CPE Reading Strategies

CPE Reading Strategies
Task I
Summarize 1 or more of the authors’ ideas on a
given topic
Draw a relationship between (compare) aspects of
the readings
Analyze and evaluate (give your response to) an
aspect of the readings
Relate the content of the readings to your
experiences or beliefs
Analyze the Reading: Vocabulary
 Go back and check the meaning of
circled words and phrases.
 Identify key words
 Write a brief definition of those words
in the margin or at the bottom of the
Analyze the Reading
 Re-read the essay slowly and carefully.
 Isolate the single most important generalization
the author makes: the thesis.
 Follow the author’s line of thought
 What is the structure of the author’s argument?
 The thesis determines the structure!!!
 Thesis: the generalization the author is
trying to prove.
 What is the author trying to prove?
 Thesis may be in stated in one place, at the
beginning or at the end, or sometimes it is
never stated directly.
 When you get the main idea, find the thesis
and underline it. If there are several that
appear to be the thesis, they probably fit
together, some supporting one main idea.
Reread the Essay for Structure
 What are the main divisions in the essay?
 If there is an introduction, draw a line under
it and label it ‘intro’.
 Where is the body?
 What are the main points made in the body?
What points does the writer make to prove
the thesis?
 Are some paragraphs just illustrations of a
main point?
 Are some paragraphs transitions from one
point to another?
Structural Divisions
 Locate the points in each structural division: what is
the topic sentence of each important paragraph?
 Underline the topic sentence.
 Sometimes the topic sentence is at the beginning and
sometimes at the end of the paragraph.
Skeleton of the Argument
 The thesis and the main points are the skeleton of the
author’s argument
 Follow the author’s reasoning by tracing the argument
 Use transitional or structural words like ‘but’
‘moreover’ or ‘on the other hand’ to figure out the
relationship between the points.
What is the main point
that the author is
trying to make?
Write out a thesis statement
for the entire essay.
Mark up the long reading.
 What is the author’s main claim or
main idea? What is the thesis?
 What does the author use as a
support for his or her thesis?
 How convincing do you find the
author’s argument? Which parts or
ideas are most convincing? Which
How could the reading be used for
Task I?
 What sections(s) of the reading might
the test focus on?
 What theme(s) might the test ask you
to write about?
 What personal experiences or
observations could you relate to the
ideas and main points in the reading?

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