The Printed Word
By Robert G. Turner Jr., Ph.D.
About the Author
Robert G. Turner Jr. holds a B.S. in business and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in sociology. He has more than 20 years of teaching experience, mainly at the college level, and is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg. Dr. Turner is primarily employed as a professional freelance writer. His literary credits include two stage plays, two novels, and two nonfiction works, along with an array of publications in academic and educational venues.
The purpose of this study unit is to help you get better at reading. It will help you learn how to preview written material and how to scan an ad, a newspaper article, or even a book. When you scan something, you pick up important ideas without reading every word. Next, this unit will help you learn different ways to figure out what words mean. You’ll get practice in figuring out the meaning of words by the way they’re used in a sentence or a passage. You’ll also learn that dictionaries are good friends for people who read.
When you complete this study unit, you’ll be able to
• Preview written matter to get clues as to what it’s about • Scan written passages to locate information that’s of interest to you • Explain the types of information available to you in a dictionary • Use context clues to determine the meanings of words • Correctly use words that have multiple meanings
PRACTICE REVIEW QUIZ PREVIEWING
What Catches Your Attention? Previewing Magazines Previewing Fiction Previewing Nonfiction
11 13 14 16
The Process of Scanning Scanning for Specific Information Tips on Taking Tests
22 23 26
WORKING WITH WORDS
Word Meanings Using a Dictionary Context Clues Multiple Meanings
37 38 40 43
ANSWERS TO PRACTICE REVIEW QUIZ SELF-CHECK ANSWERS REFLECT AND WRITE ANSWERS
57 58 60
The Printed Word
PRACTICE REVIEW QUIZ
Before you get started, take this introductory quiz to see where you stand. You’ll learn what you already know and what you need to learn more about. The quiz isn’t graded, so don’t worry about getting everything right. It’s just a tool that you can use to assess your skills. All learning is about making mistakes and correcting them. Use the practice review quiz to find out what you need to learn more about. When you’re finished, check your answers with those on page 57. Questions 1–3 are based on the following paragraphs. Two important documents mark the birth of the United States. The Declaration of Independence was adopted at Philadelphia in 1776. The Constitution of the United States became the law of the land in 1789. It was also drawn up and deliberated in Philadelphia. As you can see, 13 years separated the first document from the second one. Why do you suppose it took so long for the United States to adopt a constitution? Actually, there are several reasons. For one thing, beginning in 1775, the new nation was busy fighting the Revolutionary War. That war wouldn’t end until after the Battle of Yorktown in 1783. Also, in 1777, all 13 of the colonies had ratified a document called the Articles of Confederation. That document served as a constitution, but it had many flaws. For example, the central government had no way to get money from the states except through voluntary contributions. Therefore, it couldn’t support a federal army. It took
several years for the people in the states to realize that the Articles of Confederation needed to be replaced with something better. The final big reason it took a long time to adopt our Constitution was that the colonists disagreed over basic concerns. Some states wanted a strong central government, while others preferred a weak central government. Many compromises had to be reached as the Constitutional Convention began in 1787. In the end, it was decided that two-thirds of the state governments had to ratify...
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