- Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:40 am
Hi deke! It sounds like you're doing a great job to prepare for the test, and working hard to implement a lot of the tips and tricks we talk about. Nice going, and keep it up!
If you find yourself losing track of what the passage is about, one thing that many students can find helpful is pausing in between paragraphs on RC passages. After each paragraph, take a second to think about the "main point" of that paragraph. What was that paragraph about in a few words? How does that paragraph tie in with the structure of the rest of the passage? You can keep that paragraph summary in your head, or write it down quickly if that helps. That way, you can create a running outline of the passage as you go. Then when you get to the end of the passage, take another quick second to think about the Main Point for the passage as a whole, by tying together the main points of each paragraph that you already made. This usually leads in nicely to the first question for the passage (typically a Main Point question), but even if there isn't a Main Point question it's still key for having a good understanding of the passage before you dive into the questions.
Also, remember that while VIEWSTAMP can be a very useful framework and tool, it is not The One Way of diagramming a RC passage. Unlike LG and LR, there isn't as much of a "correct" way to approach RC passages since everyone reads and retains information differently. For example I pick up on and remember Tone words very well when I read so I don't really feel the need to underline them, whereas underlining and calling attention to specific Viewpoints (e.g. "Hobbes argues...") I find extremely helpful. If you find yourself getting too bogged down with underlining small details and missing the big picture, then maybe try underlining less. When you go back and review RC passages you've done, be critical of your underlining/diagramming. Which parts that you underlined ended up being essential for understanding the passage and answering the questions? Which ones didn't end up being helpful? Were there parts that you should have underlined but you didn't?
Hope that helps! Keep up the good work.