About This Chapter
ACT Reading: Understanding Reading Passages - Chapter Summary
The ACT reading test contains passages pertaining to prose fiction, social studies, natural sciences and the humanities. Various reading strategies may apply more directly to specific types of content. This chapter presents the following handy comprehension topics through short videos and quick quizzes:
- Use context to find meaning
- How to infer intended meaning
- Construct meaning with context clues
- Understand tone and mood
- Compare 'big picture' and 'close' reading strategies
- Use text to guide interpretations of literary meaning
- Compare connotation and denotation
ACT Reading Objectives
You'll find a systematic guide for analyzing a literary passage and learn how writing structure affects meaning in this chapter. The reading section of the ACT test measures your reading comprehension with 40 questions completed in 35 minutes. Our reading lessons address objectives from the ACT test:
- Determine main ideas
- Derive meaning from four types of passages
- Use reasoning to discover implied meanings
- Locate and interpret essential details
- Form conclusions, comparisons and generalizations
- Analyze the author's or narrator's voice
Multiple-choice questions follow the reading passages; there are ten questions per passage. Selections from each of the four types of reading make up 25% of the test. Your score will include sub-scores for combinations of social studies/natural sciences and prose fiction/humanities reading skills, in addition to an overall score based on the entire reading test.
1. How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this lesson, we will examine the steps involved in the basic analysis of literature. Then, using a well-known fable, we will go through each step of analysis: comprehension, interpreting and drawing conclusions.
2. Finding & Interpreting the Main Idea in Literature
Identifying the main idea of a piece of literature is essential to understanding the selection. In this lesson, we will explore the process of finding and interpreting the main idea in a piece of literature.
3. Finding Specific Details in a Reading Selection
Ever have trouble finding a specific detail in a reading selection? Often knowing the structure of the selection will help. This video lesson will give some strategies for finding specific details depending on selection structure.
4. What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning
In this lesson, we will define the terms inference and intended meaning. We will then discuss what steps to take when making inferences in literature.
5. Author's Purpose: Definition & Examples
This lesson explains the purpose behind various types of writing. In addition, author's purpose is defined using examples to illustrate the explanations.
6. Point-of-View: Definition & Examples
Find out what 'point of view' means and how it's used in literature. Learn about some points of view that are used less often, then test your knowledge with a brief quiz.
7. What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?
In this lesson, we will define the role of structure in literature. From there, we will look at the different ways to structure fiction and how it affects the meaning.
8. Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation
In this lesson, we will discuss how to find and interpret literary meaning in writings. The lesson will focus on using the text to find key elements to guide your interpretation.
9. Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies
In this lesson, learn about two different approaches to reading a work of literature: big picture strategies and close reading strategies. Discover how these two perspectives can be put into practice through examples from the play 'Romeo and Juliet.'
10. How to Paraphrase: Definition & Examples
Find out what it means to paraphrase, what the benefits are, and how paraphrasing is different from other ways to cite sources. You will also see examples of the ways paraphrasing can be used.
11. What is a Summary? - Definition & Concept
In this lesson you'll learn what summaries are and how they differ from other forms of condensed writing. You'll also be shown an example of a summary, and what should and should not be included in a summary paragraph.
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