Suggested science reading?

anela00
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Suggested science reading?

Postby anela00 » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:20 pm

I generally can get -0/-1 on reading comprehension, but when there's a hard science article, my error rate usually rises to -3/-4. I know TLSers generally recommend reading The Economist to get used to reading dense material, but what would you recommend to get used to reading hard science articles? Is there a specific magazine or anything? Anything that can be easily obtained? I graduated from college a number of years ago and can't access academic journals anymore.

Thanks in advance!

charliep
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby charliep » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:34 pm

anela00 wrote:I generally can get -0/-1 on reading comprehension, but when there's a hard science article, my error rate usually rises to -3/-4. I know TLSers generally recommend reading The Economist to get used to reading dense material, but what would you recommend to get used to reading hard science articles? Is there a specific magazine or anything? Anything that can be easily obtained? I graduated from college a number of years ago and can't access academic journals anymore.

Thanks in advance!


I used "in search of schrodinger's cat." it was incredibly informative and really well written, you know, for a science book

SchopenhauerFTW
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby SchopenhauerFTW » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:54 pm

Hooray for Schrödinger!

Image

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CorkBoard
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby CorkBoard » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:04 pm

SchopenhauerFTW wrote:Hooray for Schrödinger!

Image



Off topic, but your avatar is amazing.

anela00
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby anela00 » Sat Dec 24, 2011 7:44 pm

Thanks! I'll definitely check that out. Any other suggestions?

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grossindiscretion
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby grossindiscretion » Sun Dec 25, 2011 7:11 pm

Shuffling through Amazon, I can see a couple of science books, each of which I highly recommend, for pretty cheap. Not sure what you are looking for in terms of reading level though.

^For those with but the barest inclinations towards science and no significant tutoring:

A Short History of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson

Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman - Richard Feynman
This one doesn't have strictly to do with science, but there are some sciency parts. Definitely recommended nevertheless. Very enjoyable read. The other Feynman semi-autobiography has more science in it, but is a less enjoyable read imo.




^For those with some tutoring or some interest in science:

A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking

The Greatest Show on Earth - Richard Dawkins HIGHLY recommended.

on second thought, anything by Richard Dawkins at all, excepting possibly The God Delusion. His other, earlier works (particularly The Extended Phenotype, The Selfish Gene, and The Blind Watchmaker) are very good, introductory forays into evolutionary biology. The style is much less dense and a they are a much, much more tolerable read than LSAT passages, but the concepts, presentation, and style are not altogether dissimilar.

Guns, Germs, and Steel - Jared Diamond

Collapse - Jared Diamond




^For those with previous experience with science:

The Meaning of Relativity - Albert Einstein

The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe - Steven Weinberg

The Elegant Universe - Brian Green

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Thomas Kuhn


There are many more on Amazon, and there are scientific articles, pdfs, ebooks, etc. on Google Scholar and plain old Google. Just type in scientific keywords.

Hope this helps, and PM me if you need further specification about something

edit: recommended journals include Nature, Science, and the New England Journal of Medicine. try to find free content somewhere?

senorhosh
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby senorhosh » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:20 am

do you have access to jstor?

Find a science article, any well written article that doesn't have too much jargon, and just read.

After doing a research paper for my pharm. class which included extensive reading all quarter, science articles (and RC in general) were a bit easier.

anela00
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby anela00 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:57 pm

Thanks so much everyone! Really appreciate it.

grossindiscretion wrote:Shuffling through Amazon, I can see a couple of science books, each of which I highly recommend, for pretty cheap. Not sure what you are looking for in terms of reading level though.


I'm just looking for anything that is comparable to the science passages in the real LSAT. I don't have much actual interest in science. :)

senorhosh wrote:do you have access to jstor?


I don't. I graduated from college a few years ago and don't have access to academic journals/databases anymore.

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Jeffort
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby Jeffort » Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:10 am

When working a science based reading comprehension passage make sure to actively look for cause and effect relationships while reading and analyzing it before moving on to reading and answering the questions. Cause and effect relationships/theories are almost always what science passages revolve around in the discussion about the particular subject.

Typically, several of the questions will be about the cause and effect relationships about the subject that are claimed/discussed/evaluated/debated in the passage.

HellOnHeels
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby HellOnHeels » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:04 am

pick up a copy of the latest scientific american magazine. they have a range of topics/easiness to understand.

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MachineLemon
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby MachineLemon » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:54 am

Many articles on this site might be helpful, but some can get pretty technical. This one is particularly interesting.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 203136.htm

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HarlandBassett
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby HarlandBassett » Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:41 pm

is Scientific American still recommended for LSAT RC? The reviews on Amazon say that it is getting dumbed down




"Scientific American was once a great magazine, but now it is just a good magazine. I read Scientific American as a teenager in the 80's, I read it as a student and as an engineer in the 90's and I am still reading Scientific American and subscribing to it. Even today I enjoy reading Scientific American very much, but I am not pleased with the fact that the depth of the articles has decreased.

In the olden days the writers for Scientific American were not afraid of putting mathematical formulas, algorithms, in depth analysis, and statistics as well as references to research articles in their articles. Today's Scientific American is not written by scientists, but by journalists and free lancers.

It used to be that scientists and engineers interested in fields outside their own areas of expertise were the magazine's target audience. Now, however, Scientific American is aimed at general readers who are interested in science. Scientific American is now looking more like Discover magazine. In my opinion Discover magazine and Scientific American should complement each other (in depth reading vs. light reading) and not be so similar.

Another wrong turn that they have taken is that they have become slightly political with a noticeable left-wing agenda. For example, the attack on Björn Lomborg should never have occurred and would have been unthinkable 15 years ago. Scientific American should be apolitical in my opinion. I understand that these changes were made for business reasons.

However, the illustrations are great, the topics are varied and include, for example, medicine, physics, chemistry, biology, cosmology, artificial intelligence, economics, geology, archeology, and social science. I am interested in all of these subjects, but I enjoy reading about physics, cosmology and artificial intelligence the most. I always find something interesting to read in Scientific American. I highly recommend Scientific American even though I would like them to take one step back with regards to the depth of the content. "

bp shinners
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby bp shinners » Sun Jan 01, 2012 2:00 pm

HarlandBassett wrote:
It used to be that scientists and engineers interested in fields outside their own areas of expertise were the magazine's target audience. Now, however, Scientific American is aimed at general readers who are interested in science.


That's the type of thing you're looking for - the LSAT is very unlikely to include an equation on the science LSAT passage.

Scientific American is now looking more like Discover magazine.


Another good magazine to pick up for this purpose (though 'fluffier' than SA).

Another wrong turn that they have taken is that they have become slightly political with a noticeable left-wing agenda.


Unfair criticism. Everyone knows science is slightly biased towards the liberals, just like reality. ;-)

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Jeffort
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby Jeffort » Mon Jan 02, 2012 4:47 am

bp shinners wrote:
the LSAT is very unlikely to include an equation on the science LSAT passage.



If LSAC ever includes equations they require test takers to deal with, especially ones such as these, it would probably cause some test takers heads to explode:

Image

The above equations are just a few of many involved in the process used to develop and assemble administered LSAT test-forms.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

When working science based passages, actively look for/pay attention to cause and effect relationships that are discussed. They will be in there and several of the questions will test you about them.

bp shinners
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby bp shinners » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:25 pm

Jeffort wrote:When working science based passages, actively look for/pay attention to cause and effect relationships that are discussed. They will be in there and several of the questions will test you about them.


Also, ask and answer these four questions:
1) What was the old theory on the topic being discussed?
2) What study/event called this theory into question?
3) What is the new theory?
4) Does the author buy it?

Those ideas are usually what the questions come down to, on top of the causal relationships of the studies themselves.

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JamMasterJ
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Re: Suggested science reading?

Postby JamMasterJ » Mon Jan 02, 2012 3:27 pm

Scientific American is the source for many RC passages and a lot of the articles are written in a very similar manner to RC stuff.

It helped me learn how to read and understand things even when I had no clue what the writer was talking about. Made it easier to "get" the arguments and main points without having to understand the minutia of the passage




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