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- [Instructor] Hello future teachers. Let's skip this passage for right now. Instead of beginning with the passage, I wanna begin with the question, with this stem, because that's going to inform how we read the passage. It seems strange to do it this way, right, like your inclination would be look at the passage, look at the question, find the answer choice that best matches. But it is easy to be led astray that way. We want to take a more active reading approach to this passage. So, which of the following best describes Michael Novacek's work in paleontology? Even before I look at the passage or look at the answer choices, this is going to ask us to, I think, summarize the passage. So before I even look at any of these answer choices, what I wanna do is come up with own summary of the passage that we're about to read. And my own summary of course is going to be pulled directly from the passage. And so as we go through, I'm gonna highlight things that seem especially salient that tell us hints about the tone and especially important factual details. Okay, Michael Novacek, curator of paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, is a world-class field scientist. High praise. He is one of paleontology's most effective popularizers, an entertaining writer as good at bringing oviraptors and other fantastic creatures to life in print as at spotting their fragmented remains in a wall of rock. So not only is he great in the field, he's also great at bringing these creatures to life in print. So he's talented when hunting for fossils, but also very good at telling people about them. He writes without the sensationalism, without the sensationalism, interesting, that has dogged the study of dinosaurs since the 19th century, when rival museums competed to claim the biggest skeletons. My impression of this passage is that the author believes that Michael Novacek is what we underlined, a world-class field scientist, he's entertaining. So he's both good at the science part and the explaining part, and he does it without being sensational. So I'm just gonna write great scientist, great writer, and I'm gonna say since without the sensationalism that has made, that has dogged the study of dinosaurs, dogged here meaning been a problem for, I'm gonna say great scientist, great writer, not a showoff. Okay, so let's go through these choices and see if anything matches our description. All right, his primary concern is to criticize the work of paleontologists who have sensationalized the field. I can knock this one out by process of elimination right away. This is asking us to draw inferences from stuff that's not present in the text. This is gonna feel kind of counterintuitive, but the answer is not located in these answer choices. The answer is located in the text. It's in the passage. And so for this kind of question, when we're asked basically to summarize this paragraph, there's nothing about his primary concern or criticizing the work of previous paleontologists. The person that calls them sensational is the author, not Novacek. This option is written to look appealing. This option contains a word or two that does appear in the passage, but that opinion that previous paleontologists sensationalized the field, we can assign that to the author and not to Novacek. So A is not our answer. B, he excels at fieldwork as well as at popular writing about serious scientific issues. This seems very similar to the summary that we've come up with, great scientist, great writer, not a showoff, but there might be one that's even more accurate. So I'm gonna star this for now and we'll come back to it. C, he does good fieldwork, but his pompous style weakens his writing about scientific themes. Pompous is a word that means pretentious, obnoxious, you might even say sensational. That's certainly an attention-getting thing to say, but it's not what the passage says. The passage says that he is one of paleontology's most effective popularizers, an entertaining writer. It seems unlikely that he would be both effective and pompous. If he's a strong writer, then he wouldn't have weakened writing. This first part is true. This first part is supported by the text. He's a world-class field scientist. He's great at spotting fragmented remains of dinosaurs in rock walls. But this other part is not supported. Trust yourself and the working model that you have constructed of what the answer's gonna look like. You have this idea in your head of what the answer is, and it's that he is a great scientist, check, and a great writer, check. And this says great scientist, check, bad writer. So it's not our answer. Choice D, he aims to be an entertaining writer, and as a result he sensationalizes his subject. Now let's read this last sentence very carefully. He writes without the sensationalism that has dogged the study of dinosaurs since the 19th century, when rival museums competed to claim the biggest skeletons. So if he's writing without the sensationalism, then it doesn't seem likely that he sensationalizes his subject. Because if he's as good at being an entertaining writer as he is at being a field scientist, at being a paleontologist that digs up dinosaur bones and excavates them from rock walls, and we also know that he is a world-class field scientist, then he's probably a quite good writer as well. Because the author says that he is as good at bringing them to life in his writing as he is at actually doing the fieldwork. So, so we have our checklist, great scientist, great writer, this says not a great writer. So we can cross that off as well. Finally, his writing, both popular and academic, overshadows his fieldwork. This choice suggests that he is a better writer than he is a scientist. And we know that's not true in the opinion of the author of the passage because there's that equivalency. He's as good at writing about dinosaurs as he is at discovering them in the field. So I'm gonna cross this off and return back to option B, he excels at fieldwork, so that's check for good scientist, as well as at popular writing about serious scientific issues, check for great writer. So your strategy for a question like this that asks you to summarize a passage in these choices is to come up with your own working model, come up with an answer in your own words, and then trust yourself. Pull the meaning out of the passage, construct your own understanding of what it means, and then match your understanding to one of the choices. When you do that, you'll find your answer.