To determine the meaning of an unknown word:
- Is there a familiar prefix, suffix or root that you are familiar with?
ex: bisect - bicycle (2 wheels) sect(cut/separate) = cut into two parts
- Is the definition/restatement given? (signal words: is, means, or, in other words, that is to say)
- Is an example given? (signal words: like, such as, for example, for instance, including, : )
- Is a comparison/contrast given? (signal words: also, like, as, well, but, yet, however, although)
- Is there a synonym or antonym close by? (signal words: like, as, but, not, unlike)
- What is the part of speech of unknown word; how is it used in the sentence? (noun, adjective, verb, adverb)
- Does the word have a positive or negative connotation?
- Do you have prior background knowledge of the subject that can help you figure out the word?
- Can you infer the meaning from other sentences in the story/text?