SAT Writing : Increasing the Effectiveness of a Sentence Fragment

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Sentence Fragment

1 One such example of regional cooking could be found in the American South. 2 Wherefore foods such as gumbo, barbecue, fried chicken, and watermelons can now be found all across the country, it was once specific to states south of the Mason-Dixon line. 3 And while Southern cuisine has been influenced by Native American tribes, Scottish immigrants, and Cajun settlers, one of the most significant culinary inspirations came from the South’s black population. 4 Dishes such as cornbread, succotash, collard or turnip greens, pimento cheese, crawfish, and sweet tea all hale from the South, as well. 5 For example, okra, black-eyed peas, and sorghum are all foods brought to America and cultivated by African slaves. 6 Soon, soul food (a sometimes contentious term among black chefs) began to be served in black-owned restaurants in the South. 7 Borne out of competing cultural influences and not-infrequent strife, it should be no surprise that Southern food remains a complex delicious cuisine to this day.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten? 

Possible Answers:

would be found

could be found (no change)

could have been found

will eventually be found

can be found

Correct answer:

can be found

Explanation:

To match the tense of the rest of the passage, the verb in Sentence 1 should be conjugated in the present tense.

Example Question #2 : Increasing The Effectiveness Of A Sentence Fragment

1 Ethnography: sounds erogenous but is simply a study of a culture or group of people. 2 Originating in the field of anthropology, later becoming popular in sociology and other disciplines. 3 Ethnographies typically include: descriptions of geography, religion, economy, social behaviors, rituals and histories. 4 Most early ethnographies were written by ex-patriot European explorers traveling outside their home continent; though by some standards the Greek historian Herodotus was producing protoplasmic ethnographies hundreds of years before the Age of Exploration. 5 Ethnographies can take forms ranging from the confessional, the feminist, the critical, and the realist but most are qualitative and descriptive rather than quantitative and statistical. 6 Some attempt to provide fairly objective observations of a group or society, others have the anterior motive of empowering marginalized or repressed cultures. 7 This group or culture may include anything from a fraternity to a particular Uruguayan village. 8 Today ethnographers often immerse themselves fully in the lives of their subjects, be they powerful politicians and impoverished blue-collar workers.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 1 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

Ethnography, which sounds esoteric but is simply

Ethnography sounds erogenous but is simply

Ethnography: sounding esoteric, it is simply

Ethnography: sounds erogenous but is simply (no change)

Ethnography: It sounds erogenous but simply it is

Correct answer:

Ethnography sounds erogenous but is simply

Explanation:

A colon isn’t required after “Ethnography.” By deleting it, we can make the sentence a straightforward independent clause. No other changes are necessary.

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