PSAT Writing : Ordering Sentences

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for PSAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : Ordering Sentences

[1] The job of CRM archaeologists is to identify the potential cultural significance of a site and then document and preserve any artifacts of historical or cultural significance. [2] The surplus of people who want to work in archaeology has meant that the majority of archaeologists aren’t employed by universities or museums, but by construction companies and the government.  [3] Most archaeology positions in today’s economy are for what are referred to as a “cultural resource management” archaeologists, or CRM archaeologists, who are often involved in building projects as representatives of the state, Native American tribes, and historical societies. [4] While part of this analysis might involve starting a dig at the site in question to find relevant artifacts, much of this research process requires CRM archaeologists to consult historical records and talk to members of the community where the building process has been proposed. 1

For the sake of the logic of the passage, sentence 1 should be placed

Possible Answers:

after sentence 2.

after sentence 4.

where it is now.

before sentence 4.

Correct answer:

before sentence 4.

Explanation:

Whenever you are looking to rearrange a paragraph, you should look at the content of the sentence that you're moving and see if it provides any information that either must be preceded by information in the passage in order to make sense or must come before other information in the passage in order to adequately explain it. In this case, you are told that a CRM archaeologist's job is to look at the potential historical significance of different sites. However, you don't yet know what a CRM archaeologist is, so the sentence has to come after the term is defined in sentence 3. This means that the sentence must come either before or after sentence 4. And since you need some sort of explanation as to what the "analysis" means in sentence 4, sentence 1 must be placed before sentence 4.

Example Question #1 : Rhetoric: Sentences: Paragraphs

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. 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.

[1] By the time Gaudi died in 1926, the basilica was only somewhere between 15 and 20 percent complete. [2] Gaudi decided to depart from del Villar’s original Gothic design in favor of a more modern design. [3] The new design was ambitious, featuring eighteen tall spires and four different facades on different sides of the basilica. [4] But work on the new building was slow. [5] Decades passed, and the work was still incomplete. [6] In 1915, Gaudi - now 63 years old - abandoned all other work in favor of dedicating himself to the completion of the monumental church, but progress on the building was still slow. [7] When pressured to speed up work on the monumental building, Gaudi was said to have replied, “My client is not in a hurry.”  

 

To make this paragraph as logical as possible, sentence 1 should be placed

Possible Answers:

after sentence 4.

before sentence 5.  

where it is now.

after sentence 7.

Correct answer:

after sentence 7.

Explanation:

Whenever a question asks you to place a sentence within the context of the paragraph in order to increase the logic of the paragraph, remember that the SAT almost always puts its passages in chronological order. Since this paragraph is about Gaudi's work on the Sagrada Familia, a sentence about Gaudi's death should be the last sentence that talks about Gaudi's work. The last sentence that talks about Gaudi's work on the basilica is sentence 7, which talks about Gaudi's response to the criticism that the work was too slow. The sentence about his death must come after that, making, "after sentence 7", the only logical answer.

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