SAT Writing : Deleting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Deleting Content

[1] The contemporary feminist movement had its origins more than two thousand years ago. [2] Because many people don’t realize it, some of the first feminists were men. [3] Early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were most concerned in achieving education and legal recognition such as property and voting rights. [4] Other early feminists avidly rejected society’s narrow domestic vision for women. [5] These feminists ranged from Jane Austen to George Eliot.

[6] Still other feminists were concerned with obtaining equal educational and employment opportunities for women. [7] In the field of medicine, there was Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton, and Margaret Sanger, in the field of education there was Virginia Woolf and Mary Wollstonecraft. [8] During the twentieth century, issues such as reproductive rights, pay equality, and protection against sexual harassment would arise. [9] Recently, men’s rights activists have been opposing the work of contemporary feminists, claiming that the movement seeks to divest men of power and oppress them for the benefit of women. [10] Thanks largely to the efforts of these courageous early feminists, women today enjoy more equal rights than at any other time in Western history.

Which of the following sentences should be omitted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 8

Sentence 7

Sentence 5

Sentence 3

Sentence 9

Correct answer:

Sentence 9

Explanation:

While the rest of the passage is focused on early feminist reformers, Sentence 9 digresses into a discussion of opposition faced by contemporary feminists. Because it is less relevant to the matter at hand, it should be omitted.

Example Question #2 : Deleting Content

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 10

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

Sentence 4 digresses from the main topic of the reading – vegetarianism’s history – and is too specific to match the scope of the rest of the passage, for instance, no specific figures in Medieval history are mentioned. Also, the fundamental topic of this sentence is actually a scholarly religious debate, as opposed to a debate about vegetarianism as a practice.

Example Question #3 : Deleting Content

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

Sentence 5 is too specific in scope to fit with the rest of the passage. It digresses into a minor and relatively unimportant detail about where Petit learned about the Twin Towers, but it has nothing to do with the tightrope walk, or the direct preparation for the walk. While Sentence 5 is not, necessarily, completely incorrect, it is not connected to any other part of the passage with a transitional phrase, and it can more easily be removed without altering the fundamental focus of the rest of the passage than any of the other choices provided.

Example Question #4 : Deleting Content

1 The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to writers in the United States for nearly one hundred years. 2 It is one of twenty-one different categories of the Pulitzer Prize, that is named after newspaper baron Joseph Pulitzer and admonished by Columbia University. 3 Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board generally chooses more than 100 judges to serve on 20 different juries, and each jury nominates three finalists for its respectful category.

4 Because the fiction award is usually given annually, there have also been years when it was not given to anyone. 5 This occurred when no winner was chosen from the three finalists (Denis Johnson’s collection Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s novel Swamplandia!, and David Foster Wallace’s unfinished The Pale King) in 2012. 6 As could be expected there was general outcry in the literary community following the announcement that no award would be given that year. 7 The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was also not awarded to anyone in 1920, 1946, 1956, or 1971.

8 While some authors believe that winning the Pulitzer is up to random luck or connections in the publishing world, others think that the judges consistently choose exemplifies of American fiction. 9 In their minds, the Pulitzer recognizes and honors literature’s greatest powers; to entertain, enlighten, instruct, transcend, and astonish.

Which of the following sentences should be omitted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 3

Explanation:

While Sentence 3 does provide interesting information about the Pulitzer Prize selection process, this passage is primarily concerned with the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction, and the details about the jury and finalists are not directly relevant to the overall topic of the reading.

Example Question #5 : Deleting Content

1 The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to writers in the United States for nearly one hundred years. 2 It is one of twenty-one different categories of the Pulitzer Prize, that is named after newspaper baron Joseph Pulitzer and admonished by Columbia University. 3 Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board generally chooses more than 100 judges to serve on 20 different juries, and each jury nominates three finalists for its respectful category.

4 Because the fiction award is usually given annually, there have also been years when it was not given to anyone. 5 This occurred when no winner was chosen from the three finalists (Denis Johnson’s collection Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s novel Swamplandia!, and David Foster Wallace’s unfinished The Pale King) in 2012. 6 As could be expected there was general outcry in the literary community following the announcement that no award would be given that year. 7 The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was also not awarded to anyone in 1920, 1946, 1956, or 1971.

8 While some authors believe that winning the Pulitzer is up to random luck or connections in the publishing world, others think that the judges consistently choose exemplifies of American fiction. 9 In their minds, the Pulitzer recognizes and honors literature’s greatest powers; to entertain, enlighten, instruct, transcend, and astonish.

Which of the following sentences should be omitted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 9

Sentence 8

Sentence 7

Sentence 5

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 7

Explanation:

While Sentence 7 does elaborate upon a relevant point in the passage, it gives too much unnecessary detail. Readers don’t need to know what other years the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was not awarded, and this sentence slows down the flow of the passage.

Example Question #6 : Deleting Content

1 Wedding customs range between families and social classes, but also between countries. 2 Since the dawn of time, human couples have been entering into long-term romantic commitments with each other. 3 In Ethiopia, for example, one of the groom’s friends sprays perfume inside the house of the groom’s future wife; while in Finland, engaged women go door-to-door with pillowcases to accept wedding gifts. 4 Certain celebratory traditions, such as eating special food and reciting some sort of vows or prayers, are so widely practiced today that they seem almost unilateral.

5 Recently, the very definition of marriage has shifted to include same-sex couples, both in popular culture and in certain nations’ and American states’ laws. 6 Dancing is an important part of many marriage ceremonies and celebrations, and festive wedding music can be found across a wide variety of cultures. 7 The presence of family members is also common to weddings in nearly every nation, although fathers do not always “give away” brides; sometimes mothers, grandparents, or even siblings play this role instead.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Sentence 6

Sentence 7

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

While Sentence 5 discusses a very current and important topic, it’s not directly relevant to the rest of the passage. This reading is about wedding traditions, not same-sex marriage rights or the definition of marriage itself, so Sentence 5 does not belong.

Example Question #7 : Deleting Content

1 Although many people have heard of the seven wonders of the world, most don’t know who made the original list. 2 Both Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, and Callimachus, a scholar at the famous Library of Alexandria, composed early lists of the seven wonders. 3 Although, an extract copy of these lists has not survived.

4 Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were. 5 They included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 6 Only the Great Pyramid still exists today. 7 Ruins or evidence of five of the other wonders have been found, but the Hanging Gardens have never been located by archaeologists.

8 What do these seven wonders have in common? 9 Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world. 10 Some of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Which of the following sentences should be deleted from the text?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 7

Sentence 9

Sentence 10

Sentence 8

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

Sentence 8 asks a question that is not addressed or answered in any way in the rest of the passage; therefore, it acts as a false lead for the reader and should be deleted.

Example Question #8 : Deleting Content

 [1] The Magna Carta was a charter issued in 1215 that limited a king’s power and said that no one, even a king, was above the law. [2] Before it was passed, the English people were upset that King John was ignoring their complaints. [3] They threatened King John and he agreed to sign the Magna Carta, limiting his powers and giving more to the lords. [4] The Magna Carta exemplified the political values of limited government and rule of law. [5] In fact, Magna Carta is Latin for "The Great Charter." [6] The Magna Carta affected the American political system because America ended up taking on those same values. [7] In America, the president can’t do whatever he or she wants; he or she has to work with Congress. [8] In addition, the president, like the king of England, is not above the law. [9] For example, if the president speeds then he or she will get a ticket, just like anyone else who speeds. [10] The Magna Carta could be the earliest influence on the American political system and the Constitution.

Which of the following sentences should be deleted from the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 10

Sentence 6

Sentence 8

Sentence 2

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

Sentence 5 should be deleted from the paragraph because it does not add very much to the overall purpose of the paragraph, which is to show how the Magna Carta influenced American politics. Sentence 5 is also irrelevant to the sentences around it since 4 and 6 are about political values, whereas 5 is a translation from Latin. Therefore, this paragraph would flow better if it went straight from Sentence 4 to 6: "[4] The Magna Carta exemplified the political values of limited government and rule of law. [6] The Magna Carta affected the American political system because America ended up taking on those same values."

Example Question #9 : Deleting Content

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Which of the following sentences should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 5

Sentence 8

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

Sentence 8 not only doesn’t fit where it currently appears in the passage, it’s also too specific for the rest of the content. Although the text is discussing modern-day mathematics, it doesn’t go into enough depth to validate giving examples of contemporary math fields. 

Example Question #10 : Deleting Content

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Which of the following sentences should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 8

Sentence 7

Sentence 10

Sentence 9

Sentence 11

Correct answer:

Sentence 11

Explanation:

While all of the rest of the sentences provide essential information, Sentence 11 is a direct address to the reader and is out of keeping with the formal tone of the rest of the passage. It should be deleted.

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