Reading Comprehension: Three Key Questions

Reading Comprehension = Main Idea + Detail + Inference

Three Key Questions

Reading Comprehension assesses your understanding of what you have read.

Reading Comprehension revolves around reading a passage (a few paragraphs of text) from which the following three key questions are often asked:

(1) Main Idea
• What is the main idea of what you just read?
• The main idea is often found in the title and first paragraph of a passage.
• The main idea might be repeated for emphasis in the last paragraph of a passage.
• The main idea also weaves its way throughout a passage.

(2) Detail
• What is a detail of what you just read?
• A detail is found through specific words in a passage.
• A detail can be found anywhere in a passage.

(3) Inference
• What can you infer from what you just read?
• Inference requires you to form a reasonable opinion from some or all of the passage.
 When you are unfamiliar with a word, its meaning can be inferred from its context – the way it is used – in a passage.

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