Paragraph Comprehension from the Perspective of Conjunctions and Structure under Structuralism

  •  Shuying Yu    


People frequently struggle with comprehending the text they read and require more intensive support to develop proficiency in reading comprehension. Some find it perplexing observing all the elements and constituents of the paragraph theory. Good readers, however, can understand what a paragraph is by studying the conjunction relationships between sentences and group of sentences in the paragraph and can also understand the organization of the text by analyzing the conjunction relationships in a paragraph or a text when they deal with a written text. Such analysis of the conjunction relationships in a paragraph or a text can be used as a basis for understanding how the author organizes and presents materials. The inspiration of structuralist view of education is that students need to learn and discover the structure of knowledge. The research methods of the paper are ones of knowledge, experience, observation, logical reasoning and keen analysis of English examples or materials. This paper provides guidance for the skills of logical relationship comprehension, text structure determination and main idea dentification, and introduces some practices of using the skills. These skills have brought us some findings: We can use the conjunction relationships between the sentences in a paragraph to determine the structure of the paragraph, whether they are signaled or unsignaled, including finding the main idea; The contextual clues can be adverbs, pronouns, nouns, verbs, and preposition groups besides conjunctions; Items in one type of relationships are of equal weight and one sentence in another type of relationships is given more importance than the others; There is a relationship between the type of conjunction relationship involved and the location of the topic sentence; The role of the main idea or topic sentence is not in whether it always provides important information, but in its organizational function. These findings guide readers to apply the knowledge of paragraph organization system to help them deal with English texts.

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