New SAT Writing and Language : Organization Words

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for New SAT Writing and Language

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Organization Words

The Sagrada Familia has stood, incomplete, as part of the Barcelona skyline since the early phases of its construction in 1882. The project, originally intended to be a cathedral in the gothic style, was begun by the bookseller Joseph Maria Bocabella under the direction of the architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. Del Villar and Bocabella imagined a basilica modeled on the Gothic revival churches Bocabella had seen on trips to Italy. 1 However, Bocabella’s ideal basilica never came to be. In 1883 del Villar resigned from the project, and 30-year old Antoni Gaudi, a young but already well-known architect from Catalonia, took over as lead architect.

Possible Answers:

 Consequently,

Therefore,

In fact,

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

Whenever the SAT Writing and Language section asks you for the best transition between two paragraphs or sentences, read the sentence before and after the transition and determine the relationship between the two sentences. The sentence before in this case states that the original vision of the church was based on Gothic revival churches from Italy. The sentence after the transition word states that this ideal wasn't built. Because of the contrast between the two sentences, you're looking for a word that indicates contrast. The only choice that indicates contrast is, NO CHANGE. Since the other options all indicate that the next sentence should be a continuation, they can all be eliminated.

Example Question #2 : Organization Words

As the research progresses, they must present their findings in both written and oral reports to stakeholders in the project. Therefore, depending on the site and what they find, CRM archaeologists may also work with architects and planners. This work is to revise building sites to protect sensitive areas. So while everyday archaeologists may not be involved in saving the world from existential threats, they do play an important role in society, helping us preserve and consider the past even as we plan for the future. As cities and communities continue to expand, the work they do will only grow in importance.

Possible Answers:
NO CHANGE

In fact, depending

Depending

However, depending

Correct answer:

Depending

Explanation:

This question asks you to choose between different transition words and to determine whether you need a transition word at all between these two sentences. As with any question dealing with transitions, you should first look at what each sentence is saying and then determine the relationship between those two sentences. The first sentence states that the archaeologists must present their findings to the members of the project, and the second states that after that they may work with architects and planners to change the plan. These are two separate facts - one does not flow into the other except sequentially. Thus, the best transition is in fact no transition at all, "depending."

Example Question #3 : Organization Words

For thousands of years, cooking was considered more of a practice than a science. Much of what chefs and food scientists alike knew about cooking came from conventional wisdom rather than carefully designed research. For individuals who considered cooking to be an art rather than a science, this seemed to be for the best; 1 surprisingly, for physicist Nicholas Kurti and chemist Herve This, the lack on empirical knowledge around what we eat was not just an affront to science. It was a challenge. In 1988 the pair coined the term “molecular gastronomy,” which they defined as the investigation of the physical and chemical transformation that ingredients undergo during the course of cooking. They argued that if chefs understood these processes, they could produce dishes improved by the findings. 

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

however,

in fact,

indeed,

Correct answer:

however,

Explanation:

Whenever you are asked to choose a transition between two thoughts, you should first consider each thought separately and then how they relate together. The phrase before the transition states that many people have considered the fact that cooking was not science-like to be good. The phrase after the transition states that Kurti and This considered this an "affront to science". The two phrases are meant to contrast with one another and require a transition word that reflects this. Neither "in fact" nor "indeed" indicate a contrast and can be eliminated. "Surprisingly" does indicate a contrast, but the second phrase isn't surprising so it too can be eliminated. "however" is correct.

Example Question #4 : Organization Words

Niche constructors are particularly important in colonizing new environments. One of the easiest ways to measure this effect on evolution has been in the effect that the number of earthworms has on soil fertility, a measure of how hospitable an environment is to plant growth. Even the least fertile soil has around 62 worms per square meter, and as the number of worms increases so does soil fertility. As worms move through the different layers of soil, they eat, digest, and excrete massive amounts of organic matter. They leave their excretions behind in the form of nutrient-rich droppings known as casings. As these casings decompose, they release nutrients into the soil. This process not only moves nutrients from one layer of the soil to another but also converts the nutrients to forms that plants can absorb and process more easily. Because it is easier for plants to get the proper nutrients, plants don’t have to invest time and energy into making better root systems to gather nutrients. 1 Therefore, plants have, over time, lost some of these mechanisms – a form of evolution. 

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

In fact,

As a result,

Nevertheless,

Correct answer:

As a result,

Explanation:

As with the previous question, to pick the best transition you need to be able to understand the sentence before and the sentence you are transitioning to. The previous sentence states that plants don't have to work as hard to get nutrients because of changes to the soil. The current sentence states that plants have lost the ability to work hard. The second sentence is not just a continuation of the first - it's a consequence. The only answer that shows this relationship is, "as a result."

Example Question #5 : Organization Words

Since 1988, the mission of molecular gastronomy has shifted. Kurti and This originally sought to investigate “kitchen old wives’ tales,” invent new recipes, improve old ones, and make the case to the public that science was a useful part of everyday life. Even if their experiments weren’t intended to be replicated in home kitchens, they were intended to encourage home cooks to experiment. Today, molecular gastronomists seek to explore the social, artistic, and technical aspects of food preparation. Some have argued that this shift in focus, along with the fact that techniques in molecular gastronomy have so far surpassed what any home cook could do, means that molecular gastronomy has lost its ability to impact how the world cooks at home.

 To these ends, the belief in experimentation lives on outside the world of molecular gastronomy. Cooking magazines and websites now often have what are called “test kitchens” – departments dedicated not only to testing new recipes but also to improving techniques and testing uses for kitchen implements themselves. These test kitchens have taken the spirit of experimentation from Kurti and This’s early work and have applied it to everything from the best way to make fried chicken to the ideal temperature at which to bake chocolate chip cookies. While these experiments might not involve lab equipment, they have fulfilled one of Kurti and This’s early dreams: they show the importance of scientific thinking outside of the halls of science.

Possible Answers:

Despite this criticism,

 As a result,

In light of this criticism,

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Despite this criticism,

Explanation:

As with other transition phrases, you should look at the sentence before and the sentence containing the transition and determine their relationship in order to correctly answer this problem. The sentence before talks about the criticism that molecular gastronomy no longer affects how the world cooks at home. The sentence containing the transition states that experimentation lives on outside of molecular gastronomy. While this isn't a direct contrast, it is a contrast. The only transition that correctly indicates this contrast is answer choice "Despite this criticism."

Example Question #6 : Organization Words

People looking to eat a healthy diet would be well advised to look beyond the advertised benefits of food products.  For example, most products labeled “fat free” or “low fat” contain large amounts of carbohydrates and starches, elements that don’t qualify as “fat” themselves but that nonetheless lead to weight gain and obesity.  For instance, ingredients like sugar and corn syrup are more likely to lead to weight gain than are many ingredients with large amounts of fat.  Accordingly, those people interested in eating “healthy” would be well advised to look more closely at all the ingredients and nutritional facts on a product’s packaging, not just at the advertising language that trumpets a particular attribute.​

Possible Answers:

As an illustration

Therefore

NO CHANGE

Moreover

Correct answer:

Moreover

Explanation:

When looking to understand what type of transition terminology best fits in the underlined portion of the sentence, context should guide our analysis. Here, we begin the paragraph with a conclusion, followed by an example in support of the conclusion that begins “for example.” So, it would be illogical to continue the paragraph with another “for example.” We need a continuation term, rather than an initial example term. So, “for instance” and “as an illustration” can both be eliminated. It’s also worth keeping in mind that when two answers can be used in identically the same context, we should be suspicious of both answers, since they cannot both be correct, and it's way more likely that there's something wrong with both options. Here, example terminology does not fit the context, and nor does the conclusion language “therefore.” Our correct answer, “moreover” correctly expresses the continuation of the following sentence, and is the only appropriate option.

Example Question #1 : Organization Words

“Scientists who study fluids know that they produce fractal patterns,” said Taylor. Once he confirmed that they were fractals, he ran a test that enabled him to quantify how complicated the fractal patterns were—1 is a not-very-complex fractal and 2 is highly complex. He did this because his team had a wealth of historic data from when Rorschach tests were used to as a psychological exam—they could compare the fractal complexity of a Rorschach blot with the number of images people tended to see in them. What they found was that the more fractal complexity an image had, the fewer images people claimed to spot.


This matters because fractals are all over nature: trees, coastlines, clouds are all fractal. Conversely, when a Rorschach blot has a simple fractal pattern, it could look like a lot of different things that we see in the natural world. As the image gets increasingly complex, the number of things it might resemble goes down. But what’s puzzling is the fact that our brain does this at all.

Possible Answers:

Alternatively

However

Consequently

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

Consequently

Explanation:

In this example, we’re being tested on meaning and the use of an appropriate transition word to convey a meaning that is logical. Here, the portion before the underline serves as evidence or cause for the portion after the underline. So, “consequently” is the appropriate term, as it expresses the cause-effect relationship between the fact that “fractals are all over nature: trees, coastlines, clouds are all fractal” and that “when a Rorschach blot has a simple fractal pattern, it could look like a lot of different things that we see in the natural world.” All other answers seem to present a point of contrast. This should immediately throw a red flag in this question, as two or more answers cannot both/all be correct, so if they seem to play the same role, there’s a far better chance that there’s something problematic with both/all of them - as is the case here.

Example Question #174 : New Sat Writing And Language

Despite the warnings of environmental scientists, the waterfront building project has not yet had an adverse effect on the riverbed ecosystem.​

Possible Answers:

Against​

Taking into account

Because of

NO CHANGE

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

In this example, we’re being tested on meaning and the use of an appropriate transition word to convey a meaning that is logical. Since the fact that the waterfront building project hasn’t had an adverse effect seems to be countering the warnings of environmental scientists, we need a contrast term, and can thus eliminate “because of” and “taking into account.” Additionally, both “taking into account” and “against” seem to attribute agency to the waterfront building project and suggest that it is choosing not to have an adverse effect - an illogical construction. Our correct answer and original construction “despite” effectively expresses the necessary contrast without falsely attributing agency to the building project, and is thus logical.

Example Question #7 : Organization Words

Studies have linked literacy to a variety of both individual and societal benefits. However, in an increasingly digital and fast-paced world, emphasis on and access to literacy and literary-building resources have decreased over the past several years. Additionally, to combat this important issue, we should reallocate public funds to resources such as the public library and school reading clubs and competitions.

Possible Answers:

Therefore

NO CHANGE

However

Nonetheless

Correct answer:

Therefore

Explanation:

In this example, we’re being tested on meaning and the use of an appropriate transition word to convey a meaning that is logical. If we utilize the surrounding context, we can see that the author presents a call to action in the sentence introduced by the transition in our underlined portion. So, we need conclusion language to introduce this call to action. Only “therefore,” our correct answer, provides us with this conclusion language. Our original construction falsely suggests that the sentence that follows provides additional support/evidence, and both “however” and “nonetheless” present a contrast term that doesn’t fit our context. It’s also worth noting that if two answer choices seem to play the same role, they cannot feasibly both be correct - so there’s a good chance there’s something wrong with both, and we’ll want to be suspicious of cases where two answer choices seem identical in application.

Example Question #8 : Organization Words

Video games are commonly associated with addictive and potentially violent tendencies in young children. However, there is far more evidence to suggest that video games, in moderation, help children to develop cognitive and social skills.

Possible Answers:

Hence

NO CHANGE

Additionally

Furthermore

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

In this example, we’re being tested on meaning and the use of an appropriate transition word to convey a meaning that is logical. In order to do so, we’ll want to look at the relationship between the sentence before the transition word at hand and the sentence that follows. In this case, the fact that “video games are commonly associated with addictive and potentially violent tendencies in young children” seems to contrast with the following sentence suggesting that “there is far more evidence to suggest that video games, in moderation, help children to develop cognitive and social skills.” So, we need a contrast term to address this connection. “Additionally” and “furthermore” both provide a continuation term, which would not be appropriate in this context. “Hence” suggests that what follows is a conclusion based on the earlier sentence, which would also be illogical. In this case, the original construction, “however” is the only option that appropriately expresses the contrast between the perceived negative impacts of video games and the evidence provided about the potential positive factors.

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