HSPT Language Skills : Selecting Concluding Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for HSPT Language Skills

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Selecting Concluding Sentences

[1] The Boston Tea Party was a protest that occurred in Boston during the buildup to the American Revolution. [2] The event was provoked by a period of tense relations between Britain and the British colonies that would eventually become the United States. [3] The colonists were angry that they had to pay taxes on items they imported from Britain, like tea, without having representatives in British government to voice their opinions and vote on whether or not to levy such taxes. [4] This was the issue summarized by the now-famous phrase, “No taxation without representation.” [5] If people don’t pay their taxes today, it is a crime called tax evasion, and they can get in big trouble with the government and go to jail. [6] Taxed tea was sent back to Britain in many colonies as a form of protest, but in Boston, the Governor refused to return the tea. [7] In response, Bostonians boarded a ship carrying taxable tea and dumped it into the harbor on December 16th, 1773. [8] Britain responded by tightening control of the colonies, but eventually, the country fought its colonies directly in the American Revolution after they declared independence.

Which of the following sentences would best conclude the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

It’s important to study patterns in history, not just individual events.

In countries all over the world, people have developed different culturally significant ways of brewing and serving tea.

The Governor must have been really mad when his citizens dumped all that tea in the harbor!

Events like the Boston Tea Party are important on their own, but take on extra significance when viewed as part of the chain of events that led to a revolution.

Correct answer:

Events like the Boston Tea Party are important on their own, but take on extra significance when viewed as part of the chain of events that led to a revolution.

Explanation:

The sentence that would best conclude this paragraph is "Events like the Boston Tea Party are important on their own, but take on extra significance when viewed as part of the chain of events that led to a revolution." The paragraph as a whole discusses the causes and effects of the Boston Tea Party. The last sentence in the paragraph as it's presented focuses on how the Boston Tea Party was one of the causes of and events leading up to the American Revolution.

Example Question #2 : Selecting Concluding Sentences

[1] Before the printing press and moveable type were in use, copyists had to spend a great deal of time hand-printing books. [2] This made books time-consuming to produce, relatively rare, and very expensive. [3] Books printed using a printing press relied not on human writers to spell out their messages, but on arrangements of metal or wooden blocks with letters on them. [4] Printing a book was much faster than hand-copying it.

Which of the following sentences would best conclude the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

Lead type has a maximum letter size that it can print, but wooden type isn't subject to the same limit.

"Illuminated" manuscripts are those in which the copyist included visual art in the margins or in the form of heavily-embellished first letters of texts or sections.

Due to the way it decreased the time and effort involved in publishing and distributing a book, the printing press and moveable type together helped create a publishing boom in which books became more accessible than ever before in Europe.

Moveable type and the printing press had a huge effect on Europe and helped pave the way for the Scientific Revolution, which was in full swing in the seventeenth century.

Correct answer:

Due to the way it decreased the time and effort involved in publishing and distributing a book, the printing press and moveable type together helped create a publishing boom in which books became more accessible than ever before in Europe.

Explanation:

The sentence about lead type vs. wooden type and and the sentence about illuminated manuscripts are related to the history of book publishing, but not to the contents of the paragraph specifically. If either were used as the concluding sentence for this paragraph, it would make for a confusing, irrelevant conclusion. 

Both of the remaining answer choices shown below relate to the history of publishing and specifically to the invention of the printing press and moveable type, so we need to focus on how they differ.

"Moveable type and the printing press had a huge effect on Europe and helped pave the way for the Scientific Revolution, which was in full swing in the seventeenth century."

"Due to the way it decreased the time and effort involved in publishing and distributing a book, the printing press and moveable type together helped create a publishing boom in which books became more accessible than ever before in Europe."

The answer choice here listed first summarizes the effect that the invention of the printing press and moveable type had on Europe before considering how this event helped cause the Scientific Revolution. The Scientific Revolution isn't mentioned anywhere in the paragraph provided, so it is off-topic in this particular paragraph. This sentence would thus not make the best conclusion.

The best answer is the answer choice here listed second. This sentence summarizes the effect that the printing press and moveable type had on the European publishing industry at the time, which is much more closely related to the content of the provided paragraph.

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