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Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions

In this article, we will be learning about unusual & effective questions in comprehension passages. Let’s first understand what unusual and effective questions are.

 

What are Unusual and Effective Questions?

Unusual and effective questions can be answered by keeping the following 2 points in mind.

  • Approach the first part of the question (unusual) by asking yourself what is surprising/odd about the usage of the word(s) or phrase.
  • For the second part of the answer (effective), think about what is the intended purpose or impression (thoughts and feelings) that the writer wants to leave in you.


 

Example:

From the daylight nightmare, I was awakened, as I had been many times before, by my sisters. They came scrambling and calling up the steep rough bank. Like shields between me and the sky, faces with grins and white teeth each to be called up with a loud cry, they brushed off terror with their broad scoldings of affection. They leaned over me - one, two, three - their mouths smeared with redcurrants and their hands dripping with juice.

 

Question 1: 

What is unusual and effective about the phrase ‘daylight nightmare’?

 

Answer: 

Unusual because nightmares usually happen at night/in the dark/when asleep. Effective because it shows how unreal/strange/terrifying the experience can be.

 

Practice Questions

Question 1:

In the text below, Mother was questioning Aria for being home late.

 

Aria tries to tiptoe across the living room, hoping to get to her room without being seen. But Mother looms before her. She put Aria against the wall, under interrogation. “You must think that I would not find out where you have been,” Mother said. “A child should never hide anything from their mother.”

 

Aria offers an answer that deviates sharply from the truth. Her bag, filled with books, is wrenched from her hands and Mother instantly finds the bitter answer to all the questions. Four thick books indignantly share cramped quarters with an obviously brand-new dress. The dress was so seductive at the shop, so delicate and pretty. Now it lies there, a beautiful rag, pierced by Mother’s glare.

 

Mother screams, “You have squandered our future! We could have had a new apartment someday, but you could not wait. All you have got now is a rag, which will soon be out of fashion.”
 

The writer describes the dress to be a ‘beautiful rag’. The phrase is unusual because __________.

 

  1. ‘beautiful’ refers to things that are aesthetically pleasing and rags are usually beautiful
  2. ‘beautiful’ refers to things that are attractive looking but rags are usually ugly
  3. ‘beautiful’ refers to things that are easy on the eye and the dress is beautiful
  4. ‘beautiful’ refers to things that are nice to look at but rags are useless

 

Answer:

(2) - ‘beautiful’ refers to things that are attractive looking but rags are usually ugly

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (2) - “‘beautiful’ refers to things that are attractive looking but rags are usually ugly”. We can derive this answer by eliminating other options as the rest of the options either do not make sense or are not contradicting.

 

Question 2:

In the text below, Mother was questioning Aria for being home late.

The writer describes the dress to be a ‘beautiful rag’. The phrase is effective because __________.

 

  1. it emphasizes how useless the dress is to Mother.
  2. it emphasizes how ugly the dress is to Mother.
  3. it emphasizes how beautiful the dress is to Mother.
  4. it emphasizes how cheap the dress is to Mother.

 

Answer:

(1) - “it emphasizes how useless the dress is to Mother

Explanation:

The correct answer to this question is option (1) - “it emphasizes how useless the dress is to Mother”. A rag is used for cleaning whereas a dress is an expensive apparel item, which should not be compared to a cleaning cloth. So, it is unusual because the writer is comparing a beautiful or appealing dress to a cloth which is used for cleaning and dirty from cleaning. So, this emphasizes that the dress is as useless as the cleaning cloth.

 

Continue Learning
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Comprehension Skills (Inferential Questions)
Continuous Writing: Personal Recount Continuous Writing - Expository
Comprehension Skills (IYOW Questions) Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Dialogue Questions
Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) - Summary Writing Skills Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) - Flowchart Questions
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Unusual & Effective Questions Comprehension Skills (Non-narrative Text) Direct Questions
Editing Comprehension Skills - Referencing Questions
Comprehension Skills - Direct Recall Of Relevant Material, Paraphrasing Text 2 Skills: Literacy Devices
Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Literary Devices Irony
Summary Writing Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
Comprehension Skills - Language Arts Comprehension Skills - Vocabulary-based Questions
Comprehension Skills - Identifying Relevant Linguistic Expression Comprehension Skills (Narrative Text) Technique-Based Questions
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Situational Writing - Formal Letter of Complaint
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