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This exploratory research experiment investigated the effects of guiding the learner through a textual passage by employing an associate passage, a guided instruction exercise, and a combination of these two procedures in order to evoke thematic conceptual linkages during a unit of study. It was the intent of this study to determine whether any of the thematic conceptual linkage treatments had a differential effect on unaided student conceptual responses when compared to non-thematic conceptual linkage treatments. These differences were measured by comparing the mean number of literal and inferential conceptually related responses generated during an individual interview session which immediately followed the treatment session. This investigation involved fifty ninth grade students with average reading ability attending an urban and a rural junior high school. Subjects were stratified according to stanine scores and randomly assigned to five experimental groups (associate passage plus guided instruction, associate passage, guided instruction, textual passage, and control). All treatment sessions were conducted under the direction of examiners whose inter-rater reliability was r = .93. The examiners were assigned to three different experimental groups in a predetermined random order to control for examiner effect. A mixed 5 X 2 analysis of variance was employed to determine the main effect of treatment and the interaction effect of treatment by level of free response. Separate one-way analyses of variance were employed to determine the effect of the treatment variable upon the literal response level and the inferred response level. The Duncan's new multiple range test was employed as a follow-up procedure to the analysis of variance. In addition to the inferential statistical analyses, the interview questions were analyzed descriptively. The results of this investigation revealed that these thematic conceptual linkage treatments facilitated the number and level of the subjects' conceptual responses. Significant differences were obtained among the treatment groups on the number of responses across the five treatment groups. Follow-up analyses revealed that the use of an associate passage in conjunction with guided instruction facilitates comprehension of a given thematic concept to a significantly greater extent than using guided instruction with the textual passage or reading the textual passage alone. When the associate passage is used alone, it seems to facilitate significantly more inferential responses than the control condition. These findings suggest that the methodology of providing students with a textual reading without an introductory theme related associate passage combined with guided instruction does not facilitate inferential conceptual understanding. This study further indicates that the extent to which a textual passage is comprehended is not exclusively dependent upon the reader or the text itself. Instead, the study suggests that certain aspects of reading comprehension may be positively influenced by such factors as the type of pre-organizer and guided instruction given prior to a textual reading. This investigation gives supportive evidence to the contention that an associate passage in conjunction with a guided instruction exercise simultaneously facilitates or alters the interaction between the learner and the textual passage to evoke thematic conceptual linkage.