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Study Strategies

English Review of Types of Text

150 150 Deborah

Overview

Students read and study different types of text, including expository text, persuasive text, expressive text, and literary text. Different types of text have different purposes, and understanding the author’s purpose in writing helps in active reading.

Expository Text

Most of the textbooks and reference books students are required to read are expository text, written to explain a concept or give information about a topic. Usually the purpose is stated in clear objectives. Paragraphs may follow a chronological order in a clear time sequence, or they may follow a series of steps, describing a process. When headings and subheadings are used in textbooks, use them as a study guide to question and summarize what is learned. For example, a chapter in a biology textbook on the science of biology might include headings about a definition of science, how scientists work, characteristics of living things, and tools and procedures used in experiments. Subheadings under how scientists work include designing experiments, publishing and repeating investigations, and how a theory develops.

Persuasive Text

Persuasive text is written in order to sway the reader’s opinion to the author’s point of view. It may be as brief as an advertisement or as involved as a political document. The goal of persuasive text is a call to action. Editorials may be slanted towards a particular opinion, and present reasons why the reader might support or oppose a candidate or activity. Often, writers will use comparison and contrast to support their position. Persuasive text can be straightforward, or it can be distorted to the point of propaganda.

 

Expressive Text

Expressive text is written in order to convey emotional content from the author’s own point of view. Usually, expressive text is intended to be private, such as letters, journals, and diaries. However, when those letters are exchanged between famous people, such as the letters between John and Abigail Adams, or the journals and diaries are written during a particular time in history or by famous people, they are no longer private.

Literary Text

Literary texts are writings such as novels, short stories, drama, poetry, and literary biographies and autobiographies. They often convey moods through description, keep the reader engaged through a fast-moving plot and memorable characters, and emphasize the finished product. Readers may be entertained, enthralled, and encouraged to find meaning within themes and characters.

Interested in English tutoring services? Learn more about how we are assisting thousands of students each academic year.

SchoolTutoring Academy is the premier educational services company for K-12 and college students. We offer tutoring programs for students in K-12, AP classes, and college. To learn more about how we help parents and students in Caribou, ME: visit: Tutoring in Caribou, ME

 

English Review of Building Vocabulary

150 150 Deborah

Overview

It is very important to have a good vocabulary in order to do the amount and type of reading required in high school and college. Some strategies for building vocabulary include understanding root words, focusing on specialized vocabulary, and using a variety of reading skills to determine meaning.

Vocabulary

The English language is a hodgepodge of words borrowed from other languages, coined words, acronyms, and idioms. Sometimes, the same word will have different meanings depending upon how it is used within a sentence or phrase. Compare the difference of the word run between the sentences “He will run in a race”; “There was a run on the bank during the Great Depression”; and “She had a run in her stocking”. Many words have changed meaning over time. Hundreds of years ago, the word awful meant awe-inspiring, not horrible, and terrible had the connotation of fearsomeness rather than rottenness. Similarly, to call someone silly in Shakespeare’s time meant they were blessed, and to call them stupid meant they were amazed.

Root Words, Prefixes, and Suffixes

Root words give clues to the meanings of words, as do prefixes and suffixes. For example, the root –spect is from a Latin word meaning “to look”. Other related words include spectacle, inspect, spectator, and introspection. The prefix in + spect leads to a starting definition of looking into something, while the suffix –tor leads to a starting definition of one who looks. An actor is someone who acts, with a similar suffix.

Specialized Vocabulary

Each content area has words in common with others, but also has a specialized vocabulary. The words gravity, work, and force have a general meaning, as well as specialized definitions in physics. The word affect is a noun in psychology specifically referring to emotions. Elements are specific substances in chemistry. Reading and understanding texts in areas as diverse as English, mathematics, history, and the sciences depends upon adding those specialized word meanings and definitions to the vocabulary. As people move from novice to expert within a particular field, they become more comfortable with the many different instances and nuances of its specialized vocabulary.

Word Attack

Students in high school and college use many of the same reading skills to develop vocabulary as younger children, just at a more automatic level. A reader might first approach an unfamiliar word by guessing its meaning by the context of the passage around it. If the meaning isn’t immediately clear, the reader might break down the structure of the word into roots, prefixes, and suffixes, or sound it out syllable by syllable. The reader might check their understanding by using a dictionary or thesaurus as a starting point.

Interested in English tutoring services? Learn more about how we are assisting thousands of students each academic year.

SchoolTutoring Academy is the premier educational services company for K-12 and college students. We offer tutoring programs for students in K-12, AP classes, and college. To learn more about how we help parents and students in Louisville, KY: visit: Tutoring in Louisville, KY

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