Text Structure
Context Clues
Author's Purpose
When most people see an onion, they assume that the onion will be eaten. However, creative people have found additional purposes for the common onion. Some of these uses may even surprise you! Did you know that onions repel insects? Therefore, some people rub onion on their skin or clothes as an Earth-friendly alternative to bug spray. Other people use onions to polish metal. They just crush an onion, combine it with water, and rub the mixture on metal surfaces until the metal looks spic and and span.

What is description?

Government officials issued EVACUATION orders to many people living on or near the coastline before Hurricane Sandy.

What does the word EVACUATION mean in the sentence?

a. the movement toward a building or area because it is dangerous.                                                   b. the movement away from a building or area because it is dangerous                                           c. the movement of boxes from one place to another

What is the movement away from a building or area because it is dangerous?

The author's purpose of ARROWHAWK is:

a. to tell a story about a veterinarian who rescued a hawk                                                                     b. to tell the story of a hawk who was injured and his journey to recovery                                           c. to explain how hawks hunt for food

What is  to tell the story of a hawk who was injured and his journey to recovery?


Give an example of a nonfiction text

Essay, News article, speech, documentary, etc. 


What is another name for an argument?

What is author's claim?

Cutting an onion can be an extremely unpleasant experience. In fact, it is so awful that it often results in eyes that sting like bees, and tears streaming down the cook's face. Have you ever wondered what causes this undesirable outcome, and how you can avoid it? Slicing the onion releases sulfuric acid into the air. This sulfuric acid reacts with the moisture in a person's eyes and results in the tearful reaction. There is a simple solution to this common problem. Cut the onion under a stream of running water. This will prevent the sulfuric acid from reacting with your eyes' moisture. 
What is problem and solution?

By combining groups, the aging leaders hoped to create a clear path for a new GENERATION of suffragists to take over.

The word GENERATION means:

a. a time span of about thirty years                        b. people who make new things                              c. yesterday 

What is a time span of thirty years?

The author probably wrote the nonfiction text LIZARDS to:

a. inform readers about lizards                                  b. to persuade readers to buy a lizard                        c. to explain how lizards are like other animals

What is inform readers about lizards?


Prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

What is bias?

An argument that goes against the main argument. 


Be sure to keep onions out of your pet's reach. Onions contain an ingredient called thiosulfate. While this ingredient is perfectly safe for humans, it is toxic to cats and dogs. Thiosulfate weakens a cat or dog's red blood cells. If your pet consumes enough onions, the red blood cells can even burst. As you can see, the accidental ingestion of onions by your cat or dog can result in worrisome consequences.

What is cause and effect?

People in low ELEVATIONS along the coast were especially at risk during the hurricane.

The word ELEVATIONS means:

a.heights above sea level                                         b. a road along the coast                                       c. houses up on mountains

What is heights above sea level?

The author probably wrote the text WOMEN'S EXPLORERS to:

a. explain how women can fight for freedom          b. persuade women to become explorers               c. inform readers about women who have explored the world

What is to inform readers about women who have explored the world?


When a person writes about a specific time during his/her own life. 



A statement, designed to refute or negate specific arguments put forward by opponents.

Onions have been around for a long time. In fact, scientists agree that onions were likely a staple in the prehistoric diet. Onions are known to have existed in Egypt in 3500 BC. To the ancient Egyptians, onions symbolized eternity, and many pharaohs were buried alongside onions. The ancient Greeks also believed in the power of onions. In fact, in the first century AD, a Greek physician convinced several Greek athletes that onions had a medicinal property that would make them stronger. As a result, the majority of athletes who participated in the first Olympic Games ate several pounds of onions and drank onion juice. In the Middle Ages, onions were prescribed to alleviate headaches. Today, onions are primarily used to add flavor to our foods. 
What is chronological or sequential?

He spread a light coat of finely powered PUMICE over the surface of the parchment.

The word PUMICE means:

a.  a thick glue                                                      b. pieces of sand                                                     c. powdery substance made of glass from volcanoes

What is a powdery substance made of glass from volcanoes?

The main purpose of HENRY'S FREEDOM BOX is:

a. to emphasize the importance of slavery                  b. to illustrate what Henry did to become free             c. to compare and contrast slaves and slave owners

What is to illustrate what Henry did to become free?


The perspective in which the article is told

What is point of view?


Come up with a counterclaim for the following claim:

The driving age should be raised to 18. 

Example: (Answers may vary)

The driving age needs to remain at 16 because students who have jobs need a means of trasportation.

Yellow onions and white onions are very similar. In fact, beginning cooks often use these onions interchangeably. When a cook reads a recipe that calls for an onion that will need to be cooked, they are likely to reach for a yellow onion or a white onion. The most obvious difference between yellow onions and white onions is their color. However, there are also more subtle differences. A yellow onion has a tough outer skin. In contrast, a white onion tends to have a thinner, more tender skin.
What is compare and contrast?

The public exhibit was closed so CONSERVATORS could restore the documents to the case. 

The word CONSERVATORS means:

a.person who cares for and repairs items for historical reasons                                                  b. a person who writes documents                        c. a person who visits the museum

What is person who cares for and repairs items for historical reasons?


The main purpose of the book CREATURES FEATURES is to:

a. explain the relationship between creatures          b. to illustrate how animals are related to people      c. to describe characteristics of different creatures

What is to describe characteristics of different creatures?


based on or influenced by personal feelings, tastes, or opinions: Contrasted with objective.



Make a claim about school. 

Example: Homework should be abolished because...

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