All PSAT Writing Resources
Example Question #1 : Revising Introductions And Transitions In A Sentence Fragment
The plot of modern political television usually revolves around several key themes. First, there is a political conflict at the national level between major parties. Second, there are emotional and practical concerns related to office politics; furthermore, there are a number of subplots that usually have to do with local politics and tit-for-tat agreements. Finally, things resolve themselves later on in the show because much television just works itself out.
Pick an appropriate revision for the underlined phrase below, taken from the first sentence in the passage:
The plot of modern political television usually revolves around several key themes.
around ideas that surprise audiences
many key themes
around several comedic and dramatic tropes that matter greatly
around nothing substantive
The phrasing offered here is good, useful, and direct. This opening thesis statement does not need to be complicated; "around nothing substantive" changes the meaning of the sentence; "many key themes" introduces a grammatical error, changing the verb "revolves" from instransitive to transitive; "around several comedic and dramatic tropes that matter greatly" is prolix (wordy); "around ideas that surprise audiences" again changes the intended meaning, as key themes need not be surprising.