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Words in Context

The following explanation is taken from Essential Strategies for Reading Comprehension by Debra Evans, Leaps and Bounds Publishing: 

CONTEXT CLUES are the words around the word being defined.   

The context may tell you:

  • the definition of the word
  • an ANTONYM or SYNONYM of the word
  • what IT is
  • what IT is NOT
  • WHERE it is
  • What it is USED FOR
  • What it DOES
  • What is DONE TO IT
  • Associated or Related WORDS

Signal Words for Words in Context:

BEFORE OR AFTER THE WORD:

  • IS, ARE, WERE
  • MEANS
  • OR
  • CALLED
  • REFERS TO

In the SENTENCE before or after the word:

  • SYNONYMS
  • ANTONYMS

STEPS to LOOK for CONTEXT CLUES:

  • Identify the focus word you need to understand
  • Look for the focus word in the text
  • Highlight the sentence containing the word
  • Look for signal words
  • If necessary, highlight surrounding sentences
  • Look for more signal words
  • Use affixes for help if necessary
  • Highlight

 

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