tives used to describe very neg­a­tive tones:
    1. Acer­bic, scathing, cut­ting, bit­ing, vitu­per­a­tive, vit­ri­olic, sear­ing, tren­chant, harsh, vicious or caus­tic – All these are used to express very harsh­ness towards someone.
    2. Bel­liger­ent, bel­li­cose, aggres­sive – These are used to express very hos­tile towards some­body or something.
    3. Deri­sive, con­temp­tu­ous, ridicu­lous, scorn­ful, mock­ing, dis­parag­ing — These are used to express fun of some­thing or some­body with a view to belit­tle it or to show it in poor light.
    4. Incen­di­ary or incit­ing – These are used to express the stir­ring up strife.
    5. Provoca­tive – This word is used when author is try­ing to irri­tate or annoy somebody.
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