Reading Handbook Reading for Different Purposes


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Reading Handbook

Reading for Different Purposes

Having a clear purpose can help you better remember and understand what you read. You may be reading for relaxation and pleasure. Perhaps you need information so you can pass a test. Maybe you need to follow directions to program your VCR or to fill out a form. Perhaps you need to analyze an argument to make sure it makes sense. You will need specific reading strategies for every type of reading you do. This Reading Handbook will help you become a better reader of all kinds of materials.

Reading Literature

Forms: stories, plays, poems, memoirs, biographies, some nonfiction

Purpose for reading: for pleasure, for increased understanding

Strategies for Reading






See page S3 for details about each strategy.

Reading for Information

Forms: newspapers, magazines, reference works, on-line information, textbooks

Purpose for reading: to be informed

Strategies for Reading
Look for text organizers such as titles, subheads, graphics, and other devices.

Notice the organization of the text.

Look for connections to something you already know.

Read, reread, and answer questions to increase your understanding.

See pages R4—R11 for help with these strategies.


Critical Reading

On the second Monday in October, Americans celebrate Columbus Day. We honor the Italian explorer who has been credited with discovering the Americas in 1492. Some people, however, think that we need to look more closely at what Christopher Columbus actually did and at his place in history. I am one of those people.

First of all. although we honor Columbus as the first European to set foot in the Americas, he may not have been the first. Archaeologists have found Norse ruins in Greenland and what is now Newfoundland dating from around 4.0. 1000. This evidence seems to prove that Vikings actually reached the North American continent nearly 500 years before Columbus ever left the shores of Spain.

Forms: newspaper editorials, advertisements, political ads, letters, opinion statements

Purpose for reading: to be informed, to make a decision

Strategies for Reading

Find the main ideas.

Evaluate the supporting details.

Determine the author's purpose.

Decide how well the author achieved that purpose.

See pages R12—R17 for detailed examples.

Functional Reading

---see sample

instruction manuals, applications, workplace documents, product information, technical directions, public notices

Purpose for reading: to make decisions and solve problems

Strategies for Reading

Skim the whole piece.

Read the information in the order presented.

Look carefully at any drawings or pictures.

Reread when the meaning is unclear. See pages R18—R23 for examples.

Methods of Reading

When you read something for the first time, review material for a test, or search for specific information, you use different methods of reading. The following techniques are useful with all kinds of reading materials.

Skimming When you run your eyes quickly over a text, looking at headings, graphic features, and highlighted words, you are skimming. Skimming is useful in previewing textbook material that you must read for an assignment.

Scanning In a text, to find a specific piece of information, such as the date of a battle, use scanning. Place a card under the first line of a page and move it down slowly. Look for key words and phrases.

In-Depth Reading In-depth reading involves asking questions, taking notes, looking for main ideas, and drawing conclusions as you read slowly and carefully. Use this type of reading for literary works and textbooks.


Reading for Information

When you read informational materials such as textbooks, magazines, newspapers, and on-line text, you need to use specific strategies. It is important to study text organizers, such as headings and special type, that tell you what the main ideas, facts, and terms are on the page. It is also important to recognize patterns of organization in the text and to map them in a graphic organizer. Using these strategies will help you read and understand any kind of informational text.

Text Organizers

Writers use special features such as headings, large or dark type, pictures, or drawings to show you the most important information on the page. You can use these special features to help you understand and remember what you read.

Strategies for Reading

---see sample

A First, look at the title and any subheads. These will tell you the main ideas of the lesson.

B Many textbooks have one or more objectives or key terms at the beginning of each lesson. Keep these in mind as you read. This will help you identify the most important details. You may also want to read any questions at the end of the section to find out what you'll need to learn.

C Look at the visuals— photographs, illustrations, time lines, or other graphics—and read their captions. These will help you understand what you are about to read.


D Watch for pulled-out text—quotations or other materials that are placed in a box or in different type. Such text often includes especially surprising, important, or memorable information.

E Don't forget about the key terms. These are often boldfaced or underlined where they first appear in the text. Be sure you understand what they mean.

F Examine maps. Read their titles, captions, and legends. Make certain you know what the map shows and how it relates to the text.

More Examples

To examine the structural features of other kinds of informational materials, see the pages listed below.

For examples of newspaper articles, see pages 219, 305, 470, and 675.

For examples of magazine articles, see pages 65, 138, 396, and 617.

For an example of Internet articles, see pages 549 and 728.


Patterns of Organization

Reading any type of writing is easier if you understand how it is organized. A writer organizes ideas in a sequence, or structure, that helps the reader see how the ideas are related. Four important structures are the following:

main idea and supporting details

chronological order

comparison and contrast

cause and effect

This page contains an overview of the four structures, which you will learn about in more detail on pages R7—R11. Each type has been drawn as a map or graphic organizer to help you see how the ideas are related.

Main Idea and Supporting Details

The main idea of a paragraph or a longer piece of writing is its most important point. Supporting details give more information or evidence about the statements made in the main idea.

Chronological Order

Writing that is organized in chronological order presents events in the order in which they occur.

Comparison and Contrast

Comparison-and-contrast writing explains how two or more subjects are similar and how they are different.

Cause and Effect

Cause-and-effect writing explains the relationship between events. The cause is the first event. The effect happens as a result of the cause. A cause may have more than one effect, and an effect may have more than one cause.


Main Idea and Supporting Details

The main idea of a paragraph is the basic point you should remember from your reading. The supporting details give you additional information about the main idea. A main idea can be stated directly, or it can be implied. If it is stated, it can appear anywhere in the paragraph. Often, it will be the first or the last sentence. An implied main idea is suggested by the details that are provided.

Strategies for Reading

To find the main idea, ask, "What is this paragraph about?"

To find supporting details, ask, "What else do I learn about the main idea?"


Main Idea as the First Sentence

Main Idea

When the nomads of Africa began using camels in the third century A.D., trade across the Sahara became easier. The donkeys, horses, and oxen that had been used previously could not travel far without stopping for food and water. Camels, on the other hand, could cover 60 miles a day and go for up to ten days without water.

Supporting Details


Main Idea as the Last Sentence

Supporting Details

The new trade routes passed through lands occupied by the Soninke people. These farming people referred to their chief as ghana. Soon the land came to be known as the kingdom of Ghana. The tribal chiefs taxed the goods that traveled across their territory. By the eighth century, trade had made Ghana a rich kingdom.

Main Idea


Implied Main Idea

The West African savannas and forests south of the savanna were rich in gold. No salt was available there, though. In the Sahara, on the other hand, there was abundant salt but no gold. Traders brought salt south through the desert and traded it for gold mined from the forests.

Implied main idea: Gold and salt were two important items that were traded in West Africa.



Gold and salt made the king of Ghana a powerful man. The king controlled the trade in these important items and collected gold nuggets and salt blocks from his people. He was not only the richest man in the kingdom but also its religious leader, military commander, and chief judge. Because Ghana had such a strong economy and army, the king could force the rulers of neighboring lands to give him gifts and pay taxes. If the rulers did so, the king of Ghana would treat them well.

Read the model above and then do the following activities.

1. Identify the main idea of the paragraph. Is it stated or implied? If it is stated, where does it appear in the paragraph?

2. List three details that support or give evidence for the main idea.


Chronological Order

Chronological, or time, order presents ideas in the order that they happened. Historical events are usually presented in chronological order. The steps of a process may also be presented in time order.

Strategies for Reading

Look for the individual steps or events in the sequence.

Look for words and phrases that identify time, such as in a year, two hours earlier, in A.D. 1066, and later.

Look for words that signal order, such as first, afterward, then, before, finally, and next.



Time phrases

Mohammad, the prophet and, founder of Islam died in A.D. 632. That same year the Muslim community chose a friend of Muhammad, Abu-Bakr, as its spiritual leader, or caliph.

After Muhammad's death, many Muslim people stopped following Islamic beliefs. Then Abu-Bakr used his strong army to control the people. By the time he died in 634, all of the Arabian Peninsula was under Muslim rule.

The next caliph, Umar, conquered Syria and parts of Egypt and Persia. The next leaders, Uthman and Ali, continued conquering lands. In just over 100 years, the land of Islam had grown so much that it covered 4,000 miles from the Indus River to the Atlantic Ocean.

The armies of Uthman and All did not make the caliphs safe, however. In 656, Uthman was assassinated. And in 661, so was Ali.

After Ali's death, a family called the Umayyads came to power. They moved the capital of the empire to Damascus, in the Syrian territory. They also became wealthy and gave up the simple lifestyle of the caliphs.

The actions of the Umayyads caused a split in the Muslim community. Groups against the Umayyads were formed. This division led to the overthrow of the Umayyads in 750 by a group called the Abbasids. In 762, the Muslim capital was moved again. This time it was set up, by the Abbasids, in Baghdad, in present-day Iraq.

Abbasid rule lasted for over 500 years, until 1258. By that time, the Muslim Empire had become a major sea power. It traded widely with countries in Europe, Africa, and Asia. The vision of one man, the prophet Muhammad, led to the growth of a vast melting pot of religions, cultures, and peoples.


Reread the model and then do the following activities.

1. Create a time line on your paper extending from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the end of Abbasid rule in 1258.

2. List three words or phrases in the model that signal time and three that signal order. Find words and phrases in addition to the ones already done for you.

3. Although the model is organized in chronological order, it also includes other types of organization. The fourth paragraph, for example, is organized by main idea—the leaders' lack of safety—and supporting details. Find an example of cause-and-effect order in the model, and list the cause(s) and effect(s) on your paper.


Comparison and Contrast

Comparison-and-contrast writing explains how two different subjects are alike and different. This type of writing is usually organized by subject or by feature. In subject organization, the writer discusses subject 1, then discusses subject 2. In feature organization, the writer compares a feature of subject 1 with a feature of subject 2, then compares another feature of both, and so on.

Strategies for Reading

• Look for words and phrases that signal comparison, such as like, similarly, both, also, and in the same way.

• Look for words and phrases that signal contrast, such as unlike, on the other hand, in contrast, and however.



Comparison word

Contrast words

Two stories, "Kelfala's Secret Something" and "Pumpkin Seed and the Snake," are both folk tales that were told aloud long before they were written down. They are from very different cultures, however, and have differences as well as similarities.

"Kelfala's Secret Something" is a tale of the Kikuyu people of Kenya, in East Africa. "Pumpkin Seed and the Snake," on the other hand, is from the Hmong people of Southeast Asia. The subjects and morals of the two tales are similar. Both stories are about young people and marriage. Both have something to say about trickery.

A main character in each story is a young man. In "Pumpkin Seed and the Snake," however, the young man sometimes takes the form of a snake. Although both main characters have to perform a task to win their brides, their tasks differ. Kelfala must get the young girl Wambuna to talk to him. The snake, in contrast, must move a rock for Pumpkin Seed's mother.

Both main characters use some kind of trickery to accomplish their goals. Kelfala's whole plan to win Wambuna is based on a trick involving an imaginary animal. The snake, on the other hand, is basically honest and direct. He does what the mother asks and expects her to fulfill her promise. He only uses the trick of changing into a man and back into a snake to avoid being killed.

The snake's tale ends happily. He marries Pumpkin Seed and becomes a full-time man. Unlike the snake, however, Kelfala does not win his bride. He is so sure of himself that he brings to friends along to watch his success with Wambuna. His trick backfires, though. Since she talks to all three friends, she can't marry just Kalfala.

The moral of both "Pumpkin Seed and the Snake" and "Kelfala's Secret Something" seems to be that honesty is the best policy but that trickiness has its place. The snake proves that a little trickery can save your life. However, as Kelfala learned, if you get too tricky, you may end up getting tricked yourself.


Reread the model and then do the following activities.

1. List all the words and phrases that signal comparisons and contrasts. Find words in addition to the ones already done for you.

2. This model compares the two folk tales feature by feature. One feature is what culture each tale is from; another is what the tales are about. List at least four other features the writer discusses.

3. Create a Venn diagram and fill in the similarities and the differences between "Kelfala's Secret Something" and "Pumpkin Seed and the Snake."


Cause and Effect

Cause-and-effect writing explains the relationship between events. A cause is an event that brings about another event. An effect is something that happens as a result of the first event. Cause-and-effect writing is usually organized in one of three ways:

1. Starting with cause(s) and explaining effect(s).

2. Starting with effects and explaining cause(s).

3. Describing a chain of causes and effects.

Strategies for Reading

To find the effect or effects, ask "What happened?"

To find the cause or causes, ask "Why did it happen?"

Look for signal words and phrases such as because, as a result, for that reason, so, consequently, and since.




Signal Words

One of the wont diseases ever recorded was the bubonic plague, or Black Death. It broke out in China in the 1330s. Before it disappeared, 60 million people had died.

The bubonic plague is a disease that is carried by rats. Fleas carry the plague from one rat to another. The fleas can also carry the disease to people. Sick people can pass the disease to other people very quickly.

In the Middle Ages, people rarely took baths. As a result, most people had fleas and lice living on their bodies. The plague was probably spread when Mongol horsemen carrying infected fleas invaded China in the 14th century. Because China was an important trading center, many people from all over the world came there. Those people were exposed to the disease and took it back to their home countries.

The Mongols kept moving westward, and in 1345, they attacked a port on the Black Sea where many Italian traders lived. When these traders returned to Italy, they infected their countrymen. The disease subsequently spread throughout Europe. In the five years between 1347 and 1352, 25 million Europeans died.

Why did the Black Death claim so many victims? Part of the reason is that people in medieval times did not understand that the disease was caused by infected fleas. They did things that caused the disease to spread. They didn't often take baths, and so they had fleas living on their bodies. They also dumped their garbage and sewage into the streets. The consequence was a perfect breeding ground for rats and fleas. Maybe the real question is not why so many people got the plague but how anyone managed to survive.


A. Reread the model on this page and then do the following activities.

1. List one effect that happened because people in medieval times didn't often take baths.

2. Identify three words or phrases in the passage that signal causes and effects.

3. The bubonic plague spread by a series of causes and effects. Make a cause-and-effect graphic in which you show what happened (the effects) when people didn't take baths. In another graphic show the effects of throwing garbage and sewage into the streets. Look on page R6 for examples of graphic organizers.

B. Read the model below and then do the activities that follow.


Tsunami is a word that brings fear to people who live near the sea. Also known in English as a tidal wave, a tsunami is a huge ocean wave caused by an underwater volcanic eruption or earthquake.

An earthquake or the explosion of a volcano on the ocean floor creates massive waves of energy. These energy waves spread out in widening circles, like waves from a pebble dropped into a pond. The waves are extremely long but not very high. For this reason, a ship out on the ocean may feel only a slight rise and fall of the water as a tsunami passes.

As the tsunami nears the shore, it begins to scrape along the ocean bottom. This friction causes the waves in the front to slow down. As a result, the waves traveling behind begin piling up and growing higher. This increase in height can happen very quickly—by as much as 90 feet in 10 or 15 minutes.

The effects of a tsunami can include the death of many people and the destruction of ships, buildings, and land along the shore. An especially dangerous situation may occur when the first part of a tsunami to hit the shore is the trough, or low point, rather than the crest of a wave. This trough sucks all the water away from the shore and may attract curious people on the beach. Within a few minutes, however, the crest of the wave will hit and may drown the onlookers. The most destructive tsunami ever recorded struck Awa, Japan, in 1703. It left more than 100,000 people dead.

1. List two events that can cause a tsunami to form.

2. List what happens when a tsunami nears the shore.

3. Fill in a cause-and-effect chart that shows the cause of a tsunami and its multiple effects.

C. After reading the model, do the activities that follow.


In the Middle Ages, people believed that the earth was the center of the universe— that the moon, the sun, and the other planets moved in circles around the earth. This belief came not only from deeply held religious beliefs but from common sense. Everyone could see that the sun seemed to move around the earth from morning to evening. Because both religion and common sense agreed, the idea of an earth-centered universe was hard to change.

The idea did change, however. After studying the movement of the planets for 25 years, the astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus concluded that the sun was actually at the center of the universe. The earth, the other planets, and the stars revolved around the sun. Copernicus knew that people would not like his idea because it contradicted their religious beliefs, so he did not publish it until just before he died in 1543.

About 60 years later, the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei built a telescope and used it to study the sky. Galileo then published his findings, which showed that Copernicus had been right. These findings seemed to go against the teaching of the Catholic Church. For this reason, Galileo became an enemy of the church. When he refused to stop working and publishing his ideas, he was put on trial. As a result of the trial, he was forced to sign a statement saying that the sun was not the center of the universe. Another consequence of the trial was that Galileo spent the rest of his life under arrest. Even so, his books and his ideas eventually spread throughout Europe.

1. List the causes of the following events:

a.the strong belief in an earth- centered universe

b. Copernicus's fear of publishing his ideas

2. List two effects of Galileo's trial.


Critical Reading: Persuasion

Every day you encounter writing whose purpose is to inform and persuade you. This writing can take many forms, including speeches, newspaper editorials, advertisements, and billboards. Good readers read critically, or question what they read. They make sure the details presented are accurate and truly support the author's main ideas.

What Is an Argument?

Much of the information you read is designed to persuade you to think a certain way. This type of writing presents an argument for believing or doing something.

An effective argument clearly makes a claim or states a position on an issue and supports it with good evidence and logical reasoning. It also presents opposing views and explains their weaknesses.

Strategies for Reading

Look for a statement of the main issue or problem and the author's position on it.

Evaluate the evidence—facts, statistics, and opinions—that supports the author's position.

Evaluate the evidence—facts, statistics, and opinions—that opposes the author's position.


Author's position

On the second Monday in October, Americans celebrate Columbus Day. We honor the Italian explorer who has been credited with discovering the Americas in 1492. Some people, however, think that we need to look more closely at what Christopher Columbus actually did and at his place in our history. I am one of these people.

Evidence supporting the author's position

First of all, although we honor Columbus as the first European to set foot in the Americas, he may not have been the first. Archaeologists have found Norse ruins in Greenland and what is now Newfoundland dating from around A.D. 1000. This evidence seems to prove that Vikings actually reached the North American continent nearly 500 years before Columbus ever left the shores of Spain.

Second, although Columbus did reach the Americas, he did not discover them. Nearly 100 million people were already living there when he arrived.

Opposing view

Defenders of Columbus argue that, in a way, he did discover the Americas. Even if he wasn't the first person, or even the first European, to set foot on the land, his voyages made the rest of the world aware of the Americas. In the years following Columbus's voyages, Europeans cam to establish colonies and to explore the land.

Author's response

I argue that this spread of cultures brought great harm as well as great good to the Americas. The Europeans who came to the Americas brought deadly diseases with them. The native people had no immunity to such diseases as mumps, measles, smallpox, and typhus. As a result, hundreds of thousands of them died.

Restatement of the author's position

In conclusion, I don't suggest that people should boycott their local Columbus Day Parades. I do think, though, that we should create a more balanced picture of the man we're honoring.


Tracing an Author's Argument

Mapping the structure of an argument can help you read the argument critically and decide if it is convincing.

Shown here is an example of a graphic that maps the argument presented in the model on the previous page. You can create any type of graphic that helps you organize the information presented in an argument. Be sure, however, to include the following elements:

the main issue

the author's position on the issue

statements that support the author's position

evidence given to support those statements

statements against the author's position

evidence given to support those statements

author's conclusion

Issue: Honoring Columbus on Columbus Day

Author's position

We need to look more closely at what Christopher Columbus really did.

Support: Columbus was not the first European to reach the Americas.

Evidence: Norse ruins in Greenland and Newfoundland date from 500 years before Columbus's voyage.

Support: Columbus did not discover the Americas.

Evidence: 100 million people were already living there when Columbus arrived.

Opposing view

Columbus did discover the Americas in a sense.

Support: He brought the area to the attention of the rest of the world and opened it to settlement.

Evidence: Europeans came to establish colonies.

Author's response

Settlement had negative effects.

Support: Colonists brought diseases that killed the native people.

Evidence: Hundreds of thousands died.

Restatement of the author's position

It's fine to honor Columbus as long as we know whom and what we're honoring.


Evaluating Reasoning

In a good argument, the author uses evidence and sound reasoning to support his or her position. The conclusions the author makes follow clearly from the information presented.

Four types of faulty, or bad, reasoning to watch out for are overgeneralization, the either-or fallacy, the cause-and-effect fallacy, and circular reasoning.


An overgeneralization is a broad statement that says something is true for every case, with no exceptions. In fact, very few statements have no exceptions.

Overgeneralizations often include the words all, none, everyone, no one, any, and anyone.


No one believes anymore that Christopher Columbus discovered America.

Reasonable statement:

Many people now believe that Christopher Columbus was not the first European to set foot in the Americas.

Either-Or Fallacy

The either-or fallacy states that there are only two possible ways to view a situation or only two options to choose from. In most situations, there are actually a number of views and options. Either-or fallacies often include the words either . . . or.

Either-or fallacy:

We must decide that Columbus's voyage to America was either good or bad.

Reasonable statement

Columbus's voyage to America had both good and bad effects.

Cause-and-Effect Fallacy

In the cause-and-effect fallacy, the author makes the assumption that because one event follows another, the second event was caused by the first one. As you read, think carefully about the evidence that one event actually caused another.

Cause-and-effect fallacy:

Columbus gave gifts to the Taino people. The Taino greeted Columbus and his men warmly and generously.

Logical statement:

Columbus gave gifts to the Taino people to show his friendly intentions. The Taino were a peaceful people who responded warmly to their visitors.

Circular Reasoning

Circular reasoning is an attempt to support a statement by simply repeating it in other words. If a statement does not include any supporting facts and leaves you thinking "So?" it may be circular reasoning.

Circular reasoning:

Columbus liked the Taino people because he felt warmly about them.

Logical statement:

Columbus liked the Taino people because they welcomed him warmly and, some say, actually saved his life.


Evaluating Evidence

In addition to evaluating the reasoning of an argument, you must carefully examine the evidence the author presents to support his or her statements. First, you must know the difference between facts and opinions. Then you should assess the adequacy, accuracy, and appropriateness of the evidence.

There should be adequate, or enough, evidence to support what the author is saying. To increase accuracy, or correctness, evidence needs to come from reliable sources. To be appropriate, the evidence needs to apply to the topic and to be free of stereotyping, bias and propaganda, and emotional appeals.

Fact and Opinion

A fact is a statement that can be proved. An opinion is a statement of personal belief that cannot be proved.

Opinion Statement:

Columbus was the cause of much misery in the Americas.

Factual Statement:

The explorers and settlers who came after Columbus brought diseases that caused thousands of deaths among the native peoples.


Stereotyping is a broad statement about a group of people that doesn't take individual differences into account.


The native Taino people treated Columbus well because, like all natives, they were warm and friendly.

Balanced statement:

Columbus said about the Taino people he met: "They are friendly and well­dispositioned people who . . . gave everything they had with good will."


Bias is a preference for one side of an argument.


Columbus caused more harm than good to the world.

Unbiased statement:

Columbus's discovery had both good and bad effects on the world.


Propaganda is a form of communication that may use distorted, false, or misleading information.


Columbus did great harm to the world and shouldn't be honored—even for a day.

Balanced statement:

Some people think that we need to look more closely at what Christopher Columbus did and at his effects on history.

Emotional Appeals

Emotional appeals are statements that create strong feelings rather than using fact and evidence to make a point. Be alert for

statements that make you feel angry, sad, or even very happy. Because emotional appeals are directed at feelings rather than thoughts, they are also sometimes called unreasonable persuasion.

Emotional appeal:

Columbus is a fraud and anyone who honors him on Columbus Day is an idiot.

Balanced statement:

I don't suggest that people should boycott their local Columbus Day parades. I do think, though, that we should see a more balanced picture of the man we're honoring.



A. Read the model on this page and do the activities that follow.


What would you do if you brought home the hottest new CD by your favorite group, Spice C, and your father made you take it back because of its "disgusting lyrics"? You may think that an issue like that should stay in the family. I believe, though, that the issue of certain song lyrics affects us all.

I think that young people should be able to make their own decisions about what to listen to. Most other kids would probably agree with me. If we are not allowed to make our own decisions about what we read, see, and hear, how will we ever learn to think for ourselves? If we make a bad decision, we will learn from it and not make the same mistake again. I also believe that adults need to look beyond just the language of these songs and listen to their message. Nobody in his or her right mind could truly listen and not realize that these songs tell it just like it is.

Most parents, on the other hand, would say that the rough language and the violence in these songs are a bad influence on children. Parents see too much violence and offensive language in the world as it is, and they feel it is their duty to protect their children.

Most kids, and the musicians themselves, however, don't think the language is harmful. They believe that young people are exposed to that kind of language in many situations. If parents and other adults start censoring song lyrics, they won't stop until everything that's printed, shown on television, or heard on the radio is banned.

In conclusion, I think that kids must be allowed to make their own decisions about the music they listen to. Parents need to trust their children and give them the chance to act responsibly.

1. Map the structure of the argument in the model, using a graphic organizer like the one on page R6 or one that you create yourself. Be sure to include the issue, the author's position on the issue, support for the author's position, statements against the author's position, evidence to support the opposing position, and the author's conclusion.

2. The sentence, "Nobody in his or her right mind ... " is an overgeneralization. Rewrite the statement to remove the overgeneralization.

3. Find another example of an overgeneralization in the model and write it on your paper. Then rewrite it to eliminate the problem.

4. If the author of the model was a member of Spice C, do you think he or she might have a preference for one side of the argument? Look at the examples of evidence on p. R15. What is a preference for one side of an argument called?

5. On Your Own With a partner, decide on an issue you would like to argue for or against. Then use the graphic on page R13 to map out your argument. Perhaps you want to write in favor of restricting song lyrics or about another issue that strongly interests you. Be sure to include the elements listed in activity 1 above and on page R13.


B. After reading the model, do the activities that follow.


According to veterinarian and animal rights advocate Dr. Michael W. Fox, more than 100 million animals are used each year in laboratory tests. These animals are used to study such things as the causes and effects of illnesses or to test drugs. This unnecessary and cruel animal testing must be stopped.

The most important reason to stop this testing is that it's wrong to make living creatures suffer. Even though they can't talk or use tools like people do, animals have feelings. Zoologist Ann Speirs says that animals may suffer even more than people do, because they can't understand what's happening to them.

People who favor animal research argue that the medical advances gained justify animal experimentation. They also say that the suffering experienced by the animals is minor. People like that are dumber than any guinea pig or rat.

Another important reason to stop this testing is that everybody knows it isn't reliable. Many drugs that help animals are harmful to people. One example is the drug thalidomide. After it was tested in animals in the 1960s, it was given to pregnant women. Dr. Fox says that more than 10,000 of these women gave birth to handicapped babies. The process works the other way, too. Many drugs that help people kill animals. Two common examples are penicillin and aspirin.

Animal testing also affects the environment. The Animal Protection Service says that a quarter of a million chimpanzees, monkeys, and baboons are taken from their natural homes and used in laboratory experiments every year. Those animals will never be able to reproduce, and the whole species may become extinct.

A final reason for not using animals in experiments is that there are other research methods available. Two examples are using bits of animal tissue or cells and using computer models.

In conclusion, animal testing has to stop because it just can't go on.

1. State the author's position on the subject.

2. List two pieces of evidence the author uses to support the argument.

3. The sentence, "People like that are dumber than any guinea pig or rat" is an example of an emotional appeal. Rewrite the statement to make it more reasonable.

4. List two other examples of faulty evidence or two examples of faulty reasoning that you find. Rewrite them to correct the errors.

5. On Your Own The author of the model has a bias against animal testing. Find some examples of bias in newspapers or magazines and bring them to class. Good sources are newspaper editorial pages or personal essays in magazines.


Functional Reading

It takes special strategies to read the many different kinds of materials that help you function effectively in your everyday life. After studying the real-life examples in this section, you will be better able to fill out an application; understand product labels, public notices, and workplace documents; and follow various kinds of instructions. Look at each example as you read the strategies.

Product Information: Medicine Label

Strategies for Reading

A Read the list of conditions or illnesses the medicine can be used to treat.

B Pay attention to the directions that tell who may take the medicine and who should not. Also note the recommended daily dose: how much of the medicine can be taken and how often.

C Read the warnings section carefully. This section tells users how long the medicine can safely be taken and explains what to do if the condition continues or new symptoms appear. It also contains a warning for new mothers and mothers-to-be.

D Always note this sentence, which appears on many medicines. It serves as a reminder that the medicine can be dangerous in the wrong hands.

---see sample


Reread the sample label and answer the following questions.

1. List the conditions or illnesses this medicine can be used to treat

2. Flow many tablets can safely be taken in one day?

3. Who should not take these tablets?

4. How often may these tablets be taken?


Public Notice

Strategies for Reading

A Look for information that answers the question, "Whom is this notice for?"

B Look for instructions—what the notice is asking or telling you to do.

C See if there is any information about who created the notice.

D Look for information about how you can find out more about the topic.

E Check out any special features designed to make the notice easier to understand.

---see sample


Reread the notice from the Bureau of the Census and answer the following questions.

1. Whom is the notice for?

2. What does the notice ask people to do?

3. Who must be counted in the census?


Workplace Document

Strategies for Reading

A Read the title to get an idea of what the document is about. Titles are usually at the top.

B Ask yourself who needs to read the document. Look for clues about whether it applies to you.

C Notice any subheads or categories. These may be underlined, in bold type, or set off in some other way. This document covers staffing, emergencies, and cleanup.

D Look for instructions on what jobs should be done and how to do them. Pay attention to sequence words such as first, next, then, before, and after.

"Little Folks" Play Group A

Notice to Volunteers B

Safety Guidelines

We're glad you have volunteered to help with our Saturday morning play group for children ages 2-5. To keep our space clean and safe and our children happy, we all must follow these safety rules.

Staffing C

An adult must be in the playroom at all times.

Children who go outside to the playground must be accompanied by an adult.


In case of emergency, dial 911 on the phone in the kitchen.


In case of fire, evacuate children through the main door or the emergency exit. Before opening a door, touch it to see if it is hot. A fire extinguisher is located next to the emergency exit.


Make sure the playroom is clean at the end of the day. Put all toys in the toy chests. Wipe tabletops clean with a damp sponge.

Turn off lights as you leave.


Reread the sample document and answer the questions.

1. What organization created the document?

2. Who needs to read the document?

3. Who should accompany children onto the playground?

4. If there is a fire, what should you do before opening a door?

5. What three things should you do before leaving for the day?


Technical Directions

Strategies for Reading

A Read all the steps carefully at least once before you begin.

B Look for numbers or letters that show the order in which to follow the steps.

C Match the numbers or letters to a picture if there is one.

D Look for words that tell you what to do, such as press, select, or set

E Pay close attention to warnings or notes with more information.

---see sample


Reread the sample directions and answer the questions.

1. What happens when you press the ENTER button?

2. Explain the steps for getting to the Timer Setup menu.

3. What does the warning tell you?



Strategies for Reading

A Begin at the top. Skim the application to see what the different sections are.

B Look for instructions about other materials to be included with the application.

C Look for difficult words or abbreviations, such as NA (not applicable), Ph. (phone number), or Y/N (yes or no).

D Read directions carefully. Sometimes you must make specific choices.

E Watch for sections you don't have to fill in or questions you don't have to answer.

---see sample


Reread the application and answer the questions.

1. List the three different sections on this application.

2. What materials might have to be submitted with the application?

3. Which section of the application should you leave blank?

4. What date should you write on the application?


Instruction Manual

Strategies for Reading

A Read the title to find out for what tasks the manual gives instructions.

B Notice any subheads or categories. Many manuals are divided into sections. You may not need to read the entire manual to get the information you need.

C Look for instructions on what steps to take and in what order.

D Pay attention to hints, tips, and examples. Hints and tips can help you avoid common mistakes. Examples give you a clearer understanding of the material.

A Searching the Web


1. Simple Searches


Your internet connection is equipped with a search engine. Simply enter a term that you would like to find out about, and the engine will search more than one billion pages for that term.


Examples of search terms: Shakespeare, typhoons, spiders

Hint: Make sure your search term is spelled correctly.

2. Advanced Searches

Sometimes you may need to use more than one term to perform a precise search. Here are some tips that can help you.

Using AND tells the engine to search for documents that contain both terms.

Examples: Galileo AND telescope, dogs AND training, science AND fiction

Using OR tells the engine to search for documents that contain either term.

Examples: movie OR film, car OR automobile, Kwanza OR Kwanzaa

Using NOT tells the engine to search for documents that contain one item but not the other.

Examples: Apollo NOT rocket, Titanic NOT movie, amazon NOT river.


Reread the sample manual and answer the questions.

1. What task does this manual explain?

2. What two types of searches does the manual explain how to perform?

3. Name the three types of advanced searches.

4. You type in "Lincoln" to search for Web pages about the city of Lincoln, Nebraska, but you keep finding information about Abraham Lincoln. What are some ways you could refine your search?
Vocabulary Handbook

1 Context Clues

One way to figure out the meaning of a word you don't know is by using context clues. The context of a word is made up of the punctuation marks, words, sentences, and paragraphs that surround it.

1.1 General Context Sometimes you need to infer the meaning of an unfamiliar word by reading all the information in the sentence or paragraph.

Kevin set out the broom, a dustpan, dusting rag, vacuum cleaner, and three trash bags before beginning the monumental task of cleaning his room.

1.2 Definition Clue Often a difficult word will be followed by a definition of its meaning. Commas, dashes, or other punctuation marks can signal a definition.

Sometimes the explorers encountered leadsopen channels of water—and were forced to wait until the ice formed before going on.

1.3 Restatement Clues Sometimes a writer restates a word or term in easier language. Commas, dashes, or other punctuation can signal restatement clues, as can expressions such as that is, in other words, and or.

The boy put together a hand-collated set of trading cards; in other words, he put together a set of trading cards by hand.

1.4 Example Clues Sometimes a writer suggests the meanings of words with one or two examples.

The cabin had several annoyances, including a leak in the roof, mildew in the shower, and a family of mice.

1.5 Comparison Clues Sometimes a word's meaning is suggested by a comparison to something similar. Like and as are words that signal comparison clues.

The twins barreled through the living room like a tornado.

1.6 Contrast Clues Sometimes writers point out differences between things or ideas. Contrast clues are signaled by words like although, but, however, unlike, and in contrast to.

The student was usually bold, but he became hesitant when he had to present a report to the class.

1.7 Idiom and Slang An idiom is an expression whose overall meaning is different from the meanings of the individual words. Slang is informal language containing made-up words and ordinary words used to mean something different from their meaning in formal English. Use context clues to figure out the meaning of idioms and slang.

The mosquitoes drove us crazy on our hike through the woods. (idiom)

That's a really cool backpack that you are wearing. (slang)

TIP One way to clarify your understanding of a word is to write a sentence using that word. Use one of the context-clue strategies in your sentence. For example, use restatement or definition clues in a sentence where understanding a word's precise meaning is important.

For more about context clues, see page 67; about idioms and slang, see page 142.

2 Word Parts

If you know roots, base words, and affixes, you can figure out the meanings of many new words.

2.1 Base Words A base word is a complete word that can stand alone. Other words or word parts can be added to base words to form new words.

2.2 Roots Many English words contain roots that come from older languages, such as Latin, Greek, or Old English. A root is a word part that conveys the core meaning 01 a word. Knowing the meaning of a word's root can help you determine the word's meaning.








to turn



step, degree


2.3 Prefixes A prefix is a word part that appears at the beginning of a root or base word to form a new word. A prefix usually changes the meaning of a root or a base word.





out, from



in, into, not






forward, favoring



again, back



not, opposite


2.4 Suffixes A suffix is a word part that appears at the end of a root or base word to form a new word. Some suffixes do not change word meaning.

These suffixes are

added to nouns to change the number

added to verbs to change the tense

added to adjectives to change the degree of comparison

added to adverbs to show how




-s, -es

to change the number of a noun

snack + -s,


-ed, -ing

to change verb tense

walk + -ed,


walk + -ing, walking

-er, -est

to change the degree of comparison in modifiers

wild + -er,


wild + -est,


Other suffixes are added to a root or base word to change the word's meaning. These suffixes can also be used to change the word's part of speech.




noun -age

action or process

pilgrim + -age, pilgrimage

adjective -able


remark + -able, remarkable

verb -ize

to make

public + -ize, publicize

To find the meaning of an unfamiliar word, divide the word into parts. Think about

the meaning of the prefix, the suffix, and the root or base word. Use what you know to figure out the meaning of the word. Then check to see if the word makes sense in context.

For more about base words, see page 233; about prefixes and suffixes, see page 309.


3 Word Origins

When you study a word's history and origin, you find out when, where, and how the word came to be. A complete dictionary entry includes each word's history.

drama (dr'ä'ma) n. 1. A work that is meant to be performed by actors. 2. Theatrical works of a certain type or period in history. [Late Latin drama, dramat-, from Greek dran, to do or perform.]

This entry shows you that the earliest known ancestor of the word drama is the Greek word Bran.

3.1 Word Families Words that have the same root make up a word family and have related meanings. The charts below show two common Greek and Latin roots. Notice how the meanings of the example words are related to the meanings of their roots.

Latin Root: sens, to sense or feel

English: sensory perceived through one of the senses

sensitive responds to senses or feelings

sensation a perception or feeling

Greek Root: ast(e)r, star

English: asteroid a small object in outer space

asterisk a star-shaped punctuation mark

astronomy the study of outer space

TIP Once you recognize a root in one English word, you will notice the same root in other words. Because these words developed from the same root, all of them share a core meaning.

3.2 Foreign Words Some words come into the English language and stay the way they were in their original language.












For more about word families, see page 233; about researching word origins, see page 742.

4 Synonyms and Antonyms

When you read, pay attention to the precise words a writer uses.

4.1 Synonyms A synonym is a word that has the same or almost the same meaning as another word. Read each set of synonyms listed below.







TIP You can find synonyms in a thesaurus or dictionary. In a dictionary, synonyms are often given as part of the definition of a word. Although synonyms have similar meanings, the words do not necessarily mean exactly the same thing.


4.2 Antonyms An antonym is a word with a meaning opposite of that of another word. Read each set of antonyms listed below.







Sometimes an antonym is formed by adding the negative prefix anti-, in-, or un  to a word as in the chart below.













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