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If reading performance is to vary as to kind and degree and especially if rate of reading and the newer media of instruction are to be stressed, a greater emphasis must be placed upon mental content and its relationship to the reading process. For example, in the sentence "The whipple-tree and traces were seriously damaged," little meaning can be secured without adequate mental content. An increased span of perception provides limited help. Contextual clues are of little value. Structural analysis furnishes little aid, and a rapid rate of reading complicates the whole attempt to secure understanding. There must be mental content (3) which can be used in identifying, interpreting, and evaluating meaning in all reading situations. It is the function of this paper to discuss briefly mental content and the reading process, selective reading, and the development of flexibility.

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