LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

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ltowns1
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LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby ltowns1 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:36 pm

Sometimes it can be hard for me to get solid comprehension of all the sentences within the stimulus. For the LSAT experts out there, or anyone else, is there a balance between how much you should try to understand the stimulus, and how much you should just look for the structure. Personally, I do find it easier to read for structure. When I don't understand a stimulus adequately, I can usually figure out where the elements are and then figure out the right answer.

trvr
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby trvr » Thu Mar 05, 2015 12:31 am

In tough stimuli, reading for structure first always works better for me. In many of these problems it's unnecessary to fully comprehend every single sentence in the stimulus; just figure out where the important parts are and what they mean.

redfred22
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby redfred22 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:45 pm

Yeah I'd say it's easier to read for structure. For those assumption family questions like sufficient assumption, necessary assumption, strengthen, weaken, and flaw, it's much easier to take a first read through the argument to sort of understand what the argument is getting at (ie, the conclusion). Once you find the conclusion, focus on what supports that conclusion (ie, premise(s)). Doing it that way allows you to break down the longer, more wordy stimuli. A lot of times the wordier stimuli are there to try and throw you off with irrelevant information anyway.

For inference questions, those can be difficult because of what you have to keep straight and because there isn't necessarily an argument to break down. Just focus on what you're reading and try to keep it all straight/keep the information and what connects them together in your mind as best you can. Your best friend on these is to eliminate answer choices that clearly have nothing to do with the stimulus, which should help a ton.

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RZ5646
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby RZ5646 » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:48 pm

100% structure. Note though that a single word can completely change the logical structure, so you still have to make sure you're paying very close attention.

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jthach
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby jthach » Wed Mar 11, 2015 8:21 pm

I say structure too. Blueprint does a great job in highlighting where to look for each and every answer choice. For most of the LR questions, it could just be as simple as finding the conclusion and premises/support. Time is always a consideration too, of course.

Blueprint Ben
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:19 am

RZ5646 wrote:100% structure. Note though that a single word can completely change the logical structure, so you still have to make sure you're paying very close attention.

Right. Here's the thing: You can't actually know the structure of the stimulus unless you have full comprehension of its content. So the answer to your question is "both." Reading for structure isn't a shortcut that will allow you to get around full comprehension. It's a higher level analysis of content, based on the relationships between component parts of the passage. If you're not sure what A means, and you're not sure what B means, how could you possibly be sure of the relationship between A and B? Comprehension is the basic skill. Reading for structure is the higher level skill. So you have to read for full comprehension, but your purpose for reading is greater than comprehension. The purpose is to understand the structure. The same mindset applies to RC. You don't have to hold all of the details in your head the entire time; you just have to organize them around the main points. But you can't actually do that unless you have complete comprehension.

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ltowns1
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby ltowns1 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:12 pm

BP Ben wrote:
RZ5646 wrote:100% structure. Note though that a single word can completely change the logical structure, so you still have to make sure you're paying very close attention.

Right. Here's the thing: You can't actually know the structure of the stimulus unless you have full comprehension of its content. So the answer to your question is "both." Reading for structure isn't a shortcut that will allow you to get around full comprehension. It's a higher level analysis of content, based on the relationships between component parts of the passage. If you're not sure what A means, and you're not sure what B means, how could you possibly be sure of the relationship between A and B? Comprehension is the basic skill. Reading for structure is the higher level skill. So you have to read for full comprehension, but your purpose for reading is greater than comprehension. The purpose is to understand the structure. The same mindset applies to RC. You don't have to hold all of the details in your head the entire time; you just have to organize them around the main points. But you can't actually do that unless you have complete comprehension.


At first I really didn't understand what you were saying, but I think after thinking about it, it makes sense. Ive noticed that just recently I've gotten better at retaining much of the information in RC passages by memorizing where the arguments (or hotspots as I like to call them lol) are. By memorizing the arguments (different viewpoints etc.)within the passage, it allowed me to memorize the entire passage a lot better. You would think it would be the other way around, but it's not.

Blueprint Ben
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Re: LR:Reading for structure or full comprehension

Postby Blueprint Ben » Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:45 pm

ltowns1 wrote:At first I really didn't understand what you were saying, but I think after thinking about it, it makes sense. Ive noticed that just recently I've gotten better at retaining much of the information in RC passages by memorizing where the arguments (or hotspots as I like to call them lol) are. By memorizing the arguments (different viewpoints etc.)within the passage, it allowed me to memorize the entire passage a lot better. You would think it would be the other way around, but it's not.

Absolutely! Focusing on the main points helps you to organize the details more efficiently. But if you think about it, every sentence in a passage conveys a "detail." Only when you understand the relationship between those details can you decide which ones are central and which are peripheral to the purpose of that passage as a whole. But it all requires "comprehension."

eta: This is equally true of LR. You have to understand every part of the stimulus in order to even begin to decide which part is the conclusion, the support, the background information, etc. You work through content to get to structure. There's really no way around that.




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