Unit III - Reading & Understanding- Close Reading and Comprehension,Summary, Paraphrasing, Analysis and Interpretation, Translation -BA/Bsc/Bcom 1st Sem -English Communication - Under Dibrugarh University


Close Reading and Comprehension

Activity

Read the following passage and answer the questions given below:

 India occupies a key position in the world and has done so since civilisation began to fan out from its original birthplace in what is now Iraq. In India there is an attitude towards life, and an approach to human affairs that answers to the present situation.

A Text For AECC English Communication,Bcom 1st Sem,Dibrugarh University,BA 1st Sem,Bsc 1st Sem,








 India occupies a key position in the geographical sense. India holds the balance between rival ideologies. Today the parliamentary form of democracy has a hold in Asia because India has made this way of political life her own. If India were to change her mind over this, the effect would be felt, not just in India itself, but all round the shores of the Indian Ocean and in the heart of Asia and Africa. However, politics is one of the more superficial of man's activities. Religion cuts far deeper, and at the religious level, India has not been a recipient, she has been a giver. About half the total numbers of the living higher religions are of Indian origin. As for politics, India has been the site of no les than four of those empires that will be recognised in retrospect, as experimental models for a world state in the literal sense. Two of these, the Maurya and the Gupta Empires, were built and maintained wholly by Indian hands.

 Questions:

(a) Where can you find the original birthplace of civilisation?

(b) What positive factor does the author notice in India?

(c) Apart from its geographical location, how is India in a key position?

(d) Why does the author suggest that at the religious level, India has been a giver?

(e) Name the two model empires in India identified by the author.

Ans: 

(a) We can find the original birthplace of civilisation in Iraq. 

(b) As per the author, he  notices that  in India there is an attitude towards life, and an approach to human affairs that answers to the present situation.

(c) Apart from its geographical location, India is  in a key position. Today the parliamentary form of democracy has a hold in Asia because India has made this way of political life her own. If India were to change her mind over this, the effect would be felt, not just in India itself, but all round the shores of the Indian Ocean and in the heart of Asia and Africa

(d) The author suggests that at the religious level, India has been a giver because  about half the total numbers of the living higher religions are of Indian origin.

(e) Maurya and the Gupta Empires.


Additional  Common Questions:  

(1) What is Close Reading ? or Define Close Reading.

Ans: A close reading is a purposeful and careful reading of the text. It may be considered as re-reading. It is an intensive re-reading of the text where the reader focuses on the author's purpose, the meaning of the words, and what the structure of the text informs.

(2) What are the aims and objectives of close reading ?

Ans: Aims and objectives of close reading:

(i) To help in building a comprehensive understanding of the text.

(ii) To help to find out interconnected ideas contained in a text.

(iii) To help in looking for and understanding systems of meaning.

(iv) To help readers to go beyond the surface meaning so as to access the multiple meanings of a text.

(v) To help in paying close attention to the kind of language used - syntax, grammar, structure etc. in a certain text.

(3) What are the benifits of Close Reading ?

Ans: Benefits of close reading:

(i) Helps in building a comprehensive understanding of the text.

(ii) Helps to find out interconnected ideas contained in a text.

(iii) It helps in looking for and understanding systems of meaning.

(iv) Close reading helps readers to go beyond the surface meaning so as to access the multiple meanings of a text.

(v) It helps in paying close attention to the kind of language used - syntax, grammar, structure etc. in a certain text.

(4) What are the steps of Close Reading ?

Ans: Steps in Close Reading:

Step 1

(i) Cursory reading to get the general idea of the text.

(ii) Highlight the important points.

(iii) Think about the subject matter of the text.

Step 2

(i) A second and a closer reading of the text.

(ii) While reading if one doesn't understand some parts of the text, then that portion has to be marked.

(iii)  Analyse the significance of marked portions.

Step 3

(i) Finally we have to look at the questions.

(ii) Reread to find their answers.

(iii) Frame the answers accordingly.

(5) What is Comprehension ? or Define Comprehension.

Ans: To comprehend means to understand. Comprehension test, therefore, means the test of understanding of a text or passage by the readers in the proper perspective. It aims at making an assessment of how far the readers understand the contents of a given text or passage. Questions are set at the bottom of a given text or passage to evaluate the understanding level of the readers. Readers are required to give answers to these questions in their own words.

(6) What are the tipe for effective Comprehension ? 

Ans: Tips for effective comprehension: 

(i) One should read the text or passage a number of times to ensure a thorough understanding of the piece.

(ii) If the reader is not aware of the meaning of a word or certain words in the passage, he/she should try to infer meaning from the context in which the word or words appear.

(iii) Questions should be taken up and the given passage should be read for their answers.

(iv) Answers should be clear, brief and to the point.




Summary

Questions:

1. What do you mean by summary writing ? or Define Summary. 

Ans: A summary is a short, concise method of stating the main idea and other significant supporting details found in a text. It condenses the main points of a text, while preserving its original idea in a more concise form. It focuses on most important ideas, while greatly reducing or leaving out its minor details. It has to be noted that a summary must be written in one's own words. Merely combining selected quotations from the original text is a sin one must avoid. Typically, a summary is one-fourth the length of the original text.

2. What are the techniques of writing a summary ?

Ans: Techniques of Summary: 

Step 1: A few minutes have to be spent in previewing the passage. One should

have a quick look at the following: title, subtitle, first and last paragraphs and other items like heads/subheads/ pictures/charts/diagrams/ italic type words/boldface print etc.

Step 2: The next step is to have a close reading of the text. After the first reading, one should mark the main points and key supporting details.

Step 3: Re-reading the important areas as well as the main points and key supporting details that are marked the first time around constitute the third step. It further gives us an opportunity to mark those key points that might have been missed.

Step 4: Then we have to prepare rough notes by concentrating on the main ideas and the key supporting points.

Step 5: The concluding step is to write the summary by identifying the author, title, and date of publication at the top. One should express the main points and key supporting details in one's own words. Then revision of the first draft is required. And finally we have to produce the final draft of the summary.

3. Why is summary writing important ?

Ans:  Importance of Summary:

(i) Writing a summary is a beneficial tool in written communication because it cements the understanding of the reading materials. It refreshes the information that is already lying dormant in the mind.

(ii) Summarising a broader text helps us in identifying the main points and key details.

(iii) Summary works like a memory capsule. By looking at a summary we tend to remember the text that we have already read. It saves precious time while preparing for an examination.

(iv) Additionally, it further enhances students' understanding of a text. For, it requires them to condense information down to its essential or main parts.

 (v) It helps in building comprehending capacity of students.

4. What are the important things we should remember while writing a summary ? What should we include in a summary ? or How to write a Summary ?

Ans:  The important things we should remember while writing a summary are -

Or How to Write a Summary:

(i) Identifying the main word or idea in each paragraph is the most important skill in writing a summary.

(ii)  After identifying the main points or idea in each paragraph, we have to paraphrase the main idea.

(iii) Compiling the sentences and paraphrasing them is important.

(iv) Finally writing the rough summary is the last important thing to do.

We  should include in Summary:

• The main idea of the original passage.

● The most essential supporting details or explanations.

● Only that information contained in the original text.

• Objective and factual information from reading the text.

● Summariser's own words and paraphrasing skills.

• Length of one-fourth of the original text.


Paraphrasing

Questions:

1. What do you mean by Paraphrasing ? Or Define Paraphrasing.

AnsParaphrasing is an important skill in written communication. It is a writing skill in which one rephrases/rewrites information from an outside source in one's own words without changing its meaning. While rewriting all, or nearly all, of the content of the original passage, a paraphrase is almost as long as the original passage. When paraphrasing, it is important to avoid plagiarising, that is, writing a paraphrase that is too similar to the original. A paraphraseis unacceptable when it contains the same words and sentence structure as the original.

2. How is Paraphrasing different from Summarising ? or What are difference and similarities between Summarising and Paraphrasing ? 

Ans: Difference between Paraphrase and Summary

(i) A paraphrase contains the complete account of a text in one's own words But a summary contains only the central idea in one's own words.

(ii) While paraphrasing, one has to change both the words and the sentence structure of the original composition. But in a summary some key words may be retained.

(iii) A paraphrase simplifies and explains the original text. But a summary has no scope for explanation as it focuses only on the main points.

(iv) Paraphrasing is a specific activity as it covers all portions of the text. But a summary is selective in nature as it restricts itself to the main ideasonly.

(v) Length-wise, a paraphrase is almost of the same length as the original work. But a summary is only about one-fourth of the original.

3. Write down the importance of Paraphrasing ?

Ans:  Importance of Paraphrasing

(i) Paraphrasing helps us to communicate the meaning of a difficult passage When we proceed to make our own argument, it will allow us to refer to another writer's thoughts by retaining the focus and tone of the argument.

(ii) Paraphrasing helps us in finding out the real meaning of a passage. It is better than quoting information.

(iii) Paraphrasing enables us to understand what the author has written. It may be regarded as a test to measure our comprehension abilities.

(iv) Paraphrasing is an aid for improving writing skills. While preparing rough drafts for paraphrasing practices, we virtually end up improving our writing skills.

(v) Paraphrasing saves us from the temptation of forming a copy/pasting habit. In return it promotes original thinking and creativity.

(vi) Paraphrasing keeps one engaged in searching new words with similar meanings to replace those in the text. It boosts our vocabulary.

4. Elaborate the steps involved in writing an effective paraphrase ? Or How to write Effective Paraphrases ?

Ans: How to write Effective Paraphrases: 

Step 1: Repeated reading of the original passage is required until one understands it fully. Emphasis should be laid on spotting unfamiliar words and replace them with appropriate synonyms. If one needs to take notes, the

best way to approach is to write down only one or two words for each idea. At this stage sentence writing should be avoided.

Step 2: The ideal way to write a paraphrase is to rely on one's memory. Looking at the original text may defeat the very purpose of paraphrasing as the former's influence cannot be ruled out. Including as much information

from memory is the way forward towards writing a good paraphrase.

Step 3: One should check one's paraphrase against the original for accuracy

and completeness. The points that have been missed should be added in the final draft.

Step 4: While writing a paraphrase one should be careful to mention the source of the original passage.


Additional Common Questions: 

(1) What are the techniques of Paraphrasing ? 

Ans: Techniques of Paraphrasing

(i) We should use different vocabulary to replace the original words by employing synonyms.

(ii) Order of words has to be changed.

(iii) We can use different forms of grammatical pattern.

(iv) A simple change from a clause to a phrase may be attempted.

(v) Quoted speech should be changed to indirect speech.

(vi) Active voice needs to be changed into passive voice.

(vii) Changing word forms is an essential technique in paraphrasing.

(viii) One should be able to interpret to identify the underlying meaning of a statement.


Analysis and Interpretation

Questions: 

(1) What is Analysis ? Or Define Analysis. 

Ans: Analysis and interpretation are terms generally used interchangeably in an academic setting. But the terms are not synonymous. Analysis, in fact, means a systematic examination and evaluation of data or information contained in a text. It involves breaking the data or information into its component parts to uncover their interrelationships. Analysis may also mean an examination of data and facts to uncover and understand cause-effect relationship for problem solving and decision making.

(2) What are steps of Analysing a Text ?

Ans: Steps of Analysing a Text:

Analysis of a text starts with close reading. The following steps may be followed for analysing a text:

Step 1: The first step in analysing a text involves a thorough reading for understanding what is happening in its structure. It helps in understanding both the parts as well as the whole of the text.

Step 2: Locating basic ideas, events and other key information constitute the second step in analysing a text.

Step 3: The third important step in text analysis is to capture the main arguments, essential statements and the basic structure of the text.

Step 4: The next step involves identification of how the thought has been ordered, developed and described.

Step 5: The last step involves drawing conclusions about the text through a process of self-reflection and critical thinking.

(3) What are the tips of interpreting a text ?

Ans: TIPS FOR INTERPRETING A TEXT

(i) The first important thing is to read or reread the text with specific questions in mind. Reading of the text gives the reader an understanding of what the text is all about.

(ii) The second important thing is to grasp the main idea of a text. It includes understanding of the topic, the theme, and the writer's intention in writing the text.

(iii) The next important thing in interpretation is to identify facts and opinions contained in the text. This gives the reader a clue to what the author thinks and feels about the topic.

(iv) The fourth important step is inference. It means figuring out the unstated meanings and then drawing conclusions on the basis of the facts given in the text.

(v) Prediction is the last step in the interpretation of a text. It means the ability to predict the outcome when the author chooses to leave it for the readers to infer.


Translation

Questions:

1. What is Translation and what are the types of translation ?

Ans: A translator is an agent who converts the text from the source language to the target language. He/she is the receiver of the encoded text, the meaning of which he/she has to decode. Being the channel of communication between the originator and the reader, a translator performs both on the level of language and on the level of culture. Sri Aurobindo states, "A translator is not necessarily bound to the original he chooses; he can make his own poem out of it if he likes, and that is what is generally done." According to theintent of the translator, translation can be categorised into: Literary translation and Non-literary translation.

Types of Translation: 

i) Literary Translation: A literal translation must emphasize the expressive, symbolic and connotative aspects of a text. It must cover all literary features of the source text. It provides the reader the freedom to explore multiple interpretations with a wide intuitive and imaginary range.

ii) Non Literary Translations: Non-literary translation deals with the factual details which ensure that the structure and narrative of the source text is reflected in the target text.

2. What is the importance of Translation ?

Ans:  Importance of Translation: 

(i) It helps in locating a text in the greater context crossing regional boundaries.

(ii) It helps in locating a substitute text and increases the readers' accessibility.

(iii) Translation helps in finding out the inner meaning of the text.

(iv) Translation helps in creating a subtext by delving into the layers of meaning.

(v) Translation assists in dissemination of ideas and information.

3. Mention the essential qualities of a good translator ?

Ans:  Essential qualities of a good translator

(i) A translator must have a strong command over the Source Language (SL) from which he/she is trying to translate into the Target Language (TL).

(ii) A translator must have adequate knowledge of the socio-cultural contexts of both the SL and TL.

(iii) In order to capture the spirit of the SL text, the translator must have sufficient knowledge of the subject in which he/she is working upon.

(iv) A good translator should never try to impose his/her own ideas while translating an SL text into a TL text.

 (v) To achieve accuracy in translation, a translator must have a keen mind to do research. Research enables a translator to clear doubts in those areas. he/she is unclear or not familiar.

4. What do you mean by transcreation and transliteration ? 

Ans: Transcreation and Transliteration:

i) Transliteration: It is the process involved in the conversion of the text from one script to another. This process does not aim at transfer of interpretation and meaning of the text across languages. It is concerned with sound attached to the word.

ii) Transcreation: It is the process of finding an equivalent of a culturally or locally relevant phrase or colloquialism which does not directly translate in the target language. It is concerned with preserving the intent attached with the source text.


Additional Common Questions: 

(1) What is Translator ? or Define Translator.

Ans: A translator is an agent who converts the text from the source language to the target language. He/she is the receiver of the encoded text, the meaning of which he/she has to decode. Being the channel of communication between the originator and the reader, a translator performs both on the level of language and on the level of culture. Sri Aurobindo states, "A translator is not necessarily bound to the original he chooses; he can make his own poem out of it if he likes, and that is what is generally done." According to the intent of the translator, translation can be categorised into: Literary translation and Non-literary translation.





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