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Types of reading comprehens...
6 Types of reading questions
There are six kinds of reading questions:
Below are patterns for each, including a description, the typical phrases or language we see in text or on tests, and strategies to help identify the kind you are looking at.
Comprehension means understanding or mentally grasping the meaning of something. The answer to a comprehension question usually is something you can point to in the paragraph or passage.
Forms of Comprehension Questions
Strategies for Comprehension Questions
Detail questions specify smaller chunks of information than comprehension questions. The answers deal with specific, small items in the paragraph or passage such as a number, a date, or a name.
Forms of Detail Questions
Strategies for Detail Questions
Following directions is a particular kind of comprehension. You are asked to understand how to answer a question, not to answer the question itself.
For example, the directions could tell you to underline the subject once, underline the verb twice, and put parentheses around the prepositional phrases.
If you do not read the directions, you would not know what to do or how to write the answers the correct way.
Forms of Following Directions Questions
Strategies for Following Directions Questions
The main idea covers most of what a paragraph or passage is about; it may answer who, what, where, when, why, or how. It includes a topic and something specific about that topic.
For example, a topic might be the Civil War. A main idea about the Civil War might be: The two most important causes of the Civil War were disagreements regarding slavery and states’ rights.
Forms of Main Idea Questions
Strategies for Main Idea Questions
In contrast to facts or information stated directly in the paragraph or passage, inferences are decisions, conclusions, or judgments made by the reader from information in the paragraph or passage.
The information is like a hint, and the inferred ideas are not stated directly. The reader must reason or think about her answer.
Forms of Inference Questions
Strategies for Inference Questions
Sequence shows the chronological order of events: what happened first, second, and sometimes more. Note that the sequence is not the same as the order of events presented in the paragraph or passage.
For example, the passage could start talking about what happened last, and then jump back to the beginning.
Strategies for Sequence Questions
One sentence may include more than two events; it could use both before and after in one sentence. These sentences are a little trickier.
The events are scrambled. Please unscramble them and put them in the right order.
Developed by Carie Palmer and Shirley Shultz Myers, Gallaudet University English Department
Gallaudet University, chartered in 1864, is a private university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
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