Critical Thinking Skills: Reading and Communication

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  • Critical Thinking Skills: Reading and Communication
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  • Competency 0001 Identify a writers point of view and intended meaning
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  • Main Idea What is the most important point the author is making about the paragraph or passage. Not always directly stated, but inferred
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  • Questions on test that are asking for main idea The best title for this selection is The passage discusses The passage focuses mainly on The topic of this passage is This passage concerns The problem the author is discussing in this passage is The author is explaining the nature of
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  • Recognizing ideas that support, illustrate, or elaborate the main idea What additional information the author has used to support the main idea Additional information that helps you understand the main idea
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  • Supporting Details may consist of: Examples Descriptions Characteristics Steps Places Names Dates Stats Reasons Results
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  • Test questions about supporting details may be phrased as: According to the passage According to the information in the passage The author states that The author states
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  • Writers opinions When asked what is authors point of view, you are being asked what is his position on an issue. Is he for it or against it. When asked what is authors purpose for writing the passage, you are being asked if the passage informs or explains, instructs or teaches, persuade or convinces, or if it entertains or amuses the reader.
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  • Point of View & Position These are one in the same
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  • Competency 0002 Analyze the Relationship Among Ideas in Written Material
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  • Writing Patterns 1. List 2. Division/classification 3. Sequence 4. Process 5. Definition 6. Definition with example 7. Comparison/contrast 8. Cause/effect 9. Spatial order
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  • Deductive Reasoning Take a generalization and see how it applies to a specific situation. Look at the big picture and draw a conclusion
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  • Inductive Reasoning Drawing a conclusion that is based on specific details or facts. Going from the smaller to the bigger picture
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  • Competency 0003 Use critical reasoning skills to evaluate written material
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  • Facts Something you can prove
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  • Opinion Something that cannot be proved or disproved: a judgment or a belief Signal words: perhaps, greatest, better, safer, apparently, one possibility
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  • Validity Examine the authors logic What does the author take for granted? What type of support does the author present? (facts, opinions, research) Does the support pertain directly to the argument? Is the argument objective and complete?
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  • Competency 0004 Recognize the roles of purpose and audience in written communication
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  • Purpose for writing Persuade Describe Teach Entertain
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  • Tone Authors choice of words and style Sarcasm contempt or ridicule Some words that describe tone: serious, emotional, critical, supportive, grim, humble, etc
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  • Intended Audience Who should read this? Who did the author write this for?
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  • Competency 0005 Recognize the unity, focus, and development in writing
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  • Writing Examples 1. Does the point of view change? (shift from 1 st to 3 rd person) 2. Does the writing improve with revision?
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  • Subarea II Communications
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  • Competency 0006 Recognize effective organization in writing
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  • Paragraph Organization Topic Sentence Supporting details Cohesive and effective sequence of ideas Transitional words and phrases
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  • Competency 0007 Recognize sentences that effectively communicate intended meaning
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  • 1. Ineffective repetition and inefficiency in sentence construction 2. Modifier placement, 3. parallel structure, 4. Use of negatives in sentence formation 5. Inappropriate word choices
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  • Competency 0008 Recognize standard conventions of formal written English usage in the United States.
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  • 1. Verb forms 2. Pronouns 3. Adverbs 4. Adjectives 5. Comparatives 6. Superlatives 7. Plural 8. Possessive 9. Standard punctuation 10. Identify fragments and run-on sentences 11. Subject-verb agreement