PARCC: Language of the Test (Grade 11)

Before you can answer a question on the PARCC English Language Arts/Literacy section, you first need to know what the question is asking. Learn this list of 70 words that we extracted from a PARCC practice test's directions, question stems, and answer options.
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Activities for this list:

definitions & notes only words
  1. narrator
    someone who tells a story
    Which quotation from the text best shows the narrator moving beyond her inherent aloneness?
  2. transcript
    something that has been transcribed
    Today you will read two documents that were written at the time
    of the American Revolution and read a transcript of a video that
    gives further information about one of these documents.
  3. paragraph
    one of several distinct subdivisions of a text
    In paragraph 2, what does the phrase inherent aloneness suggest about Helga?
  4. quotation
    a passage or expression that is cited
    Which quotation from the text best shows the narrator moving beyond her inherent aloneness?
  5. analytical
    using or skilled in using reasoning
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  6. context
    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation
    What suggestion in paragraphs 5 and 6 provides context for understanding the answer to Part A?
  7. passage
    a section of text, particularly a section of medium length
    Today you will read and analyze passages from two novels.
  8. highlight
    move into the foreground to make more visible or prominent
    It highlights the reasons Helga is eager to begin a new life in Denmark.
  9. rhetorical
    relating to using language effectively
    As you study these sources, pay particular attention to the rhetorical
    features of each source and the audience to which each one was
    addressed.
  10. analyze
    consider in detail in order to discover essential features
    Today you will read and analyze passages from two novels.
  11. essay
    an analytic or interpretive literary composition
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  12. description
    a statement that represents something in words
    What does this description reveal about the narrator’s state of mind at the time?
  13. source
    a document from which information is obtained
    As you study these sources, pay particular attention to the rhetorical
    features of each source and the audience to which each one was
    addressed.
  14. document
    a representation of a person's thinking with symbolic marks
    Today you will read two documents that were written at the time
    of the American Revolution and read a transcript of a video that
    gives further information about one of these documents.
  15. text
    the main body of a written work
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  16. theme
    a unifying idea that is a recurrent element in literary work
    Now that you have read and answered questions about the passages from Quicksand and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, write an essay in which you identify a theme that is similar in both passages and analyze how each author uses the characters, events, and settings in the passages to develop the theme.
  17. perspective
    a way of regarding situations or topics
    Write an essay in which you explore the perspectives offered in the source documents regarding government’s purpose and its relationship to the people it governs.
  18. relationship
    a state involving dealings between people, parties, or ideas
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  19. assumption
    a statement that is held to be true
    Based on all three sources, what was a major assumption shared by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry?
  20. emphasize
    stress or single out as important
    It emphasizes the extent to which Helga was dissatisfied with life in
    America.
  21. support
    establish or strengthen as with new evidence or facts
    Select the sentence from paragraph 1 that best supports the answer to Part A.
  22. relevant
    having a bearing on or connection with the subject at issue
    Use what you have read in the passage to provide specific details relevant to the young man and Akakiy.
  23. overall
    involving only main features
    What is Henry’s overall purpose in his speech?
  24. setting
    the context and environment in which something is situated
    Now that you have read and answered questions about the passages from Quicksand and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, write an essay in which you identify a theme that is similar in both passages and analyze how each author uses the characters, events, and settings in the passages to develop the theme.
  25. reflect
    give evidence of
    Which statement from the passage from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man best reflects the answer to Part A?
  26. information
    a collection of facts from which conclusions may be drawn
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  27. similar
    having the same or nearly the same characteristics
    What is similar about the journeys taken by the main character from Quicksand and the main character from The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man?
  28. point of view
    a mental position from which things are perceived
    Write an imagined journal entry from the young man’s point of view as he reflects back on the situation later in life and the effects it has had on his life.
  29. contribute
    provide
    How does this description contribute to the passage as a whole?
  30. provide
    give something useful or necessary to
    What suggestion in paragraphs 5 and 6 provides context for understanding the answer to Part A?
  31. reveal
    make known to the public information previously kept secret
    What does this description reveal about the narrator’s state of mind at the time?
  32. narrative
    consisting of or characterized by the telling of a story
    As you read, you will gather information about the passage and answer questions about it so you can write a narrative story.
  33. specific
    distinguishing something particular or unique
    Use what you have read in the passage to provide specific details relevant to the young man and Akakiy.
  34. illustrate
    clarify by giving an example of
    Which quotation from the “Declaration of Independence” best
    illustrates this view of “the Founders’ thinking”?
  35. meaning
    the message that is intended or expressed or signified
    What is the meaning of the word morbid as it is used in paragraph 1?
  36. identify
    give the name or characteristics of
    Now that you have read and answered questions about the passages from Quicksand and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, write an essay in which you identify a theme that is similar in both passages and analyze how each author uses the characters, events, and settings in the passages to develop the theme.
  37. imply
    express or state indirectly
    It implies a yearning for physical wealth and accomplishment, indicating that the narrator has neither.
  38. explore
    inquire into
    Write an essay in which you explore the perspectives offered in the source documents regarding government’s purpose and its relationship to the people it governs.
  39. basis
    the fundamental assumptions from which something is begun
    Which statement expresses a general principle that serves as a foundational basis for the argument Jefferson sets forth in the “Declaration of Independence”?
  40. character
    a property that defines the individual nature of something
    How does the description of Akakiy throughout paragraph 2 add to the development of Akakiy’s character?
  41. purpose
    an anticipated outcome that guides your planned actions
    What is Henry’s overall purpose in his speech?
  42. describe
    give a statement representing something
    In paragraph 1, the narrator describes the ship passing by an iceberg that “glistened like a mammoth diamond.”
  43. phrase
    an expression consisting of one or more words
    In paragraph 2, what does the phrase inherent aloneness suggest about Helga?
  44. aspect
    a distinct feature or element in a problem
    Which aspect of the “Declaration of Independence” provides support for the answer to Part A?
  45. gather
    assemble or get together
    As you read these texts, you will gather information and answer
    questions about each text individually and about the relationship
    between the texts so you can write an analytical essay.
  46. suggestion
    an idea that is proposed
    What suggestion in paragraphs 5 and 6 provides context for understanding the answer to Part A?
  47. refer
    make a remark that calls attention to
    The transcript refers to the fact that Jefferson expunged the word “subjects” from an early draft of the “Declaration of Independence.”
  48. discussion
    an extended communication dealing with a particular topic
    How is the discussion of Dr. Anderson in paragraphs 5 and 6 important to the passage as a whole?
  49. author
    a person who writes professionally
    Now that you have read and answered questions about the passages from Quicksand and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, write an essay in which you identify a theme that is similar in both passages and analyze how each author uses the characters, events, and settings in the passages to develop the theme.
  50. novel
    an extended fictional work in prose
    Today you will read and analyze passages from two novels.
  51. suggest
    call to mind
    In paragraph 2, what does the phrase inherent aloneness suggest about Helga?
  52. argument
    an assertion offered as evidence that something is true
    Which statement expresses a general principle that serves as a foundational basis for the argument Jefferson sets forth in the “Declaration of Independence”?
  53. throughout
    from first to last
    How does the description of Akakiy throughout paragraph 2 add to the development of Akakiy’s character?
  54. development
    a process in which something passes to a different stage
    How does the description of Akakiy throughout paragraph 2 add to the development of Akakiy’s character?
  55. responsible
    being the agent or cause
    According to the passage, what is responsible for the narrator’s morbid state of mind?
  56. indicate
    give evidence of
    It implies a yearning for physical wealth and accomplishment, indicating that the narrator has neither.
  57. effect
    the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
    Which quotation has the most similar effect to that of the answer to Part A in how it contributes to the passage?
  58. feature
    a prominent attribute or aspect of something
    As you study these sources, pay particular attention to the rhetorical
    features of each source and the audience to which each one was
    addressed.
  59. evidence
    an indication that makes something apparent
    Use evidence from all three source documents to support your ideas.
  60. discuss
    to consider or examine in speech or writing
    Which paragraph of the “Declaration of Independence” most directly reflects “the Founders’ thinking” as discussed in the transcript?
  61. major
    greater in scope or effect
    Based on all three sources, what was a major assumption shared by Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry?
  62. principle
    a basic generalization that is accepted as true
    Which statement expresses a general principle that serves as a foundational basis for the argument Jefferson sets forth in the “Declaration of Independence”?
  63. oppose
    be against
    Which quotation from paragraph 2 directly opposes the idea of absolute Despotism?
  64. establish
    set up or lay the groundwork for
    It establishes the narrator’s estrangement from nature, forecasting his
    later preference for man-made, mechanical objects.
  65. contain
    hold or have within
    Paragraph 4 of the transcript contains the claim that the discovery “reveals an important shift in the Founders’ thinking: that the people’s allegiance was to one another.”
  66. address
    direct one's efforts towards something, such as a question
    As you study these sources, pay particular attention to the rhetorical
    features of each source and the audience to which each one was
    addressed.
  67. claim
    an assertion that something is true or factual
    Paragraph 4 of the transcript contains the claim that the discovery “reveals an important shift in the Founders’ thinking: that the people’s allegiance was to one another.”
  68. develop
    progress or evolve through a process of natural growth
    Now that you have read and answered questions about the passages from Quicksand and The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, write an essay in which you identify a theme that is similar in both passages and analyze how each author uses the characters, events, and settings in the passages to develop the theme.
  69. according
    as reported or stated by
    According to the passage, what is responsible for the narrator’s morbid state of mind?
  70. express
    communicate beliefs or opinions
    Which statement expresses a general principle that serves as a foundational basis for the argument Jefferson sets forth in the “Declaration of Independence”?

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