Reading Worksheet #

Question 1:

On New Year’s Day in 1610, the astronomer Johannes Kepler presented his patron John Wacher, Counsellor to the Imperial Court, a little book entitled The Six-Cornered Snowflake. It was also the first recorded step toward a mathematical theory of natural form.

Why, asks Kepler in his little treatise, do snowflakes fall as six-cornered starlets, “tufted like feathers”? There must be a cause, he asserts, for if it happens by chance, then why don’t snowflakes fall with five corners or with seven? Casting about for an answer, Kepler considered other hexagons in nature: the shape of the cell in a honeycomb, for example.  He shows that a hexagonal architecture for the honeycomb exactly suits the bee’s purpose, for (as Kepler proves) the hexagon is the geometrical figure that enables the bee to enclose a maximum volume of honey with a minimum of wax.

The first paragraph primarily functions  to

Question 2:

Same reading passage, different question.

On New Year’s Day in 1610, the astronomer Johannes Kepler presented his patron John Wacher, Counsellor to the Imperial Court, a little book entitled The Six-Cornered Snowflake. It was also the first recorded step toward a mathematical theory of natural form.

Why, asks Kepler in his little treatise, do snowflakes fall as six-cornered starlets, “tufted like feathers”? There must be a cause, he asserts, for if it happens by chance, then why don’t snowflakes fall with five corners or with seven? Casting about for an answer, Kepler considered other hexagons in nature: the shape of the cell in a honeycomb, for example.  He shows that a hexagonal architecture for the honeycomb exactly suits the bee’s purpose, for (as Kepler proves) the hexagon is the geometrical figure that enables the bee to enclose a maximum volume of honey with a minimum of wax.

Kepler claimed that the honeycomb “architecture” was primarily determined by

 

Question 3:

Because of the new emphasis on the individual that developed during the Renaissance, more records exist for art produced in sixteenth-century Europe than for art produced in earlier eras.  Although more information is needed, the sixteenth century is the first period that has provided historians with both the biographies of many female artists and significant quantities of their work.  In Late Renaissance Italy and northern Europe, female painters and sculptors worked in a wide range of subjects, styles, and scales, from portrait miniatures to large-scale altarpieces.  Like their male contemporaries, many achieved widespread fame in their native countries and beyond, attracting the attention of distinguished writers and patrons.

What was the result of the “new emphasis”?

Question 4:

Same reading passage, different question.

Because of the new emphasis on the individual that developed during the Renaissance, more records exist for art produced in sixteenth-century Europe than for art produced in earlier eras.  Although more information is needed, the sixteenth century is the first period that has provided historians with both the biographies of many female artists and significant quantities of their work.  In Late Renaissance Italy and northern Europe, female painters and sculptors worked in a wide range of subjects, styles, and scales, from portrait miniatures to large-scale altarpieces.  Like their male contemporaries, many achieved widespread fame in their native countries and beyond, attracting the attention of distinguished writers and patrons.

The author refers to “miniatures” and “altarpieces” in order to

Question 5:

Beginning in the 1780’s, novelist Charlotte Smith’s explicit and implicit criticism of English life and laws, of England’s social organization, earned her a reputation as a “subversive.”  Her novels contain some of the earliest literary attacks on the English legal system.  In comparison to later exposes by nineteenth-century novelists such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Smith’s attacks appear somewhat timorous.  However, it cannot be denied that it was Smith who introduced such a target for later novelists and that when she did, her action was considered so audacious that it laid her open to the charge of being a “menace.”

The passage suggests that many of Smith’s critics considered her novels to be

Question 6:

Same reading passage, different question.

Beginning in the 1780’s, novelist Charlotte Smith’s explicit and implicit criticism of English life and laws, of England’s social organization, earned her a reputation as a “subversive.”  Her novels contain some of the earliest literary attacks on the English legal system.  In comparison to later exposes by nineteenth-century novelists such as Charles Dickens, Charlotte Smith’s attacks appear somewhat timorous.  However, it cannot be denied that it was Smith who introduced such a target for later novelists and that when she did, her action was considered so audacious that it laid her open to the charge of being a “menace.”

The author of the passage mentions Charles Dickens primarily as an example of a novelist who

Question 7:

It is clearly the case that sociologists should assume the state of mind of physicists, chemists, and psychologists who venture into an unexplored area of their scientific field. As sociologists penetrate into the social world, they must be conscious of penetrating into the unknown. Simply put, they must recognize that they are in the presence of facts governed by laws that may seem as mysterious as did the laws of the life sciences before the development of biology. They must ready themselves for discoveries that will prove both surprising and disconcerting.

Yet sociology is far from having arrived at this degree of intellectual maturity. Scientists who study the physical world are immediately aware of the challenges with which they are confronted. Sociologists, on the other hand, believe that they operate among things immediately clear to the mind, so great is the ease with which they seem able to resolve the most obscure questions.

The sentence “Simply put…biology” suggests that the author believes that

Question 8:

Same reading passage, different question.

It is clearly the case that sociologists should assume the state of mind of physicists, chemists, and psychologists who venture into an unexplored area of their scientific field. As sociologists penetrate into the social world, they must be conscious of penetrating into the unknown. Simply put, they must recognize that they are in the presence of facts governed by laws that may seem as mysterious as did the laws of the life sciences before the development of biology. They must ready themselves for discoveries that will prove both surprising and disconcerting.

Yet sociology is far from having arrived at this degree of intellectual maturity. Scientists who study the physical world are immediately aware of the challenges with which they are confronted. Sociologists, on the other hand, believe that they operate among things immediately clear to the mind, so great is the ease with which they seem able to resolve the most obscure questions.

The “challenges” for scientists can best be described as the