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ERIC Number: ED189587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Pages: 38
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Paragraph Structural Explicitness on Main Idea Comprehension of College Level Students with Varying Abilities.
Wood, Shaila Penelope
It was reasoned that readers who have difficulty processing intersentence relationships to discover main ideas of paragraphs would be among those identified as weak comprehenders by a standardized test measure. To test the hypotheses related to this premise, 48 community college students designated as good and poor comprehenders on main idea items were tested on three levels of paragraph organization--high, middle, and low levels of structural explicitness. Two principles of manipulation were applied to the paragraphs: explicit statement of both the main idea and the level(s) of subordination; and ordering sentences to place tbe main idea in first position, grouping details together. The results suggested that college freshmen have difficulty perceiving the main ideas in materials presented to them. Both good and poor comprehenders had some difficulty with main idea items when reading the middle-level presentations of paragraphs. The effects of the structural manipulations of text were found statistically significant over all analyses suggesting that the extent to which relationships were made explicit within paragraphs affected comprehension of main ideas. The most interesting result in the study, however, was the lack of evidence supporting the predicted interaction between comprehension ability and level of structural explicitness. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses; Numerical/Quantitative Data
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A