HiSET: Language Arts - Writing : Analyzing Paragraph Structure

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HiSET: Language Arts - Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Paragraph Structure

1    The recruitment of elite athletes by American universities has recently reached new levels of both sophistication and it is very competitive. The benefits of having top-quality athletic programs are obvious: massive television revenues, marketing deals with major corporate sponsors, and increased alumni donations.  However, the desire to achieve these riches led many colleges to sanction practices that are both ethically and legally questionable.

2    Colleges have traditionally made allowances in their admission standards for athletes who might not have otherwise been academically qualified.  In recent years, however, several cases of outright academic fraud have been uncovered at major American universities.  These include fraudulent transcripts, fictitious online coursework, and the increasingly common practice of having a star athlete repeat a grade or two in order to achieve a higher grade point average.

3  The recruitment of potential college athletes is also starting at a much earlier age as it was before.  Some football and basketball players have been given scholarship offers before they enroll in high school.  The presence of various types of social media also plays a large role in the recruiting process.  Of course, the offers are non-binding, and oftentimes, the athletes in question do not actually attend the school at all.

4.  It would be a good idea for the leaders of American universities to remind themselves of the academic mission of their institutions before they allow the pursuit of money and fame  to corrupt them.  Success on the playing fields is a noble goal, but not if it comes at the cost ignoring the true purpose of higher education.

Which choice best replaces the bolded and underlined phrase?

Possible Answers:

(no change)

Recently, in years, however.

In recent years, but, 

In recent years; however, 

Correct answer:

(no change)

Explanation:

The answer choice correctly uses a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence and the coordinator "however" provides the proper contrast to the previous sentence.

Semi-colons require two main clauses.

"But" is a conjunction that requires two main clauses if it is used alongside a comma.

Example Question #2 : Analyzing Paragraph Structure

(1) Yoga is an ancient practice. (2) It is a practice that originated in India. (3) Although many modern yoga practitioners think that yoga is mostly about stretching and exercise, its origins are much more closely related to meditation and spirituality. (4) One major text that forms a large portion of what we now know about yoga is The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.  (5) Hatha is the name of one style of yoga. (6) In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, eight different components or “limbs” of yoga are introduced. (7) Only one of these “limbs” pertains to a physical yoga practice. (8) The other seven are related to moral virtuous behavior, breathing, and inward focus. (9) Yoga was first introduced to the west in the 19th century and gained major mainstream popularity in the 20th century. (10) In the United States and around the world, a wide variety of yoga styles have taken hold. (11) A few current popular yoga styles include vinyasa, ashtanga, bikram, and many others. (12) Many of these styles are quite different from the earlier forms of yoga. (13) In fact, many of the poses in contemporary yoga were actually influenced by calisthenics done by the British army. (14) Krishnamacharya, the yogi-in-residence in Mysore, India for much of the twentieth century, combined the earlier mystic elements of yoga with movements borrowed from gymnastics and military conditioning routines. (15) Often called “The Father of Modern Yoga,” Krishnamacharya personally instructed some of the most influential teachers who then went on to establish their own styles of teaching. 

The writer is considering breaking the passage into two separate paragraphs. Where is the best place for a paragraph break? 

Possible Answers:

Between sentences (10) and (11)

Between sentences (8) and (9)

Between sentences (5) and (6)

Between sentences (7) and (8)

Between sentences (3) and (4)

Correct answer:

Between sentences (8) and (9)

Explanation:

This is a natural place for a paragraph break because the content shifts from the historical origins of yoga to its emergence in the western world. A new paragraph typically signals to readers that there is a new point of new idea being discussed. In this passage, the transition from the ancient history of yoga to the more recent history of contemporary yoga (as well as its journey to the United States) is exactly the kind of shift that calls for a new paragraph.

Example Question #3 : Analyzing Paragraph Structure

Dear Author,

Thank you for bringing the Harold Rodgers series into the world—your books have made my life so much better and more interesting. (1) Your books are just amazing. The characters and the plot spark my imagination and take me into a new world. (2) I just couldn’t put the books down once I read them they are so suspenseful. I think you should write another book. If you did, a lot of people would buy it. (3) When your previous books were published, the lines at the bookstore were out the door, and people were waited all night to get your book. You could make a lot of money selling your books to children and adults since so many people would buy it. (4) Everyone needs to make money to survive. Please consider writing another book for your fans. Thank you for taking time to read my request. 

What change should be made to sentence 1?

Possible Answers:

(no change)

Omit the sentence

Your book's are just amazing. 

You're books are just amazing. 

Correct answer:

Omit the sentence

Explanation:

The best choice would be to omit this sentence from the paragraph. This is because the author has already expressed that he or she thinks that the author’s books are amazing through the details in the paragraph, making this sentence redundant and repetitive. The other choices are grammatically incorrect or do not correct the problem of repetitiveness.

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