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Getting the Essential Information in Reading: Reading Comprehension Review Study Guide (page 2)

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Updated on Aug 24, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookies

You will need the following ingredients:

      1 cup butter, softened
      1 cup white sugar
      1 cup packed brown sugar
      2 eggs
      2 teaspoons vanilla extract
      3 cups all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon baking soda
      2 teaspoons hot water
      teaspoon salt
      2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
      1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth
  3. Beat in eggs, and then add vanilla
  4. Dissolve baking soda in hot water
  5. Add baking soda and salt to batter
  6. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts
  7. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet
  8. Bake for ten minutes, or until edges are brown

Okay, you've read the recipe. Sounds yummy, right? Let's think about what kinds of questions will lead us to the essential information. What is it that we need to know so we can make the cookies?

      What ingredients do we need?
      How much of each ingredient do we need?
      What do we do first?
      What temperature should the oven be?
      When do we add the nuts?
      What do we bake the cookies on?
      How long do we bake them?

Go back and take a look at the recipe once more. See if you can spot the answers to the questions.

Here are our questions, along with the answers from our recipe:

      What ingredients do we need?
      butter, white sugar, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, baking soda, hot water, salt, chocolate chips, and walnuts
      How much of each ingredient do we need?
      1 cup of butter, 1 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of brown sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons hot water, teaspoon salt, 2 cups chocolate chips, 1 cup walnuts
      What do we do first?
      Preheat the oven.
      What temperature should the oven be?
      350 degrees
      When do we add the nuts?
      after the baking soda and salt, along with the flour and chocolate chips
      What do we bake the cookies on?
      ungreased cookie sheets
      How long do we bake them for?
      ten minutes

Again, it's as simple as carefully combing through the passage and extracting all the essential information. The trick is to be an active reader and to really get into the passage. Be curious. Ask yourself questions. There's a reason the author wrote the passage to begin with. There's always information being communicated to the reader. That makes sense, doesn't it? Otherwise, what's the point?

LET'S RECAP

Reading comprehension is about understanding what you read. To do that, you need to uncover the basic information in the text you're reading. To find the basics, you break the text down into smaller bits so it's easier to manage. Ask yourself questions: "What's being discussed?" "Who's involved?" "When did something happen?" If it's helpful, make notes in the margins, circle, or underline text you think might be important.

Just remember to be an active reader—read each sentence carefully and think about what you're reading!

Practice exercises for this study guide can be found at:

Getting the Essential Information in Reading: Reading Comprehension Review Practice Exercises

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