SAT Writing : Deleting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #21 : Deleting Content

1 “Waltzing Matilda” is the title of an Australian song. 2 This song is often called Australia’s unofficial national anthem. 3 Although unscrupulous to a foreigner, the song’s seemingly nonsensical lyrics are actually slang that describes a migrant worker’s travels. 4 The song even has it’s own museum in Queensland. 5 Can you believe that? 6 It was written in 1895 by the Australian author Banjo Paterson and has more recordings than any other Australian song, including the national anthem; “Advance Australia Fair.”

Which sentence needs an apostrophe deleted from it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 2

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

In Sentence 4 (as in all sentences), the possessive of it should be “its,” not “it’s.” "Its" signals possession, "it's" is an contraction of "it is."

Example Question #381 : Improving Paragraphs

1 As anyone who has tried it can tell you, Filipino food is an exciting intriguing blend of flavors. 2 Due to interaction with various nations and cultures, it’s cuisine is marked by influences from Austronesia, Spain, China, Malaysia, and the United States. 3 Some typical dishes including pancit, longganisa, lumpia, kare-kare, pinakbet, sinigang, and adobo. 4 For example, one could find everything from Spanish paella and Chinese spring rolls (locally called lumpia) if you walked into a Filipino restaurant.

5 Another important compound of Filipino cuisine is street food. 6 These street foods include many fried foods, such as bananas, plantains, dumplings, squid balls, battered quail eggs, and fruit or vegetable spring rolls.7 Taho, a warm street food, is composed of bean curd, a caramel syrup or arnibal, and tapioca pearls.8 Don’t forget dessert! 9 With such a variety of flavors, textures, and cooking styles, there’s certainly to be something for every gourmand.

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

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 8

None of these sentences should be deleted.

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 8

Explanation:

While a sentence describing Filipino desserts could certainly enhance the passage, Sentence 8 does not provide any essential or interesting information about these desserts and should be deleted.

Example Question #21 : Deleting Content

1 While many people feel strongly about the genetic modification of foods. 2 Most do not understand the full nature of genetically modified (GM) plants and animals. 3 For example, did you even know that GM was the abbreviation for genetically modified? 4 Genetic modification is defined as the artificial manipulation of a specie’s DNA usually for the purpose of improving crop yield, resistance to disease, or nutritive value. 5 And did you know it has been going on for millennia, because ancient farmers were selectively breeding foods to provide better flavor, produce smaller seeds, or withstand drought and flooding?

6 Today, however, having more sophisticated tools allow scientists to transfer genes from one organism with another, this purposely provokes better pest resistance and other desirable characteristics. 7 Opponents of genetic modification argue that the DNA modifications are unstable, undesirable, and unhealthy for the environment. 8 Additionally, some are also arguing that consuming GM foods is unsafe for humans, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.

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

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 3

Explanation:

Only Sentence 3 provides no useful or relevant information.

Example Question #21 : Deleting Content

1 The lost-wax casting method may sound cryptic, but its really a fairly simple and comprehendible process. 2 It is also known as investment or precision casting. 3 It involves twelve steps in that an artist makes an original wax model; creates rubber and plaster molds from the model; fills the molds with wax; coats the new wax models with a ceramic material; and fires the wax-ceramic mixture into a kiln so that the outer layer becomes a reusable mold and the inner wax melts away. 4 Despite involves technical jingo such as spruing, metal-chasing, and burnout, it is a very versant process that can be applied to everything from jewelry making and sculpture, automobile and gun manufacturing.

5 Lost-wax has been used by sculptors from ancient Greece all the way to modern day Germany. 6 Lost-wax has even been applied to dentistry, it is most frequently used to make gold crowns and inlays.7 Why not give it a try? 

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Sentence 4

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 2

Explanation:

While Sentence 2 does provide interesting alternative terms for the main focus of the passage, lost-wax casting, it does not fit well in the text. It interrupts the introduction of the process (Sentence 1) and the more detailed description of the process (Sentence 3) and would not fit well anywhere else, given that the entire passage is only concerned with the process of lost-wax casting and not its history or etymology. The best option in this case is to cut the sentence.

Example Question #23 : Deleting Content

1 E.J. Bellocq, who was he? 2 Those outside the photography coterie may not have heard of him, but his life’s work inspired innumerable films and works of literature. 3 Born into a rich family in the French Quarter of New Orleans Bellocq made a living, taking official photographs of ships, machinery, and other commercial items for local companies. 4 As a result, he became known for his portraits of Chinatown opium dens, and prostitutes in Storyville, one of the seediest districts of early 20th century New Orleans.

5 Bellocq’s work is categorized by its attention to detail and its rich aesthetic sensibility. 6 In his personal life, he was known for being eccentric, unfriendly, partially crippled, and possibly insane. 7 In his veritable Storyville portraits, the women are nude or clothed, looking at or away from the camera, and posed reclining or standing up, revealing great versatility on Bellocq’s part. 8 Tragically many of his negatives and prints were destroyed or damaged by an uncertain hand (mostly likely his or his Jesuit brother).

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 8

None of these sentences should be deleted.

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 provides personal information about Bellocq that does not fit the rest of the passage. The text is concerned with Bellocq’s professional work, not his personal life.

Example Question #24 : Deleting Content

1 Unlike most languages, Esperanto was created artificially and not arrived naturally from other language’s evolution. 2 If you’ve ever traveled in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language, you’ll be familiar with the motives of the creators of Esperanto; a universal language constructed in 1887. 3 It was invented by the linguist L.L. Zamenhof, its name translating roughly to “the hopeful one,” and it was intended as a simple, neutral language that could transfer national differences and promote international harmony.

4 Implementing Esperanto, although, was more difficult than anticipated. 5 Yet more than two million people world-wide are fluent in Esperanto, far more are fluent in so-called global languages, such as English, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, and Hindi. 6 Linguistically, Esperanto relies within a Latin alphabet and a grammar and vocabulary based primarily on Indo-European languages. 7 Luckily, free online resources, local clubs, and interminable school-sponsored instruction have kept this valuable linguistic experiment from dying out altogether.

Which sentence is least relevant to the passage and should be deleted?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 6

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 delves into the linguistic origins of Esperanto, which is too detailed and precise for the passage’s otherwise broad introduction to the language.

Example Question #24 : Deleting Content

1 The legend of Billy the Kid, one of the most famous outlaws of the Wild West. 2 Allied Henry McCarty and William H. Bonney, Billy the Kid was a gunfighter who was rumored to have killed nearly two dozen men in 19th century America. 3 Friendly and charming, his status was relatively unknown until a price was put on his head in 1881 by the governor of New Mexico, than a territory. 4 He lived in New York City, Indiana, Kansas, and Arizona at various points within his life. 5 Billy the Kid’s various crimes include: murder, horse thievery, stealing firearms, and escaping from jail. 6 Many of these various crimes were committed as part of his membership in Old West gangs. 7 He was finally, captured and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in New Mexico in 1881.

Which sentence contains a colon error?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

None of the sentences contains a colon error.

Sentence 6

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

Colons are only used to introduce lists if the part of the sentence preceding the list is an independent clause. In the case of Sentence 5, we don’t have a complete independent clause before the list, so no colon is needed.

Example Question #22 : Deleting Content

1 If you’re wearing clothes right now you’re likely wearing something a sewing machine has produced. 2 But what you may not know is the history of the sewing machine that made your clothes. 3 The device was invented in England during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th-century. 4 Greatly increasing efficiency by mechanizing the process. 5 Early machines were often used for stitching leather and canvas for various purposes including, horse tack, sails, and shoes. 6 Gradually, other machines emerged that were superior in Europe and America. 7 Famous brands today; include those by 19th century inventor Isaac Singer. 8 As the 1800s progressed sewing machines became purchases for not just clothing manufacturers but individuals. 

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 6

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Sentence 7

Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Sentence 7

Explanation:

Sentence 7 discusses contemporary sewing machines, but the rest of the passage is about early sewing machines. Since it is least relevant to the text’s main topic, Sentence 7 should be deleted.

Example Question #23 : Deleting Content

1 The tornado, a dreaded meteorological phenomena and a verifiable force of nature. 2 But what is it really? 3 Also known as a twister or a cyclone, tornadoes are rapidly rotating funnels of air linked between a cloud and either the surface of the earth or water. 4 They are caused by the creation of strong thunderstorms by rotating columns of air, resultantly increased rainfall causes increased downward air movement. 5 Rather than the Richter scale measures the strength of hurricanes the Fujita scale measures the strength of a tornado. 6 This natural disasters’ destructive mite is commemorated in such classic films as the 1996, movie, Twister. 7 And the 2014 “Into the Storm” and even the 2013 sparse “Sharknado.” 8 The Fujita scale, also called the F-scale, was named after an employee at the University of Chicago and originally had 13 different levels.

Which sentence could be deleted from the passage without abandoning any essential information?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 7

Sentence 3

Sentence 2

Sentence 4

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 2

Explanation:

A rhetorical question, Sentence 2 does nothing to contribute to the main ideas of the passage. While rhetorical questions can often be useful devices, this one isn’t functioning particularly well.

Example Question #391 : Improving Paragraphs

1 W. Somerset Maugham was a proliferate and English author of more than two dozen books. 2 Born in 1874 and orphaned at a young age, also working as an ambulance driver in World War I and studying medicine in London. 3 Among his life he traveled in Eastern Europe and Southeast Asia, within other places, these experiences were also reflected in his writing. 4 His first novel, Liza of Lambeth, drew on these real-life experiences and became an instant bestseller, when it was published, in 1897. 5 One of Maugham’s most famous works, the American writer Theodore Dreiser gave a glowing review to the 1915 novel Of Human Bondage. 6 His legacy includes many plays, film adaptations, a tumultuous love life, an epigrammatic British literary award (the Somerset Maugham Award), and a steady if unexperimental oeuvre of fiction.

What should be deleted from Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

“oeuvre of fiction.”

nothing should be deleted from the sentence

“film adaptations,”

“a tumultuous love life,”

“legacy includes”

Correct answer:

“a tumultuous love life,”

Explanation:

The tumultuous love life was not part of Maugham’s legacy but rather his actual life, so it does not belong in this sentence.

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