Online materials or websites for additional reading

stcait
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Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby stcait » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:30 am

Hi,

I'm looking for websites or online materials which have similar topics or structures as RC for practice and for additional reading.
Such as science, social science, humanity, law...
(If possible, those post new articles regularly.)
Does anyone know such websites?

Thanks!

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iamgeorgebush
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby iamgeorgebush » Tue Oct 15, 2013 7:50 am

The Economist, Scientific American, New York Magazine, the Atlantic, for starters.

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SecondWind
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby SecondWind » Tue Oct 15, 2013 4:06 pm

iamgeorgebush wrote:The Economist, Scientific American, New York Magazine, the Atlantic, for starters.


In addition, http://www.academicjournals.org/journal ... _Education

Do a search of the forums. This question is asked and answered at least once a month since the inception of TLS.

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Jeffort
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby Jeffort » Wed Oct 16, 2013 2:58 am

Within the mentioned and whatever other sources you find for higher level reading material, look for articles that are heavier with presenting points of view/theories/opinions about topics rather than articles that are merely informative/descriptive about particular topics.

This is important because most of what LSAT RC passages and questions are testing you about are the perspectives/main points of view taken by the participants and their relationships to one another rather than on your retention of the supporting details offered to justify those positions/main conclusions. After you read an article test yourself a little by trying to summarize the various conclusions/points of view/positions presented in the article and how they relate to one another and to the main topic of discussion. Doing that helps train your mind to read for the types of structural relationships/main parts of passages/articles that LSAT RC questions mostly test you about.

If you mainly read to learn and retain the details used to support arguments/points of view about topics instead of just trying to remember the main points, you will be overlooking the main aspects that are important to focus on and will have trouble answering RC questions accurately since the supporting details aren't really the important stuff to focus on trying to remember.

The important aspect of dealing with the details is pretty much just being clear which main point/idea the details are associated with/used to support, meaning which point/idea they were offered to prove. Many attractive wrong answer choices simply mismatch the details with a different idea in the passage than the one they were associated with and are very attractive to people that focused mainly on trying to remember all the details instead of remembering the main points they were used to support. Detail focused people gravitate to these trap answers simply because they mention some small detail the person remembers reading and trying to memorize.

If you simply remember the main points made it becomes fairly easy to eliminate tempting wrong answers that mention a detail but try to falsely connect it with a different idea/point in the passage because you'll have a good idea about which types of the details in general were associated with/related to each main idea even if you don't remember the specifics of the details. These types of trap answers also waste a lot of time for test takers that focus mainly on remembering details when reading the passage because they mention details the person remembers, giving it a superficial appearance of correctness. Then that type of test taker will want to spend time going back to the passage to find where they remember reading that detail to compare the text to the answer, then get confused and debate whether the related text supports the answer since it says something different than the answer, totally lose sight of the main ideas and likely get the question wrong while also wasting precious time scouring the passage on a hunt for details to support answer choices.

In short, practice reading everything more for points of view/perspectives/conclusions/big picture/summarizing that stuff and less for trying to remember all the supporting details in order to get better at RC.

stcait
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby stcait » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:42 pm

SecondWind wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:The Economist, Scientific American, New York Magazine, the Atlantic, for starters.


In addition, http://www.academicjournals.org/journal ... _Education

Do a search of the forums. This question is asked and answered at least once a month since the inception of TLS.


Could you paste some of those posts? I couldn't find main ones. Also I couldn't open the link :(


Jeffort wrote:Within the mentioned and whatever other sources you find for higher level reading material, look for articles that are heavier with presenting points of view/theories/opinions about topics rather than articles that are merely informative/descriptive about particular topics.

This is important because most of what LSAT RC passages and questions are testing you about are the perspectives/main points of view taken by the participants and their relationships to one another rather than on your retention of the supporting details offered to justify those positions/main conclusions. After you read an article test yourself a little by trying to summarize the various conclusions/points of view/positions presented in the article and how they relate to one another and to the main topic of discussion. Doing that helps train your mind to read for the types of structural relationships/main parts of passages/articles that LSAT RC questions mostly test you about.

If you mainly read to learn and retain the details used to support arguments/points of view about topics instead of just trying to remember the main points, you will be overlooking the main aspects that are important to focus on and will have trouble answering RC questions accurately since the supporting details aren't really the important stuff to focus on trying to remember.

The important aspect of dealing with the details is pretty much just being clear which main point/idea the details are associated with/used to support, meaning which point/idea they were offered to prove. Many attractive wrong answer choices simply mismatch the details with a different idea in the passage than the one they were associated with and are very attractive to people that focused mainly on trying to remember all the details instead of remembering the main points they were used to support. Detail focused people gravitate to these trap answers simply because they mention some small detail the person remembers reading and trying to memorize.

If you simply remember the main points made it becomes fairly easy to eliminate tempting wrong answers that mention a detail but try to falsely connect it with a different idea/point in the passage because you'll have a good idea about which types of the details in general were associated with/related to each main idea even if you don't remember the specifics of the details. These types of trap answers also waste a lot of time for test takers that focus mainly on remembering details when reading the passage because they mention details the person remembers, giving it a superficial appearance of correctness. Then that type of test taker will want to spend time going back to the passage to find where they remember reading that detail to compare the text to the answer, then get confused and debate whether the related text supports the answer since it says something different than the answer, totally lose sight of the main ideas and likely get the question wrong while also wasting precious time scouring the passage on a hunt for details to support answer choices.

In short, practice reading everything more for points of view/perspectives/conclusions/big picture/summarizing that stuff and less for trying to remember all the supporting details in order to get better at RC.


Thanks for the writing, it's good to know.
One thing...I understand mainpoint>detail, but if you don't remember details, how can you determine which details belong to which side?
Or is it obvious what goes to which side if you grasp their arguments?

Thanks.

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JazzOne
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby JazzOne » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:46 pm

Jeffort wrote:Within the mentioned and whatever other sources you find for higher level reading material, look for articles that are heavier with presenting points of view/theories/opinions about topics rather than articles that are merely informative/descriptive about particular topics.

This is important because most of what LSAT RC passages and questions are testing you about are the perspectives/main points of view taken by the participants and their relationships to one another rather than on your retention of the supporting details offered to justify those positions/main conclusions. After you read an article test yourself a little by trying to summarize the various conclusions/points of view/positions presented in the article and how they relate to one another and to the main topic of discussion. Doing that helps train your mind to read for the types of structural relationships/main parts of passages/articles that LSAT RC questions mostly test you about.

If you mainly read to learn and retain the details used to support arguments/points of view about topics instead of just trying to remember the main points, you will be overlooking the main aspects that are important to focus on and will have trouble answering RC questions accurately since the supporting details aren't really the important stuff to focus on trying to remember.

The important aspect of dealing with the details is pretty much just being clear which main point/idea the details are associated with/used to support, meaning which point/idea they were offered to prove. Many attractive wrong answer choices simply mismatch the details with a different idea in the passage than the one they were associated with and are very attractive to people that focused mainly on trying to remember all the details instead of remembering the main points they were used to support. Detail focused people gravitate to these trap answers simply because they mention some small detail the person remembers reading and trying to memorize.

If you simply remember the main points made it becomes fairly easy to eliminate tempting wrong answers that mention a detail but try to falsely connect it with a different idea/point in the passage because you'll have a good idea about which types of the details in general were associated with/related to each main idea even if you don't remember the specifics of the details. These types of trap answers also waste a lot of time for test takers that focus mainly on remembering details when reading the passage because they mention details the person remembers, giving it a superficial appearance of correctness. Then that type of test taker will want to spend time going back to the passage to find where they remember reading that detail to compare the text to the answer, then get confused and debate whether the related text supports the answer since it says something different than the answer, totally lose sight of the main ideas and likely get the question wrong while also wasting precious time scouring the passage on a hunt for details to support answer choices.

In short, practice reading everything more for points of view/perspectives/conclusions/big picture/summarizing that stuff and less for trying to remember all the supporting details in order to get better at RC.

+1

Clear and concise. Perfect synopsis of RC and typical mistakes.

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SecondWind
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby SecondWind » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:02 am

Jeffort wrote:Within the mentioned and whatever other sources you find for higher level reading material, look for articles that are heavier with presenting points of view/theories/opinions about topics rather than articles that are merely informative/descriptive about particular topics.

This is important because most of what LSAT RC passages and questions are testing you about are the perspectives/main points of view taken by the participants and their relationships to one another rather than on your retention of the supporting details offered to justify those positions/main conclusions. After you read an article test yourself a little by trying to summarize the various conclusions/points of view/positions presented in the article and how they relate to one another and to the main topic of discussion. Doing that helps train your mind to read for the types of structural relationships/main parts of passages/articles that LSAT RC questions mostly test you about.

If you mainly read to learn and retain the details used to support arguments/points of view about topics instead of just trying to remember the main points, you will be overlooking the main aspects that are important to focus on and will have trouble answering RC questions accurately since the supporting details aren't really the important stuff to focus on trying to remember.

The important aspect of dealing with the details is pretty much just being clear which main point/idea the details are associated with/used to support, meaning which point/idea they were offered to prove. Many attractive wrong answer choices simply mismatch the details with a different idea in the passage than the one they were associated with and are very attractive to people that focused mainly on trying to remember all the details instead of remembering the main points they were used to support. Detail focused people gravitate to these trap answers simply because they mention some small detail the person remembers reading and trying to memorize.

If you simply remember the main points made it becomes fairly easy to eliminate tempting wrong answers that mention a detail but try to falsely connect it with a different idea/point in the passage because you'll have a good idea about which types of the details in general were associated with/related to each main idea even if you don't remember the specifics of the details. These types of trap answers also waste a lot of time for test takers that focus mainly on remembering details when reading the passage because they mention details the person remembers, giving it a superficial appearance of correctness. Then that type of test taker will want to spend time going back to the passage to find where they remember reading that detail to compare the text to the answer, then get confused and debate whether the related text supports the answer since it says something different than the answer, totally lose sight of the main ideas and likely get the question wrong while also wasting precious time scouring the passage on a hunt for details to support answer choices.

In short, practice reading everything more for points of view/perspectives/conclusions/big picture/summarizing that stuff and less for trying to remember all the supporting details in order to get better at RC.



This is quite possibly THE best synopsis of basic strategy for RC I've read. Period. This is damn good. Good job Jeffort!

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SecondWind
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby SecondWind » Fri Oct 18, 2013 2:15 am

stcait wrote:
SecondWind wrote:
iamgeorgebush wrote:The Economist, Scientific American, New York Magazine, the Atlantic, for starters.


In addition, http://www.academicjournals.org/journal ... _Education

Do a search of the forums. This question is asked and answered at least once a month since the inception of TLS.


Could you paste some of those posts? I couldn't find main ones. Also I couldn't open the link :(


The link isn't broken, but it seems the Academic Journals website is down so I can only say keep trying on that one.

Sites:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/
http://online.wsj.com/home-page (the last one I would read unless you struggle comprehending % and numbers type questions which are rare on the RC section but common in LR)
http://www.nytimes.com/pages/opinion/index.html (I read the op-ed)
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/
http://www.economist.com/
--LinkRemoved--

Threads:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=208410
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=203798
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=177149

Remember, NOTHING is better to practice with than real LSAT RC passages

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Jeffort
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Re: Online materials or websites for additional reading

Postby Jeffort » Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:18 am

stcait wrote:
Thanks for the writing, it's good to know.
One thing...I understand mainpoint>detail, but if you don't remember details, how can you determine which details belong to which side?


Or is it obvious what goes to which side if you grasp their arguments?



Yes, and the key is to read the passage as a set of several smaller arguments each with a conclusion you need to understand that all add up to the big picture main overall point of the passage rather than reading it as a giant mass of information to simply remember. That simply means reading the whole thing with a focus on finding the conclusions and just understanding the support offered for each one.

The association of details to bigger ideas becomes obvious from having taken the mental effort while originally reading to think about the details in relation to the main point(s) they are intended to support. When you think about and mentally process the details in your mind ALONG with the conclusion/point of view/idea/whatever they are related to you are anchoring them together in your mind because you are consciously thinking about the relationship the details have to the bigger idea that is the main point they justify, helping you to understand WHY the author or whoever believes their stated point, which in turn helps you remember the main points as you read.

Whenever you encounter details in passages and consciously think "oh goodie, details, must remember!" and try to take mental note of the particular fact(s) as just things to memorize, you are not focusing on thinking about the bigger picture ideas they are there to help justify because you are just focusing on the details themselves in isolation of the big picture ideas they are there to support. When doing it this way and not thinking about the details in relation to what they support/illustrate, you have nothing to anchor them to in your memory in terms of how they relate to other things you also read and try to remember, leaving your mind with no big picture organizational system to help keep track of what goes with what.

If you instead encounter details and consciously think "ok, details. Why are they here? What bigger idea(s) near them in the passage are they related to?", and look at the surrounding material (or just remind yourself what the main topic of that paragraph is about or what you just read about right before the details), you will focus your mind on the relationship the details have to their associated main point and see how the details help prove the idea, locking those things together in your head with your thoughts focused more on the main idea than the details. This helps you lock in and retain the main ideas in your short term memory as you read.

If you just focus on memorizing details instead of trying to focus on remembering the main supported ideas, you end up with a blurry mass of unconnected confusing details floating in your head instead of a clear big picture view of the main ideas discussed that incorporate the details. People end up with this blurry disorganized mass of information in their head simply because their mind was focused mainly on thinking about the details while reading instead of paying close attention to main points. Doing that gives your memory nothing to meaningfully associate/anchor them to in a memorable way. It's much easier to remember stuff when you understand how it relates to something else to give it some context for your mind to stick it in. You cannot focus on remembering everything said in the passage equally and expect to remember it all without some sort of organization to make stuff understandable in a context, you need to prioritize your attention and memory while you actively read the passage to make mental glue.

If you focus on spotting and remembering main ideas and just make sure to examine how they are supported with the associated details as you read in order to make sense of the main points made, you'll finish the passage with a nice clean uncluttered memory of the few main ideas discussed fresh in your mind in a simple big picture view. The list of main ideas discussed that you need to remember is pretty small per passage, not usually more than five different but related big ideas, which is much easier to remember than a bunch of only tangentially related scattered minor details from all over the passage with no big picture framework to organize them around in your mind. You just need to focus on finding, identifying and remembering those ~5 big ideas while reading instead of focusing on trying to keep track of all the details and diverting your attention from the more important stuff to focus your mind on in the limited time you have.

When people talk about reading for structure, they are in part talking about the several main ideas in the passage and how they are related to one another for the big picture of everything discussed. The few main ideas are the pieces of the skeleton that the details are stuck to as ugly masses of messy flesh to fill out and support the parts of the body made by the skeleton/main pieces that form the overall body.

Since short term memory is limited and you cannot memorize everything that is said in a passage in ~3 minutes, focusing more on retaining the details while you read takes away memory space for the main ideas, which is why many people that don't read for the big picture feel confused at the end of reading passages and waste a lot of time on the questions only to get many of them wrong no matter how furiously they go back and review the passage to detail check. There are far more various different details per passage to try to remember than there are main points/ideas to keep track of. It's much less mentally taxing to just try to remember the main points instead of trying to master details and also much more helpful for solving questions. People that try to master the details typically work their brains harder than students focusing on main points and also perform much worse partly because they overwhelmed, confused and overworked their brain while reading in a scattered focus way. Sounds kind stupid to do when you look at it that way, but it is the reality of what a lot of people do.

You'll never remember the main points while answering questions if you didn't pay much attention to finding and thinking about them when you read the passage the first time. Many RC failures are simply caused by misplaced focus of what the person thinks about and tries to remember when reading the passage. When reading for details people don't tend to even recognize main points/conclusions simply because they aren't looking for them by processing the paragraphs like arguments that have conclusions and premises, which is what they are!

In short, focusing on remembering the main ideas gives you the big anchors to organize the details around in your mind as you read. If you think about the passages that way WHILE you read them, the questions go wayyy more smoothly. If you remember and understand the main points that were made in the passage in terms of how they were supported, your mind will have the general gist clear of which details supported which main idea because you analyzed the ideas as a premises/conclusion chunk and stuck them in your mind that way.

Associating details with their main point in your memory is easy if you just make yourself do it by asking the 'WHY are these details here? What idea do they support?' question while reading them. Just pause after each paragraph and simply ask yourself "What are the main ideas of that paragraph? what supports or goes against the ideas?" and summarize. That makes your mind focus on main ideas and why you should believe (or at least remember) them (because you read details to support/prove them and thought about the ideas together!) instead of just thinking myopically about scattered details for rote memorization purposes in case a question just wants you to regurgitate a detail (very few RC questions test the details this way!).

It all comes down to big picture thinking.

Hope this is clear.




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