Integrating distant components of the text questions examine
at a deeper level the fundamental building blocks
we've discussed in foundations of comprehension
in the context of the main idea,
the passage as a whole, and of course,
the parts of the passage the question asks you to relate.
This goes back to being able to determine an author's message,
purpose, position, or point of view,
being able to infer the least assumptions and biases,
and using context clues to hone mental imagery
and things that an author shows rather than tells
to evince their viewpoints, attitudes, and inclinations,
discussed now in the context of how questions
relate these across a passage as a whole to one another.
An author's message, purpose, position, or point of view
is rarely summed up, we've stated in a single sentence.
Even a solid, concluding paragraph with commentary
on the original paragraph requires by its very nature,
two paragraphs to understand.
This is why we recommend even when short on time,
being the introductory and concluding paragraphs
and the first and last sentences of each paragraph
before jumping to the questions.
Indeed, a quality argument is painstakingly
built from many constituent components.
When asked to evaluate what the author thinks about something,
treat this as an integrating distant components of the text question by default.
Holding the broader context of the passage
in mind can only play to your benefit.
Questions at this level will also ask you
about an author's beliefs, assumptions,
and biases in order to assess their message,
purpose, position, or point of view.
This goes back to the idea that CARS authors are people
and that can help us to better understand passages.
Simply put, knowing something about who expresses a point of view
can help you to know why they expressed it.
The attitudes of the authors themselves
are so important that they need to be scouted out
across the text as a whole
and not cherry-picked from a single quote.
A position or a point of view
is carefully communicated in an intentional fashion.
But attitude includes unintentional bias
and requires you to be that CARS archeologist digging
beneath the veneer of what is explicitly presented.
You also need to dig wide in addition to deep
so as not to destroy the treasure you are uncovering
by inserting your own opinions to the passage,
but simply observing what you unearthed.
Yet another layer deeper in the dig is to identify
the basis for these beliefs, biases, and attitudes.
The official contact guide states to pay special attention
to the mental imagery, choice of cited sources,
and tone to infer those beliefs, biases, and attitudes.
Comparing an old woman to an elephant in the room
as opposed to comparing her to a wart
on the nose might both communicate
that she is individual impossible to ignore.
But the connotative difference
between these two mental images is palpable.
Indeed, the feeling you get from a mental image
forms the basis for an author's tone.