misc study

Polishing Reading Skills

This is just a basic tips I got from the Ace Ahead Muet Textbook (I do not own any of the text), and I thought I may share these tips :) This is specially applicable for answering MCQ questions from a given passage/text, but yeah it is also flexible for any reading materials. 

1) Skimming

What exactly is skimming?

The way of reading very quickly to get a general idea of the text. Obviously, we do not read every single word. Skimming gives an overall view and increases understanding of the text. It helps you to understand the relationships between sentences and paragraphs.

What should you read to get the gist of a text?

  • the title
  • the headings
  • the subheadings
  • the first sentence of each paragraph
  • the conclusion

2) Scanning

Wait… isn’t skimming and scanning just the same thing?

Nope. As said before, skimming is to get a general idea of the text. While scanning is obtaining specific information from the text while reading quickly and selectively. Scanning is useful when you need to locate a particular piece of information such as

  • a date
  • a name
  • a number
  • a place
  • certain phrases

3) Distinguishing main ideas from supporting details

Hmm, so what is the difference between main ideas and supporting details? (obvious question isn’t it lol)

The main idea is the central thought of the text or a paragraph. It is the key issue; what the writer is trying to convey to the reader. The main idea in a topic sentence can be found at

  • the beginning of the text
  • the middle
  • the end of the text

However, the supporting details are pieces of information that explain and develop the central thought. The supporting details can be

  • descriptions
  • definitions
  • facts
  • examples
  • reasons

4) Drawing conclusions

As usual, a conclusion is where the main ideas are summed up. But in this case, the conclusion of the text is the judgement/decision made by the writer based on the facts or information provided by the texts. The reader (aka you) can make a different conclusion from the writer as well. 

How to determine the conclusion from the text? Well here are some indication of the conclusion

  • therefore, thus, hence
  • in conclusion, to conclude
  • finally, as a result

5) Making inference

An inference is an opinion or reasonable guess based on evidence or known facts provided by the text.  The reader may infer something, or make an educated guess about something based on

  • facts
  • opinions
  • experiences
  • observation
  • descriptions

6) Summarizing

A summary is a brief, concise statement which emphasizes the main ideas of a reading text. A summary restates an idea, phrase, sentence using different (and fewer) words, phrases, expressions, etc. but maintains the original meaning. 

7) Deriving Meaning from Context

Ever heard a word…and you’re like “wth am i reading????” Be calm. Do not despair…

Deriving meaning is figuring out the meaning of certain words based on the clues/information  given in the text. Such clues can be found 

  • before the word/phrase/expression
  • after the word/phrase/expression 

Some of the contextual clues include

  • synonyms
  • antonym
  • examples
  • definitions
  • affixes
  • restatement

8) Distinguishing Facts from Opinions. 

So yea…how can I differentiate those two? 

A fact is the truth, a hypothesis proven to be true by experiments/observations. Indicators that show facts 

  • According to the study…
  • It was reported that…
  • In (year) it was proven that..

While an opinion is a personal belief or a judgement which is not proven true or false.  Sentences which show opinion

  • In my opinion…
  • I feel that…
  • I think that

Hmm, is it really important to know the difference between a fact and an opinion? Yep, it allows the reader to make his/her judgement on what is read. 

9) Reading critically to ascertain purpose, tone and attitude

Reading critically allows the reader to deduce how the writer feels about the issues presented and why he is presenting them

The tone of the text indicates what the writer’s attitude is towards the sbuject. Emotive words in the text can help the reader to infer/drawing conclusions about the writer’s tone about the subject matter. 

Emotive words are seldom used in formal text such as 

  • report
  • extract from scientific reports

Emotive words are more often used in articles/texts where the writer is trying to persuade the reader to support his point of view.

Wait…I don’t get it. What is emotive words?

Emotive words are words that cause people to feel strongly about something. example of emotive words are

  • heroic
  • frantic
  • overjoyed
  • in crisis
  • completely overwhelmed

10) Predicting Outcome

Predicting outcome allows the reader to make an educated guess about what the writer is trying to say. It is a part of reading skills that helps the reader to read faster and understand the text better. 

11) Discerning the organization of a passage

Organization of the passage refers to how the author has organized/shaped the text. It includes an understanding of how the information is grouped or ordered. It also helps the reader to understand the author’s point of view and make meaningful connections. 

I’m so sick of this whole ‘you’re not a feminist so you hate women’

Just because I don’t put myself in the same group as the middle class women that make themselves victims, spread hate and brain wash younger women into fearing men doesn’t mean I hate women. 

I have great respect for the feminists that fought for us to get votes, and for us to be seen as the same as men.  

But the third wave feminists that act like a male sitting in a different form to them is the worse thing on the world. They’re privileged to have that be their only worry, instead of possibly being stoned for looking in the direction of another man, or being forced to cover up every inch of you body, or being seen as nothing but a thing to pro create with. 

I don’t hate women. Women are amazing. These snobby prats that sit behind a screen and complain are the women I hate. 

pulling an all-nighter

and surviving the process - a quick’n’easy guide for the lazy and confused

it’s almost 5.30 am and i am about to start writing that blasted portuguese essay that is due in, like, 8 hours. if i can do it, so can you. avoid all-nighters at all costs but if it must be done…

  • if you know it’s happening, sleep till late the day before or nap in the afternoon - 3 extra hours (aka full sleep cycle) would be ideal
  • if it’s a surprise one - dang m8 ur kinda screwed brace yourself
  • get comfy - wear a cozy jumper or warm socks
  • but not too comfy - do NOT try and work in bed. do NOT try and write shit whilst sprawled on your armchair. sit at yo desk and maintain proper posture
  • take breaks - speaking of posture, every now and then (30 mns, 1-2 hrs, as suitable) take a 5 min break, walk around your room, put on a fun song and dance, stretch a lil. your back will be very grateful
  • reward yourself - interchangeable with the above. i’m a massive procrastinator and i’m always tempted to start with at least 5 daily show clips. DON’T BE LIKE ME. butttt every now and then you are allowed to listen to your fav song or swoon over jon stewart, or doodle, do yoga etc etc otherwise you’ll get tired pretty quickly. DO NOT make your breaks longer than 15-20 mins because you’ll find it much more difficult to get back on track
  • paper & pen - if you’re writing your essay/notes/coursework/whatever type of hw you have on your computer DO take my advice and grab a piece of paper and a pen or two and keep if close to your heart and jot down your most important points. eg i spent 4 hours reading criticism tonight and i took lots of notes in word BUT ALSO i have some 8-10 bullet points scrawled on my paper pad between an impressive doodle of arnold schwarzenegger and a pink highlighter headline. WHY: every time you take a break or just get distracted this brings you right back on track 
  • if you are actually writing an essay like me rn do yoself a favour an use that piece of paper as a rough essay plan. use colourful pens to draw connections b/w your main points. super easy b/c when you actually start your writing you’ve got everything in front of you
  • if you’re writing by hand take frequent rests during which you will NOT touch your phone but gently caress your hand while stretching it a lil and letting it hang downwards to release the tension and b/c circulation is a thing
  • snacks - your tum deserves a lot of yum to keep you going. drink A LOT of water, tea and coffee, the latter only once every three hours or so. prepare snacks like breadsticks, crisps, nutribars, dried and fresh fruit, whatever keeps you going. refrain from having too much chocolate b/c after a while it will make u sleepy and dazed
  • if you still can’t focus lie down for half an hour (preferably on the floor but tuck yourself in) and/or change the ambience - lie on the floor, sit yourself against the wall, close your computer and take out a notebook. open the window for a bit. go outside for a couple of minutes if you can. 
  • morning after - please try to nap during the day and get an early night the following evening. shower in the morning & change all of your clothes even if you don’t necessarily have to leave your room. have a BIG breakfast. act chill like you’re actually hungover.