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Ch 12: Interpreting Theme & Meaning

About This Chapter

Review how to interpret theme and meaning to prepare for the Comprehensive English Regents exam. Video lessons and quizzes cover various reading strategies and multiple-choice-test-taking strategies, among other topics.

Interpreting Theme & Meaning - Chapter Summary

Review terminology related to prose and poetry and learn about themes and motifs through this chapter on interpreting theme and meaning. You'll explore close reading vs. big picture reading strategies and examine how structure in writing affects its meaning. Other lessons in this chapter cover the following topics:

  • Constructing meaning with context clues, prior knowledge and word structure
  • Reading strategies using visualization
  • Connotation and denotation
  • Tone vs. mood: Interpreting meaning in prose
  • Understanding tone and mood in a reading passage
  • Symbolism and imagery in literature
  • Analyzing literary passages
  • Using text to guide your interpretation of literary meaning
  • Test-taking strategies for multiple-choice questions about literature

Our team of professional educators developed the video lessons in this chapter to help you prepare for the Comprehensive English Regents exam. You can typically watch our videos in less than 10 minutes, and their engaging, easy-to-follow manner makes learning fun. Each video is accompanied by a written transcript and a brief self-assessment quiz, which allows you to test your skills at interpreting theme and meaning.

Comprehensive English Regents Exam Objectives

New York State high school students must earn a specific number of credits and pass several Regents exams, including the Comprehensive English Regents exam, to earn their Regents Diploma and qualify for graduation. The three-hour, four-section English exam tests your skills at listening, reading and writing for information and understanding, as well as your ability to read and write for literary response and critical analysis. You'll have to answer multiple-choice questions, in addition to written-response queries.

15 Lessons in Chapter 12: Interpreting Theme & Meaning
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose

1. Glossary of Literary Terms: Prose

The study of literature is a broad, diverse field. However, there's some general knowledge you should have before you dive in. Check out these terms to get a handle on the basics of prose study.

Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry

2. Glossary of Literary Terms: Poetry

Before you start your study of poetry, you'll want to have these technical, literary and genre terms at your disposal. Read on to learn the basics of analyzing poetry!

What is Inference? - How to Infer Intended Meaning

3. 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.

Close Reading vs. Big Picture Reading Strategies

4. 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.'

Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

5. Constructing Meaning with Context Clues, Prior Knowledge & Word Structure

In this lesson, you will learn how readers use prior knowledge, context clues and word structure to aid their understanding of what they read. Explore these strategies through examples from literature and everyday life.

Reading Strategies Using Visualization

6. Reading Strategies Using Visualization

In this lesson, we will define visualization. We will then discuss why this step is important, how we can visualize, and when you should visualize. Finally, we will look at a sample from a poem and practice visualizing.

What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

7. What Are Connotation and Denotation? - Definitions & Examples

Discover the difference between a word's denotation and its connotation in this lesson. Explore how authors use both denotation and connotation to add layers of meaning to their work with some literary examples.

What is Structure in Writing and How Does it Affect Meaning?

8. 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.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

9. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.

Tone vs. Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose

10. Tone vs. Mood: Interpreting Meaning In Prose

In this lesson, learn the difference between the tone and the mood of a piece of prose. Explore examples of how tone and mood are conveyed by authors through word choice and telling details.

Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

11. Understanding Tone and Mood in a Reading Passage

In this lesson, we will define the literary terms tone and mood. We will then discuss how to identify each of them, as well as how to identify them in small reading passages.

Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

12. Symbolism & Imagery in Literature: Definitions & Examples

In this lesson you will learn how poets and authors use symbolism in their writing to make it more meaningful and interesting. Explore how descriptive writing called imagery appeals to the senses, adding to works of literature.

How to Analyze a Literary Passage: A Step-by-Step Guide

13. 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.

Interpreting Literary Meaning: How to Use Text to Guide Your Interpretation

14. 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.

How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions About Literature: Test-Taking Strategies

15. How to Answer Multiple Choice Questions About Literature: Test-Taking Strategies

In this lesson, we will examine test taking strategies involved in answering multiple-choice questions about literature. Breaking the process down into manageable parts, we will take a look at the literary text, the question itself, and then the given choices.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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