Reply To: Prep test 63 RC Passage 3 #18 (ocean magnetism)

May 17, 2016 at 12:18 pm #1846
Mike Kim

Hey —

The suggestions I made for reading process apply not only to “according to the passage” q’s, but rather to your initial, overall, reading process —

The entire time you are reading, you want to be focused on trying to determine how different parts of the passage relate to one another.

In terms of looking for an “argument” — (sorry to always turn simple things into complex) — I think it’s very important to understand a subtle but very, very important difference between how you ought to read LR problems and RC passages —

Like you said, an argument contains a point and support for that point —

LR stimuli and RC passages that contain arguments also tend to include counterpoints, background info, descriptions, etc.

Here’s the critical difference I want to point out —

For LR, it’s to your great advantage to separate out and focus in on just the argument itself — the point and the support, in large part because that’s what most questions are specifically telling us to do. And focusing in on those parts means putting everything else (background info, etc.) into a secondary position.

For RC, that’s not our job —

For RC passages, our job is not to extract just the main points, or just the main points and support, but rather to see how the entire passage is structured — which parts are meant be main points, which parts support, which parts counter, which parts background —

And so, while your focus on LR should be on isolating and focusing in on certain parts, for RC it should be much more important to pay attention to relating parts to one another (what I discuss in the book in terms of reading for reasoning structure) —

One of the very best ways to focus on reasoning structure is to constantly ask yourself, assess, and reassess, as you are reading, “why is the author telling me this?” and, by the end of the passage, you want to be able to scan through it completely and be able to explain “oh, this is here to give me some context, this is her main point, this is the counter-evidence to her main point, this is her response to that counterpoint…” etc. — the better and better you get at this, the easier and easier it will be to answer both general q’s, and specific q’s that ask you to find a specific detail, etc.

I hope that helps a bit — sorry for adding even more length — MK