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0001 Meaning of Words and Phrases
0002 Main Idea and Supporting Details
0003 Purpose, Point of View, and Intended Meaning
0004 Analyze the Relationship Among Ideas
0005 Critical Reasoning Skills
0006 Apply Skills for Outlining, Summarizing, and Interpreting
Identify Accurate Summaries, Outlines, and Graphs
Interpret Charts, Tables and Graphs
Practice Reading Tests

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0006 Apply Skills for Outlining and Summarizing Written Materials and Interpreting Information Presented in Graphic Form

Identify an Effective Outline or Graphic Representation of Information Presented in a Paragraph or Passage

Of all the required skills in reading, these may be the most difficult because they are the least practiced. You may be asked on the test to identify which of several choices best organizes or summarizes material for studying.

Organization may take the form of:


an outline or

a map (a graphic form of outlining or notetaking).

A summary is a brief statement of the main ideas and supporting details. It answers the question of what the passage was about and what was said about it. Whatever the form of the test question, there are several things to check for.

First, and probably most important, the outline or summary must be complete. That is, it must include the important points from the entire passage. The testmakers realize that students often begin an outline or a summary in considerable detail and then tire before they reach the end of the passage or section. A correct outline or summary must cover the whole passage.

Another common problem students have when outlining or summarizing that testmakers will check for is the failure to identify the important points made by the author. It is very easy to mistake a lengthy example or cute comment for the important point that introduces the example or contradmtel the comment. Also, the outline or summary must accurately reflect what the author says. Comments outside of the actual passage should be avoided.

Finally, you must recognize that the purpose of outlining or summarizing is to help you study better. Sometimes, the author of a passage may not have used the clearest method of organization in the passage. The wise student will reorganize the passage to make it easier to understand or remember. On the test, therefore, the correct answer may not be the one that simply follows the author’s pattern; it may be one that makes the reading better organized or clearer.