6 Golden Rules for Comprehension Notes | Study English Language for SSC CHSL - Verbal

Verbal: 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension Notes | Study English Language for SSC CHSL - Verbal

The document 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension Notes | Study English Language for SSC CHSL - Verbal is a part of the Verbal Course English Language for SSC CHSL.
All you need of Verbal at this link: Verbal

Introduction

Gone are the days where a single sentence contained four hundred words and six compound clauses! These are the days of "plain English". Despite this trend, we are faced with the onerous task of having to comprehend piles of notes, books, emails, letters, and reports. Although the format may be simpler, the amount of information we have to digest in these modern times is unprecedented. 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension Notes | Study English Language for SSC CHSL - Verbal

  • The word comprehension’ actually’ means ‘grasping with intellect’ and ‘understanding.’ 
  • Reading comprehension strategies are tools that everyone can use to help understand the meaning of what they read. 
  • Comprehension depends on the complexity of the text, or the sophistication of vocabulary. Some texts, like Dr. Seuss's "Cat in the Hat" are very simple to understand. Other texts, such as "The American Constitution" are very difficult to comprehend as they contain complex words and long sentences. 

In the last twenty years, there has been a focus in the business world to simplify the use of language in all forms of documentation.

  • Legal contracts have become much easier to read. 
  • Business letters are less prosaic and more direct.

Golden Rule 1: Analyze the 'Non-Verbals'

  • Before commencing reading, you should take a few moments to look at the non-verbal forms of communication in the document you wish to comprehend. 
  • The non-verbals are the messages that are not contained in words, but rather in the design of the document
  • You should flick through the document and first look at the photographs, pictures, charts, and graphs. Scrutinize these items and build a mental picture of what the document is saying. Pictures allow a very rapid way of comprehending the material and the human brain is typically much better at remembering pictures than words and verbal concepts. 
  • Look at the quality of the document. Does it have a professional layout? Is it well structured? Viewing the non-verbals is an important prelude to the next phase as it prepares our minds to receive and analyze information.

Golden Rule 2: Gain an overview

A golden rule of great comprehension is to gain an overview of the document you wish to read. This means reading selective parts of the document until you gain a perspective.

  • Read the headings. 
  • Look through the table of contents. 
  • Peruse the index. 
  • Read highlighted points. 
  • Read the first and last paragraph. 
  • Read emphasized words in the document.
  • Examine the captions on pictures, graphs, and tables. 

Once you have gained a mental picture of the document, you can then decide what to do with it! 

Golden Rule 3: Understand Purpose
When reading, it is important to consider two things.
(i) First, what knowledge do you want to extract from the text?

  • Do you want to read the text for enjoyment?
  • Do you wish to memorize the information?
  • Do you wish to gain an overview of the information?
  • Do you need to perform a detailed analysis?
  • Do you need to quickly sift through the text to see if it contains any references to a particular subject?
  • Do you want an objective review?

(ii) Second, what did the author set out to achieve in writing the text?

  • Were they trying to describe something?
  • Were they writing an informative text?
  • Were they explaining something?
  • Are they writing instructions?
  • Are they trying to persuade you to a point of view?

Once you recognize what you need from the information and also what the author's purpose was for writing the text, you see if there is a match. If you are seeking an objective review of a subject and it is clear that the author is trying to persuade you to one point of view, the document is at cross purposes with your needs. You could reject the document and seek a better source. If you are happy with the match, then you can proceed with a more detailed reading.

Golden Rule 4: Decide on your Response

  • Being an effective reader is not about reading and understanding everything that comes your way. It is about matching your response to information with its relevance and importance. 
  • The time-tested 80 / 20 rule applies to reading too. Only 20% of the information pushed your way needs to be read with high comprehension. The other 80% can be thrown away, delegated to others to read or put on file. Becoming a great reader means identifying the information that requires detailed, high comprehension reading. 
  • From this information, you might want to take notes, apply a coloured highlighter, and prepare action items after you read it. You may want to immediately make calendar entries, prepare emails, or add topics to your to-do list.

Golden Rule 5: High Comprehension Reading

At this stage, you have gained an overview of the document by viewing the nonverbals, and by building a mental summary of the document by reading the key parts. You have decided that this document is important and is worth reading to gain the first-rate understanding. 

Now you are motivated. Motivation is critical for great comprehension as motivation leads to focus and concentration, both of which are essential ingredients necessary to engage your memory into .learning mode". You need to read it. You are ready. Start reading! As you are reading involve as many senses as you can in the reading process; this will greatly contribute to your understanding and recall:

  • Make notes.
  • Draw pictures of the information
    Example: Mind maps
  • Highlight keywords
  • Scribble notes in the margin
  • Say out the key phrases to yourself.

Additionally, as you read, you should build a sequence of pictures to represent the information you are reading. We remember pictures much better than words!

Once you have finished reading, attend to your action items; send emails, update your schedule, add calendar items.

Golden Rule 6: Highest Comprehension Reading

  • This last step is a little-known secret in the business world. Some information is so important that it requires the very highest level of comprehension and retention. It may be information that you need to use and apply every day as a core part of your studies or career. 
  • The secret to the highest comprehension reading is reinforcement. If you wait two or three days and re-read the original information, your long-term comprehension and memory of the information will be improved significantly. 
  • Each time involve your senses by making notes and voicing out the information and ideas to yourself. If you apply this kind of reinforcement three or four times, you will enjoy the highest comprehension.

Let's practice some questions below by applying these Golden Rules.

Passage 1: CAT Reading Comprehension: Power in Language

The first systems of writing developed and used by the Germanic peoples were runic alphabets. The runes functioned as letters, but they were much more than just letters in the sense in which we today understand the term. Each rune was an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological principle or power, and to write a rune was to invoke and direct the force for which it stood. Indeed, in every Germanic language, the word “rune” (from Proto-Germanic *runo) means both “letter” and “secret” or “mystery,” and its original meaning, which likely predated the adoption of the runic alphabet, may have been simply “(hushed) message.”

Each rune had a name that hinted at the philosophical and magical significance of its visual form and the sound for which it stands, which was almost always the first sound of the rune’s name. For example, the T-rune, called *Tiwaz in the Proto-Germanic language, is named after the god Tiwaz (known as Tyr in the Viking Age). Tiwaz was perceived to dwell within the daytime sky, and, accordingly, the visual form of the T-rune is an arrow pointed upward (which surely also hints at the god’s martial role). The T-rune was often carved as a standalone ideograph, apart from the writing of any particular word, as part of spells cast to ensure victory in battle. 

The runic alphabets are called “futharks” after the first six runes (Fehu, Uruz, Thurisaz, Ansuz, Raidho, Kaunan), in much the same way that the word “alphabet” comes from the names of the first two Hebrew letters (Aleph, Beth). There are three principal futharks: the 24-character Elder Futhark, the first fully-formed runic alphabet, whose development had begun by the first century CE and had been completed before the year 400; the 16-character Younger Futhark, which began to diverge from the Elder Futhark around the beginning of the Viking Age (c. 750 CE) and eventually replaced that older alphabet in Scandinavia; and the 33-character Anglo-Saxon Futhorc, which gradually altered and added to the Elder Futhark in England. On some inscriptions, the twenty-four runes of the Elder Futhark were divided into three ættir (Old Norse, “families”) of eight runes each, but the significance of this division is unfortunately unknown. 

Runes were traditionally carved onto stone, wood, bone, metal, or some similarly hard surface rather than drawn with ink and pen on parchment. This explains their sharp, angular form, which was well-suited to the medium. 

Much of our current knowledge of the meanings the ancient Germanic peoples attributed to the runes comes from the three “Rune Poems,” documents from Iceland, Norway, and England that provide a short stanza about each rune in their respective futharks (the Younger Futhark is treated in the Icelandic and Norwegian Rune Poems, while the Anglo-Saxon Futhorc is discussed in the Old English Rune Poem). 

While runologists argue over many of the details of the historical origins of runic writing, there is widespread agreement on a general outline. The runes are presumed to have been derived from one of the many Old Italic alphabets in use among the Mediterranean peoples of the first century CE, who lived to the south of the Germanic tribes. Earlier Germanic sacred symbols, such as those preserved in northern European petroglyphs, were also likely influential in the development of the script. 

The earliest possibly runic inscription is found on the Meldorf brooch, which was manufactured in the north of modern-day Germany around 50 CE. The inscription is highly ambiguous, however, and scholars are divided over whether its letters are runic or Roman. The earliest unambiguous runic inscriptions are found on the Vimose comb from Vimose, Denmark and the Øvre Stabu spearhead from southern Norway, both of which date to approximately 160 CE. The earliest known carving of the entire futhark, in order, is that on the Kylver stone from Gotland, Sweden, which dates to roughly 400 CE. 

The transmission of writing from southern Europe to northern Europe likely took place via Germanic warbands, the dominant northern European military institution of the period, who would have encountered Italic writing firsthand during campaigns amongst their southerly neighbors. This hypothesis is supported by the association that runes have always had with the god Odin, who, in the Proto-Germanic period, under his original name *Woðanaz, was the divine model of the human warband leader and the invisible patron of the warband’s activities. The Roman historian Tacitus tells us that Odin (“Mercury” in the interpretatio romana) was already established as the dominant god in the pantheons of many of the Germanic tribes by the first century. 

From the perspective of the ancient Germanic peoples themselves, however, the runes came from no source as mundane as an Old Italic alphabet. The runes were never “invented,” but are instead eternal, pre-existent forces that Odin himself discovered by undergoing a tremendous ordeal. 


Q.1. The word “pantheon” in the passage refers to

(a) A temple of all the gods

(b) All the gods collectively of a religion

(c) A monument or building commemorating a nation's dead heroes

(d) A domed circular temple at Rome, erected a.d. 120–124 by Hadrian

Answer: B

Solution: We find the word "pantheon" in the following line of the passage:

"The Roman historian Tacitus tells us that Odin (“Mercury in the interpretatio romana) was already established as the dominant god in the pantheons of many of the Germanic tribes by the first century."

Here, clearly, it refers to Odin being the dominant god amongst all gods of the Germanic tribes.

So option B is the correct choice.


Try yourself:Which of the following can be inferred from the passage?
a. Runic script was most likely derived from Old Italic script.
b. Runes were not used so much as a simple writing system, but rather as magical signs to be used for charms.
c. In the Proto-Germanic period, the god Tiwaz was associated with war, victory, marriage and the diurnal sky.
d. The knowledge of the meanings attributed to the runes of the Younger Futhark is derived from the three Rune poems.
View Solution


Q.2. Which of the following statements is incorrect?

(a) Unlike the Latin alphabet, which is an essentially utilitarian script, the runes are symbols of some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos

(b) Runic writing was probably first used in southern Europe and was carried north by Germanic tribes.

(c) The word “rune” and its meaning was derived from the runic alphabet.

(d) The first runic alphabets date back to the 1st century CE.

Answer: C

Solution: Let us consider the statements in order.

Statement 1: Unlike the Latin alphabet, which is an essentially utilitarian script, the runes are symbols of some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos.

From the passage, we know this to be true. Runes functioned as letters, but they were much more than just letters. Each rune was an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological power.

Statement 2: Runic writing was probably first used in southern Europe and was carried north by Germanic tribes. Again, this is stated in the passage and is correct.

Statement 3: The word “rune? and its meaning was derived from the runic alphabet

The word “rune? means both “letter? and “secret? and its original meaning predated the adoption of the runic alphabet. Hence statement 3 is incorrect.

Statement 4: The first runic alphabets date back to the 1st century CE.

Indeed, according to the passage, the development of the Elder Futhark had begun by the first century. So this statement is correct.

Hence, the answer is C


Q.3. Which of the following cannot be reasonably inferred with regard to the beliefs of the Proto-Germanic people? 

(a) Odin came upon the runes after going through a lot of torment.

(b) The name of a rune was almost always the first sound of a God’s name

(c) The cosmological power represented by a rune was invoked by writing it.

(d) Proto-German Gods were modeled on humans

Answer: B

Solution: Let us consider the statements in order.
Statement a - Odin came upon the runes after going through a lot of torment.
True, stated in the last couple of paragraphs.
Statement b - The name of a rune was almost always the first sound of a God’s name.
False. Each rune had a name which was almost always the first sound of the rune’s name. Though the example of the T rune and Tiwaz is given in the passage, it is not stated as a general rule that the name of a rune is the first sound of a God’s name. It is the first sound of the rune’s name.
Statement c - The cosmological power represented by a rune was invoked by writing it.
True.
Statement d - Proto-German Gods were modeled on humans.
True. The passage gives the example of Woðanaz, the divine model of the human warband leader.
So the correct answer choice is option b.

The document 6 Golden Rules for Comprehension Notes | Study English Language for SSC CHSL - Verbal is a part of the Verbal Course English Language for SSC CHSL.
All you need of Verbal at this link: Verbal
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