SAT Writing : Deleting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #2611 : Sat Writing

1 Whether or not you are superstitious. 2 Fortunetelling has played a major role in many cultures.3 Also known as divination. 4 Western fortunetelling arose from the Romani people and such as reading tea leaves’, gazing into crystal balls, tarot reading, palmistry, and observing the flights, innards, or eating patterns of birds. 5 In William Shakespeare’s famous play “Julius Caesar,” for example, a soothsayer warns the soon to be assassinated Caesar to beware the Ides of March. 6 Western fortunetelling has also been influenced by Eastern divination methods such as the I Ching and to read coffee beans. 7 Unfortunately several major religions prescribe fortunetelling with very degrees of severity. 8 Despite, fortunetelling still thrives in contemporary culture, psychics and Magic-8 balls are just two of many fun ways to attempt to see into the future.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 5

Sentence 3

Sentence 2

Sentence 4

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 1

Explanation:

In addition to being a fragment, Sentence 1 does not add anything of substance to the passage.

Example Question #2612 : Sat Writing

1 Whether or not you are superstitious. 2 Fortunetelling has played a major role in many cultures.3 Also known as divination. 4 Western fortunetelling arose from the Romani people and such as reading tea leaves’, gazing into crystal balls, tarot reading, palmistry, and observing the flights, innards, or eating patterns of birds. 5 In William Shakespeare’s famous play “Julius Caesar,” for example, a soothsayer warns the soon to be assassinated Caesar to beware the Ides of March. 6 Western fortunetelling has also been influenced by Eastern divination methods such as the I Ching and to read coffee beans. 7 Unfortunately several major religions prescribe fortunetelling with very degrees of severity. 8 Despite, fortunetelling still thrives in contemporary culture, psychics and Magic-8 balls are just two of many fun ways to attempt to see into the future.

Which sentence needs an apostrophe deleted from it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

none of these sentences

Sentence 4

Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

In Sentence 4, “tea leaves” should be just plural, not possessive. No apostrophes are needed in that sentence.

Example Question #31 : Deleting Content

1 While maybe he wasn’t as well known as Bluebeard or Captain Kidd, Bill Johnston was still known as a feared pirate and river smuggler in his day.2 That day being the War of 1812. 3 You see, he came from a British Loyalist family and settled in Upper Canada before beginning a career as a Lake Ontario schooner captain, he carried legal cargo as well as smuggled tea and rum into Canada. 4 When the War of 1812 began he spied on the British for several years. 5 In 1838, his most famous escapade occurred: in the capture and burning of the enemy ship Sir Robert Peel. 6 Because Johnston was arrested many times during his life (including for this crime against the Sir Robert Peel), he always either escaped jail or was not convicted because of juries sympathetic view of his activities. 7 Many people do not know that another name for pirate is “corsair.” 8 Nevertheless, Johnston played many roles in his lifetime – everything from fugitive and corsair, criminal and hero.

Which word or phrase should be deleted from Sentence 3?

Possible Answers:

“as a”

“beginning”

“and settled”

“as well as”

“You see”

Correct answer:

“You see”

Explanation:

“You see” is an ineffective rhetorical device that not only adds nothing to the passage’s content but also carries a somewhat condescending tone.

Example Question #161 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 While maybe he wasn’t as well known as Bluebeard or Captain Kidd, Bill Johnston was still known as a feared pirate and river smuggler in his day.2 That day being the War of 1812. 3 You see, he came from a British Loyalist family and settled in Upper Canada before beginning a career as a Lake Ontario schooner captain, he carried legal cargo as well as smuggled tea and rum into Canada. 4 When the War of 1812 began he spied on the British for several years. 5 In 1838, his most famous escapade occurred: in the capture and burning of the enemy ship Sir Robert Peel. 6 Because Johnston was arrested many times during his life (including for this crime against the Sir Robert Peel), he always either escaped jail or was not convicted because of juries sympathetic view of his activities. 7 Many people do not know that another name for pirate is “corsair.” 8 Nevertheless, Johnston played many roles in his lifetime – everything from fugitive and corsair, criminal and hero.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

None of the sentences should be deleted

Sentence 5

Sentence 7

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 7

Explanation:

While etymologically interesting, Sentence 7 does not elaborate upon any relevant point in the passage. It is not set up with any sort of introductory phrase, nor is it followed by a sentence elaborating on the point.

Example Question #33 : Deleting Content

1 No one wants to live in the swamp. 2 But swamps are an incredibly important part of the Earth’s ecosystem. 3 They are defined as forested wetlands and can be found from Africa and Asia and in Europe and the Americas. 4 In fact: the only continent to not contained swamps is Antarctica. 5 Because swamps are rarely arid, meaning able to be farmed, and because it usually is not conducive to hunting, they are undervalued by human society. 6 In swamps, a portion of dry land that protects from the water is known as a “hammock.” 7 Moreover, swamps are actually integrity to our world, providing clean water and oxygen for people as well as breeding grounds for animals big and small. 

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 4

Sentence 6

None of the sentences should be deleted.

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 provides a piece of trivia rather than a helpful overview of the subject matter. Because it’s too specific to fit the rest of the passage, it should be deleted. These sorts of decontextualized "fun facts" are usually not going to enhance a thoughtfully composed paragraph of analytical writing.

Example Question #34 : Deleting Content

1 One of the most famous modern dancers of all times, the choreography of Martha Graham had a profound influence of the ballet world. 2 Based on “contraction and release,” the Graham technique, creating theatrical dramatic tension and deeply impassioned routines for audiences to see. 3 Graham used her inconsiderate flexibility to develop many innovative moves originating from the abdomen, back, and pelvis.4 Graham’s work rejected not only the tenants of classical ballet but instead the reactionary rebellions of early modern dance. 5 Like the work of dancer choreographers Helen Tamiris and Agnes de Mille. 6 After age forced her to retire from the stage; Graham sank into a deep depression and had difficulty watching other ballerinas dance her choreography. 7 Today, the Graham technique is taught almost universally between various dance academies, clinics, and universities. 8 Without it the world of modern day dance would indubitably not be the same.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

No sentence should be deleted

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Sentence 8

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 discusses personal difficulties in Graham’s life and is irrelevant to the main theme of the passage: Graham’s innovative choreography.

Example Question #33 : Deleting Content

1 Want to book a copacetic hotel, or dine at a premier restaurant? 2Your best bet may be: to consult a Michelin Red Guide. 3 These guides have been published by a French company since 1900 and using anonymous “inspectors” to award establishments either zero, one, two, and three stars. (4 Yes, the same company also manufactures tires. 5 It employs more than 100,000 people. 6 The guides were actually established in order for encouraging people to take more car trips to slavish hotels and exclusive restaurants.) 7 Nowadays the Michelin Guides are regarded by some as the ultimate abetters of taste.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 6

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Sentence 2

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

How many workers the Michelin company employs is utterly irrelevant to the passage. The rest of the sentences discuss matters related to the main topic: the Michelin guides to restaurants and hotels.

Example Question #161 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 It may seem counterinsurgency, but people all around the world are now proposing the legalization of dangerous recreational drugs. 2 Advocates argue that legalization could reduce the schemata of drug addiction, as well as the incarcerated population in jails. 3 If drugs were sold in stores, the government could tax them and benefit from the revue. 4 Whereas, the incidence of drug-related malfeasance and crime could decrease as well. 5 However there are also dangers to legalization; with opponents asserting that it would only lead to more addiction. 6 While countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands have already implemented drug decriminalization with positive affects, only time will tell if such a policy could be beneficial in the United States.

What phrase should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

“It may seem” (Sentence 1)

“and benefit” (Sentence 3)

“of drug addiction” (Sentence 2)

“in jails” (Sentence 2)

“are now” (Sentence 1)

Correct answer:

“in jails” (Sentence 2)

Explanation:

In Sentence 2, “in jails” is a redundancy, since “incarcerated” already means imprisoned. It can be deleted from the sentence with no loss of meaning. 

Example Question #39 : Deleting Content

1 It may seem counterinsurgency, but people all around the world are now proposing the legalization of dangerous recreational drugs. 2 Advocates argue that legalization could reduce the schemata of drug addiction, as well as the incarcerated population in jails. 3 If drugs were sold in stores, the government could tax them and benefit from the revue. 4 Whereas, the incidence of drug-related malfeasance and crime could decrease as well. 5 However there are also dangers to legalization; with opponents asserting that it would only lead to more addiction. 6 While countries such as Portugal and the Netherlands have already implemented drug decriminalization with positive affects, only time will tell if such a policy could be beneficial in the United States.

Which sentence should have a comma deleted from it?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 3

Sentence 4

Sentence 1

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 2

Explanation:

Typically, the construction “__________ as well as ____________” requires no commas.

Example Question #35 : Deleting Content

1 Have you ever heard of the Arts and Crafts movement? 2 The Arts and Crafts movement was an artistic revival of traditional craftsmanship that occurred in the late 1800s and early 1900s in the British Isles, Europe, and North America. 3 Scholars contempt that the movement was predicted on the assumption that medieval and folk art was superior to contemporary arts and decorations. 4 As such the movement deemed to correct the debasement of the decorative arts and promote beauty and fine craftsmanship.5 It was also a reaction to the increased industrialization of the Victorian age. 6 Some key figures in the movement’s inception were writer, John Ruskin, artist, William Morris, and, architect and designer, A. W. N. Pugin. 7 The movement extended to visual art, interior decorating, architecture, landscaping, and textile design, a widespread influence until it was eventually upstaged by Modernism.

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

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 2

Sentence 5

Sentence 3

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 1

Explanation:

While rhetorical questions are often useful literary devices, Sentence 1 does not add anything tangible to the content or effectiveness of the passage. It also unnecessarily uses the more informal second person ("you") perspective. Personalizing to the exact reader is usually not sound practice in academic writing.

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