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Placement Test Resources for PERT Reading

Skill: Determining Main Ideas

The main idea is the most important idea in reading.  It is also called the author’s point.  The main idea statement covers all the major details.
Reading for the Main Idea
Supporting Details

Skill: What is the Author's Purpose 

An Introduction to Purpose and Tone  

Skill: Making Inferences

How to Make an Inference  

Skill: Recognizing Patterns of Organization

Patterns of Organization and Their Clue Words
Patterns of Organization Practice 1
Patterns of Organization Practice 2

Skill: Determining Relationships Between Sentences & Within Sentences

Some Common English Transition Words and Phrases
Transition Words and Phrases
Transitional Words & Phrases

Skill: Determining Bias

Bias is when a statement reflects a partiality, preference, or prejudice for or against a person, object, or idea. Much of what you read and hear expresses a bias. Bias is when a writer or speaker uses a selection of facts, choice of words, and the quality and tone of description, to convey a particular feeling or attitude. Its purpose is to convey a certain attitude or point of view toward the subject.

As you read or listen to biased materials, keep the following questions in mind:

What facts has the author omitted?

What additional information is necessary?

What words create positive or negative impressions?

What impression would I have if different words had been used?

Biased information tries to change your mind, how you think. Being aware of and knowing how to identify, analyze, and assimilate biased information properly is a skill to be treasured. It puts you in charge of how you think instead of the print and media world. (Cuesta College Critically Evaluating the Logic and Validity of Information)

Reading for Thinking – Online Practice
Recognizing Purpose and Bias

Skill: Determining Fact & Opinion

A fact is an actual thing that exists and is provable, observable, and measurable. A discussion of a fact might include the following: numbers, corroborate, statistics, record, verified, substantiate, document, prove, eyewitness, photographs.

Facts are certainties.

An opinion is a personal belief or judgment that is not founded on proof or certainty.

Opinions are debatable.

Distinguishing Between Fact and Opinion Practice

Skill: Determining the Implied Main Idea

The implied main idea is not stated. Determining the author’s point is similar to making inferences. In this type of question, the reader determines the author’s point by identifying the topic and the major details.

Ask yourself what the author is telling you through these details?

What do they have in common?

What is the common thread?

How to Make an Inference
Implied Main Idea, Exercise 1
How to Find the Implied Main Idea

Skill: Determining the Meaning from Context

 Using Context Clues

 Skill: Determining Author's Tone

 An Introduction to Purpose and Tone
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