5. Simplify or “quote off” details or jargon. For instance, the term “diachronic” needs a pair of quotes, so that you do not focus on it. You might even think of it just as “ d- something.” The final list of a few simple sentences could come out this way: (1) There was lead dust in various environments. (2) Young children in these environments were exposed to this dust by accident. (3) This exposure may have changed how the children behaved. (4) This whole matter was investigated. (5) In this “diachronic” investigation, two sample groups were tracked over time. This unpacked “story” is easier to dive into and understand than the original sentence—even though the story contains nearly twice as many words! Also note that the subject and verb of the original sentence do not appear until the end. This phenomenon is very common. Often, it is easiest to understand the outer “frame” of the original sentence last. Again, it is often not practical to employ such an elaborate process in real time on the GRE. However, knowing how to break down a complex sentence into its component ideas can help you read more effi- ciently in general. In addition, you can use this technique if you are stuck on one of the early sentences, although it will require some effort. Incidentally, the ten-dollar word diachronic means “happening over time” in certain technical settings. If you needed to know that word, you would be able to infer its meaning from context. For instance, the pas- sage might contrast this decades-long diachronic investigation with a synchronic study of a cross-section of people all examined at one time. For GRE passages, you need to have an educated adult’s working vocabu- lary, but you will not need advanced knowledge of truly specialized jargon. For more on this issue, see the Vocabulary and Reading Comp appendix on page 189. Principle #5: Link to What You Have Just ReadAs you read further, you must continue to ask yourself about the meaningand purposeof what you arereading. What does this sentence mean, in relation to everything else I have read? Why is this sentencehere? What function does it serve in relation to the previous text?
INTRODUCTION TO PRINCIPLES 20 Manhattan GRE Prep Chapter 1 the new standard * What kinds of relationships can a sentence have to the previous text? In general, you should think about these possibilities: (1) Is the new sentence expected or surprising ?
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