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0001 Meaning of Words and Phrases
0002 Main Idea and Supporting Details
0003 Analyze Relationship Among Ideas
0004 Critical-Reasoning Skills
Opinion, Point of View, or Position
Assumptions on Validity of an Argument
Logical Arguments and Faulty Reasoning
Fact and Opinion
0005 Apply Skills for Summarizing, Outlining, and Interpreting
Practice Reading Tests

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0004 Use Critical-Reasoning Skills to Evaluate Written Material

Interpret a Passage to Determine the Writer's Opinion, Point of View, or Position on an Issue

Writer’s must make critical word choices to establish the tone that will get their ideas across to a particular audience. Do the words used by a writer achieve the intended effect for the selected audience?

For example:

What effect would the sentence below have on an intended audience of college students?

“Now, y’all know that reading good is something that everybody’s got to do in college.”

The words used in that sentence would certainly not convince beginning college students that reading is the skill that most determines college success because:

The words are slang and negate both the serious purpose and intent of the writer, and

They are demeaning to the audience in the serious context of the topic due to the level of education of the members of the audience.

Word choices that are not appropriate for the intended audience can have the opposite effect of the author’s intent. Your ability to correctly evaluate the effectiveness of the writer’s choice of words for the intended audience and purpose is a good measure of your own understanding of the passage.