Reading for Content, Comprehension, and Context

A writer must choose words carefully because they are the only tool he has at his disposal for expressing an idea, a mood, or a feeling. A writer will choose words for either their denotations (literal meanings) or their connotations (figurative or suggested meanings or associations). Reading requires the ability to read and comprehend at two distinct levels, literal and figurative, and interpretation at a third level, the applied level.

Reading for Content—The Literal Level

When you read at the literal level, you read to focus on information the author has directly stated. It's a “what you see is what you get” approach to understanding. This level is also denotational in its interpretation and ...

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