SAT Writing : Moving Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #164 : Improving Paragraphs

     (1) The sport of lacrosse, while perhaps not as widely popular today in the United States as baseball or football, is far older. (2) These games served many important cultural functions. (3) They were used to settle disputes between tribes, as festival events, and to train young men to become warriors and hunters.

     (4) Hundreds of men and women from rival tribes or villages would gather to play at once. (5) The playing field was sometimes several miles long. (6) The original game was very different from the organized sport played today. (7) A single game would be played from dawn until sunset, and be followed by dancing and feasting.

     (8) Modern, standardized versions of lacrosse started to be played in the 1850s and soon became very popular throughout Canada and the United States. (9) For over a century, it has been one of the most widely played sports in high schools in both nations.

In context, where is the best place to put Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 8

After Sentence 1

Before Sentence 3

Before Sentence 4

Where it is now

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 4

Explanation:

This sentence would be best used to begin the second paragraph, as it introduces the topic of differences between the modern game and the first versions of it, and this topic is is elaborated on in Sentences 4, 5, and 7.

Example Question #165 : Improving Paragraphs

[1] Modern ice hockey was developed in Canada during the nineteenth century. [2] Two students from McGill University came up with the first rules. [3] A couple of years later, the sport made its way to the United States. [4] The game became a part of the Olympics in 1924.

[5] I first learned about hockey during the sixth grade. [6] When I watched my first game on the television. [7] After that first game, I begged my parents to let me play. [8] They agreed, and I started playing on my first team later that year.

[9] For the first year, I was not very good. [10] I could barely skate! [11] However, after years of practicing, I finally made it on to my high school varsity team. [12] Ice hockey was first played in the United States by universities. [13] Now, as I start applying to colleges, I hope to be able to play for my college. [14] I want to continue playing to achieve my dream of playing for the United States Olympic ice hockey team.

In context, where is the best place to put sentence 12?

Possible Answers:

Before sentence 1

After sentence 4

After sentence 5

After sentence 3

Where it is now

Correct answer:

After sentence 3

Explanation:

Sentence 12 deals with the history of ice hockey once more. Thus, the sentence should logically be placed in the first paragraph, which talks about the history of ice hockey. Because sentence 12 gives more detail about the introduction of ice hockey to the United States, it should logically be placed after sentence 3.

Example Question #1 : Moving Sentences

[1] Voltaire was an eighteenth-century's French Enlightenment philosopher. [2] According to Voltaire, an enlightened person is a rational individual who thinks independently, tolerates others, rejects superstition, and embraces science and reason. [3] Voltaire was a strong monarchist who rejected democracy and wanted a ruler who used his or her power to allow free intellectual activity. [4] Many enlightenment philosophers gave their own definitions of what an enlightened person was and did.

[5] Voltaire very much admired the English monarchy, leading him to publish Letters on the English, and he wanted the French monarchy to closely resemble the enlightened English monarchy. [6] He did not think that democracy was a plausible form of government because he simply did not have enough trust in the common people and believed that an enlightened despot would be a safer option. [7] Ironically, just as Luther’s ideas were twisted and exaggerated to inspire peasant revolts, some of Voltaire’s anti-democratic ideas ended up inspiring the French and American Revolutions.

In context, where is the best place to put Sentence 4? 

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 2

After Sentence 2

Where it is now

After Sentence 5

Before Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 2

Explanation:

The best place for Sentence 4 is before Sentence 2 because it provides a transition between the basic biographical information about Voltaire and his specific definition of an enlightened person.

Example Question #167 : Improving Paragraphs

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?

Where should Sentence 5 be moved in this passage?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 7

After Sentence 11

After Sentence 9

After Sentence 10

After Sentence 8

Correct answer:

After Sentence 10

Explanation:

Sentence 5 sums up the entire passage’s content, so it belongs near the end of the text. It would fit best after Sentence 10, which describes the most recent changes in vegetarianism’s development, and before Sentence 11, which looks ahead to the future and poses a rhetorical questions for the reader.

Example Question #51 : Separating, Combining, Or Moving Sentences

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.

Where would Sentence 2 fit best?

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 6

Before Sentence 1

Before Sentence 4

Before Sentence 3 (no change)

Before Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 1

Explanation:

Sentence 2 doesn’t belong between Sentences 1 and 3, since it’s splitting up two sentences that are both discussing marriage customs in various countries. Because Sentence 2 is a broad, introductory statement, it would work well at the very beginning of the passage.

Example Question #52 : Separating, Combining, Or Moving Sentences

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!

Where should Sentence 3 be moved in the passage?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 8

Before Sentence 2

After Sentence 7

After Sentence 4

Before Sentence 6

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 2

Explanation:

The passage gives a chronological synopsis of tattooing’s development, so the earlier events (Sentence 3) should appear before the later events (Sentence 2).

Example Question #53 : Separating, Combining, Or Moving Sentences

1 Although agritourism is a fairly recent phenomenon in the Western world; it is proving popular in many countries. 2 Agritourism is broadly defined as any activity or attraction that draws visitors to a farm, and it can include anything from corn mazes and apple picking to vineyard tours, workshops on animal husbandry, and work-stay exchange programs. 3 The practice is particularly prevocalic in North America, Europe, and Australia. 4 With a huge variety of farms and activities available to agritourists. 5 For example: visitors can learn how to run a cattle drive in Wyoming, make cheese in France, harvest olives in Sicily, or pick kiwi fruit in New Zealand.

6 Income generated from agritourism can help small family farms remain soluble as well as educate the public about where their food comes from. 7 Henceforth, most people agree that agritourism is benevolent for everyone involved. 8 While there are some who argue that it is a cheap ploy designed to make selfish tourists feel better about their vacations. 9 All in all, it will be interesting to see how agritourism continues to develop in the future. 

Where should Sentence 2 be placed?

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 9

Before Sentence 5

Before Sentence 7

Before Sentence 3 (no change)

Before Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 1

Explanation:

Sentence 2 defines a concept that the rest of the passage explains in more detail, so it makes sense to place it at the very beginning of the text.

Example Question #54 : Separating, Combining, Or Moving Sentences

1 Some of the best-known badlands occur in North America; Badlands National Park in South Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, Dinosaur National Monument in Colorado and Utah, and the Big Muddy Badlands in Saskatchewan. 2 Have you ever been to the badlands? 3 Despite their name, badlands are often fascinating topographical regions. 4 With beautiful vistas as well. 5 Elsewhere badlands can be found in Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and Argentina.6 Badlands are distinguished by their stark, dry terrain, their sharply eroded landscapes, their lack of vegetation, and their colorful, clay-rich rocks. 7 They often include geological features such as canyons, gullies, mesas, buttes, and hoodoos. 8 Nevertheless, visiting badlands can be an uncommon but rewarding experience.

Where should Sentence 1 be moved?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 3

After Sentence 6

After Sentence 5

After Sentence 2

After Sentence 4

Correct answer:

After Sentence 4

Explanation:

Sentence 1 doesn’t belong at the beginning of the passage, since it is giving details about a topic rather than providing an introduction to that topic. Since Sentence 5 lists other places that badlands can be found, Sentence 1 best fits immediately before that sentence. 

Example Question #2 : Moving Sentences

1 Deaccession or deaccessioning is defined as the intentional disposing or selling of books from library’s collections. 2 And is often undertaken to make room for newer volumes, to shift the focus of the library’s collection, or to reflect changing trends in literature. 3 Many people disagree vehicularly about which books should be deaccessioned, when and how books should be disposed of, and even whether books should be deaccessioned at all. 4 Book deaccession: It sounds boring, but is in fact one of the more controversial and problematic aspects of running a library. 5 Though others argue that it allows libraries to remain current and relevant to the public’s reading needs. 6 No doubt it is a topic that will continue to provoke debate for years to come.

Where should Sentence 4 be moved in the passage?

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 6

Before Sentence 2

Before Sentence 5 (no movement)

Before Sentence 3

Before Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 1

Explanation:

Sentence 4 provides a clear and engaging introduction to the passage’s main topic and flows nicely into the original Sentence 1, so it should be placed at the very beginning of the passage.

Example Question #56 : Separating, Combining, Or Moving Sentences

1 All in all, aviation will likely continue to fascinate people for centuries to come. 2 Long before the famous Wright brothers humans were attempting to fly. 3 The ancient Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus shows the tantalizing allusion of flight. 4 With large kites’ in China may have been the first successful instance of human flight several thousand years ago. 5 Hundreds of years later and despite many hazings; the Montgolfier brothers and other pioneering aviators began experimenting with manned hot-air balloon flights. 6 Therefore, technology has advanced to the point of supersonic and hypersonic flight, but people are still trying to break new barriers and invent new methods of flight.

Where should Sentence 1 be moved?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 2

After Sentence 5

After Sentence 3

After Sentence 4

After Sentence 6

Correct answer:

After Sentence 6

Explanation:

The fact that Sentence 1 begins with a concluding/summarizing transitional phrase (“All in all”) hints that it serves as a conclusion. This impression is supported by the content of the sentence, which wraps up the main topic of the passage nicely. For this reason, it should be moved after the last sentence in the passage.

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