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Author's intended audience

The author's audience is/are the person/people the author is addressing. Who did the author write this for?

Author's point of view

The author's point of view is his/her position on an issue, or in other words, the author's opinion or belief regarding an issue.

Author's purpose

Author's purpose is the author's reason for writing. Why did he/she write this?


An assumption is something that is taken for granted to be true, accepted as truth without proof.

Assumptions can be logical or illogical.

Logical assumptions are based on the information the author has provided. There is textual evidence that can support a logical assumption.

Illogical assumptions do not make sense, there is no textual evidence to support an illogical assumption.

Author's tone

The author's tone is his/her use of words and writing style to convey the attitude towards the topic.

Including: sarcastic, serious, urgent, compassionate, angry, amused, disapproving, threatening, supportive, apologetic, arrogant, mocking, humorous, remorseful

Context Clues

Context Clues are words in a sentence or paragraph that help you reason out the meaning of an unfamiliar word.

Types of Context Clues:

  • Definition (signal words: that is, such as, means)
  • Synonym (signal words: in other words, or, also known as)
  • Contrast (signal words: that is, such as, means)
  • Examples (signal words: for example, for instance, like)
  • Experience (Can you connect to the content Have you had a similar experience? Use your experience to help you define the unfamiliar word.)
  • Clues from other sentences: Information from another sentence can help you figure out the unfamiliar word.


An inference is a logical conclusion that is based on what an author has stated.

A conclusion is a decision, opinion, or judgment reached after thoughtful consideration of material you have read. It must be based on information you have read, but must go beyond what the author states. A conclusion is usually drawn at the end of reading something.

Main Idea

Stated Main Idea
The stated main idea is the sentence in a paragraph that contains both the topic and the author's single most important point about this topic.

  • Main idea sentences cannot be questions. And must always:
  • Contain the topic (word, name, or phrase that tells what the paragraph is about.)
  • Make complete sense by itself.
  • Be a general sentence that sums up the details in the paragraph.
  • The main idea sentence states the single most important point about the topic.

To determine Main Idea, ask yourself: What is the most important thing the author wants me to know about the topic?

Implied Main Idea
When an author implies their main point rather than stating it as a single sentence, it is called an implied main idea, and the reader must construct a sentence that expresses the author's main point.

There are three ways to figure out implied main idea:

  • Formula 1: Add (important) missing information to a sentence in the paragraph that almost states the main idea.
  • Formula 2: Combine two sentences from the paragraph into a single sentence that expresses the main idea.
  • Formula 3: Summarize details into one general sentence or combine several important ideas into one sentence.

Supporting Details
Supporting details are the sentences in the paragraph that give more information about the main idea.

Supporting details include:

  • Facts
  • Incidents
  • Reasons
  • Examples
  • Statistics

Think of the acronym FIRES to help you remember supporting details.

F stands for Facts- details that can be proven like names, dates, places, research findings, steps in a process, etc.

I stands for Incidents - personal details: An author's observations and

R is for Reasons - when the author explains why he or she feels a certain way towards a topic.

E is for Examples -details that create a mental picture of the point the author is trying to make. Examples help (you) the reader understand a specific scenario.

S is for Statistics -details that are made up of numerical data and support what the author is claiming.

*For additional help please come visit us in The Learning Center (M-216). To schedule an appointment call: 972-238-6226.

THEA Practice:
Visit the THEA website to view a practice test and review your skills.

At the bottom of the page select "Reading"

Reading Comprehension Practice:

Visit the following websites for additional reading practice.

Author's purpose and tone

Context Clues:





Main Idea:


Supporting details: