SAT Writing : Deleting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #416 : Improving Paragraphs

1 By now it’s common knowledge that a food may be considered unctuous in one culture may be gleaned repulsive in another. 2 Octopus is one such food. 3 It valorizes its audiences, with some gourmands claiming its rubbery texture is unpalatable, others enjoying the unusual taste. 4 It’s cousin, squid, is known as “calamari,” and is also popular in many countries.5 Octopus can be fried in batter, roasted with herbs, steamed and sprinkled with paprika, serve it raw in sushi, or even eat it alive. 6 But be careful: The head of the octopus’ can be poisonous!

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

Possible Answers:

Sentence 3

Sentence 1

Sentence 2

Sentence 5

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

Because the passage is focused primarily on eating octopus, the sentence about eating squid is a somewhat tangential point and could be deleted. To remove any of the other sentences given as options would remove relevant content, context, or details from the passage.

Example Question #2631 : Sat Writing

1 Lemon juice with cayenne pepper, cabbage soup, cookies, grapefruit. 2 What do these have in common?3 They are all key ingredients in recent fad diets; since these diets sound promising, few lead to any permanent weight loss. 4 Some of the worst can even lead to health problems, such as, vitamin deficiencies or anemia. 5 Instead of being concerned with lasting weight loss, they are promoting radical changes that only last a short time. 6 Cutting out too many calories at once from your diet can lead to dizziness, heart palpitations, and even a slower metabolism.

7 Some thinkers suggest that fad diets are really a way for us to impose order on our chaotic world, hundreds of food choices, conflicting advice from various health experts. 8 So why diet at all?

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

Sentence 5

No sentence should be deleted

Sentence 1

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

Sentences 3 and 5 both discuss problems with the premises of fad diets, and Sentence 5 does not introduce any important new information. Cut it for concision’s sake.

Example Question #51 : Deleting Content

1 What is to be done about the problem of shoplifting. 2 Small security devices hidden in the tags of expensive clothing, clearly posted signs vocalizing the penalties for shoplifting, and “spider tags” or wired alarm clips all measures that store owners can take. 3 However many can be removed turgidly with magnets, scissors, or other means.

4 Other solutions including using attentive employees, clear and wide aisles, security guards, and security cameras. 5 With self-checkouts, an additional degree of honesty comes into play. 6 Though, it might be more fruition to examine the motives for shoplifting, as more lugubrious social policies could prevent people from needing to shoplift in the first place.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 4

Sentence 2

Sentence 5

Sentence 1

No sentence should be deleted from the passage.

Correct answer:

Sentence 5

Explanation:

Since Sentence 5 discusses additional opportunities for shoplifting rather than means of preventing it, it is not relevant to the main point of the passage. Any sentence that, without sufficiently explaining or contextualizes itself, makes statements contrary to the content and intent of the passage can usually be deleted.

Example Question #181 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Acoustics is a field of science that refers to the study of mechanical waves but it is best known for its relation to audible sound. 2 Acoustics has been a branch of human impunity since ancient Greece, Pythagoras investigated musical harmonies.3 Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: all are things that employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences. 4 Sound is not important to just humans; it allows birds, elephants, elk, and other animals to attract mates and defend their territories.

5 It benefits to understand sound waves and their behaviors, when engineers have this knowledge everyone from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers can enjoy a better listening experience.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 2

Sentence 4

No sentence should be deleted

Sentence 3

Sentence 5

Correct answer:

Sentence 4

Explanation:

Sentence 4 discusses sound as it relates to animals, but that is not the focus of the passage. Sentences 2, 3, and 5 are all focused on human cognition or study of sound, so since sentence 4 stands out, it is the best option for deletion.

Example Question #181 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Acoustics is a field of science that refers to the study of mechanical waves but it is best known for its relation to audible sound. 2 Acoustics has been a branch of human impunity since ancient Greece, Pythagoras investigated musical harmonies.3 Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: all are things that employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences. 4 Sound is not important to just humans; it allows birds, elephants, elk, and other animals to attract mates and defend their territories.

5 It benefits to understand sound waves and their behaviors, when engineers have this knowledge everyone from Roman amphitheaters to modern day punk rockers can enjoy a better listening experience.

What portion of Sentence 3 should be deleted?

Possible Answers:

“optimize”

“are things that”

No portion should be deleted.

“car speakers”

“that employ”

Correct answer:

“are things that”

Explanation:

The extraneous phrase “are things that” can be deleted without any loss of content or understanding. Everything else is crucial to the meaning of the sentence. Corrected the sentence will read, "Concert halls, headphones, car speakers: employ acoustical studies to electrocute listeners’ experiences."

Example Question #51 : Deleting Content

1 Lemon juice with cayenne pepper, cabbage soup, cookies, grapefruit. 2 What do these have in common?3 They are all key ingredients in recent fad diets; since these diets sound promising, few lead to any permanent weight loss.4 Some of the worst can even lead to health problems, such as, vitamin deficiencies or anemia. 5 Instead of being concerned with lasting weight loss, they are promoting radical changes that only last a short time. 6 Cutting out too many calories at once from your diet can lead to dizziness, heart palpitations, and even a slower metabolism.

7 Some thinkers suggest that fad diets are really a way for us to impose order on our chaotic world, hundreds of food choices, conflicting advice from various health experts. 8 So why diet at all?

What word or phrase should be deleted from Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

“too many”

“can”

“from your diet”

“and even”

“Cutting out”

Correct answer:

“from your diet”

Explanation:

What else can a person cut calories from other than a diet? Cut the unessential and redundant words here. Also, none of the other words can be cut without altering the meaning or grammatical structure of the sentence.

Example Question #186 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Thoreau went to them when he wished to live deliberately, Whitman wrote about them in his book Leaves of Grass. 2 They clean the air, and harbor wildlife. 3 There are nearly 200 million, protected acres of them in the United States. 4 Forests are a national treasure.

5 Since the late 1800s, Congress and Presidents have decorated various areas of the country as national forests, grasslands, and preserves. 6 Some well known National Parks include the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Great Smoky Mountains. 7 Protecting forests helps safeguard native plant and animal species, it honors landscapes complex histories, and preserving the natural beauty for future generations.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

Sentence 5

Sentence 3

Sentence 2

Sentence 6

Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Sentence 6

Explanation:

Sentence 6 randomly lists some national parks and in no way contributes to the fundamental discussion the history, principles, and basis for preserving, specifically, forests and grasslands.

Example Question #52 : Deleting Content

1 Since its inception in the 19th century, photography has played various and complex roles. 2 Crude pinhole cameras first appeared in antiquity. 3 Silver salts, the colloidon process, and daguerreotypes were all developed during the 1800s as photography took form and it’s technology evolved.

4 By the 1900s, photography was often considered an equal of, or at least analgesic to, painting and other visual art forms. 5 In much the same way that portrait painters used to memorialize their subjects in gilded frames and oil paints, photography now serves to document people’s daily lives, experiences, and possessions, such as what someone has eaten for dinner or seen on a road trip. 6 For example, on social media sites.

7 Photography can capture such minuet, intimate details that some aboriginal peoples famously believed cameras could steal the subject’s soul. 8 Perhaps this is why paparazzi are so victimized by others in their profession: Their intrusiveness may reveal more about the subject than he or she would like. 9 Celebrity photographers including Annie Liebovitz, who often favors a black and white composition, who also works for a famous magazine, attempt to portray the essence of famous people through a single photographic portrait. 10 Photography serves to document war atrocities, famine, or other human rights issues. 11 For example, Nick Ut’s famous picture of Vietnamese children being burned by napalm helped turn American public opinion against the Vietnam War, while Dorothea Lange’s photographs of migrant workers during the Great Depression influenced public policy regarding the treatment of these workers. 12 In the end, photography can be journalistic or artistic, significant or intrusive or ephemeral.

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

Possible Answers:

Sentence 11

Sentence 7

Sentence 8

Sentence 10

Sentence 9

Correct answer:

Sentence 9

Explanation:

Sentence 9 is too specific for the rest of the passage and should be cut. As a whole, the passage gives an overview of the evolution of photography and the various roles photography has played in society, and Sentence 9 becomes sidetracked by details about a specific photographer that have no relevance to the overall aim of the passage.

Example Question #53 : Deleting Content

Are you trying to stick to a budget? Using coupons for purchases, also known as “couponing” is a great way to save money on groceries. Coupons are a little piece of paper that can give you a discount on what you buy. You will be amazed at the great bargains and amazing savings you can get!

It’s easy to get started. When you open up your daily newspaper, one might find a glossy insert full of coupons. Some of the coupons will be for things you don’t buy, some will be for things you buy all the time. Go through the coupons and chop out the ones you can use.

The key to successful couponing is getting multiple copies of coupon circulars. Ask your friends, your neighbors, and family if they have any extras. Some coupon users even go through the recycling at their office to find more coupons! Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life! Completely devoted, these circulars help coupon users to get even more savings.

Couponing might sound like hard work, but for many people, it’s also a hobby. Not only does it help them save hundreds of dollars per year, but also it gives them a fun challenge every time they do their shopping.

The writer is considering deleting the underlined sentence. Should he or she do so, and why or why not? 

Possible Answers:

No, this sentence includes a comma splice

None of these answers is accurate.

Yes, this sentence gives information that is contradicted later in the passage

Yes, this sentence is too basic in nature, and below the high scholarly tone of the rest of the passage

No, this sentence gives a key definition that is directly relevant to the main point of the passage

Correct answer:

No, this sentence gives a key definition that is directly relevant to the main point of the passage

Explanation:

This question is asking you to assess the contextual relevance of a section of the passage. The underlined portion gives key, basic definitional information, relating directly to the main focus of the passage. The practice of "couponing" which is the focus of the passage is fundamentally based on the more basic knowledge of a what coupon even is, which is provided in this sentence.

Example Question #54 : Deleting Content

The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia. Historically, these islands were known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of nutmeg, cloves, mace, and pepper, this profundity of spices eventually drew colonial attention. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times. In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands. The bloody conflict ended in the deaths of many native Moluccans as well as European traders, wherefore both Portugal and the Netherlands gained and lost territories ranging from Africa and South America. For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements. It is located just west of New Guinea in the Pacific Ocean, and its more than 1,000 islands are home to more than 2 million people today.

Which sentence should be deleted from the passage?

Possible Answers:

In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands.

The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia.

Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times.

The bloody conflict ended in the deaths of many native Moluccans as well as European traders, wherefore both Portugal and the Netherlands gained and lost territories ranging from Africa and South America.

Historically, these islands were known as the Spice Islands for their abundance of nutmeg, cloves, mace, and pepper, this profundity of spices eventually drew colonial attention.

Correct answer:

Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times.

Explanation:

While it does discuss spices, the third sentence, "Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times," is the only sentence that does not discuss the Moluccas, the central topic of this passage. This question was asking you to assess the contextual relevance of a sentence providing detail. While passages like this one require specific details in order to justify their larger claims, not every detail is valuable. Random selections of trivia, even if tangentially related to the topic, should be deleted so as to preserve the passage's central focus. All of the other sentences provided related back to the central thesis and focus of the passage to a greater degree than is the third sentence.

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