SAT Writing : Rewriting a Sentence Fragment

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion in the sentence with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

 

Possible Answers:

goods and

goods and,

goods; and

goods.  And

Correct answer:

goods; and

Explanation:

Since there are two complete sentences joined by the conjunction, "and," either a semicolon or a comma before the "and" would be appropriate here. Starting a complete sentence with "and," while not technically an error, is often frowned upon. The semicolon is better.

Example Question #111 : Improving And Correcting Sentences

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of the sentence with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Possible Answers:

is not easily conquered and yet

is not easily conquered; yet

is not easily conquered but yet

is not easily conquered yet

Correct answer:

is not easily conquered; yet

Explanation:

Since the underlined portion above joins two complete sentences with a similar topic, the semicolon would be most appropriate here to avoid a run-on sentence.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of the sentence with the answer choice that results in a sentence that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Possible Answers:

manner is not slavery;

manner is not, slavery

manner, is not slavery,

manner is not slavery,

Correct answer:

manner is not slavery,

Explanation:

The comma after "manner" is not needed, but one is needed after "slavery" since this is the end of the "if" clause in a traditional "if/then" statement.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

Adapted from "Common Sense" by Thomas Paine (1776)

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is expense only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods. And it would be strange indeed if so heavenly an article as freedom should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to tax) but "to bind us in all cases whatsoever," and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, than is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is sacrilegious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

Replace the underlined portion of this sentence with a version that is clear, precise, and meets the requirements of standard written English.

Possible Answers:

sacrilegious: for

sacrilegious for

sacrilegious.  For

sacrilegious; for [No Change]

Correct answer:

sacrilegious; for [No Change]

Explanation:

The original punctuation, using the semicolon to combine two complete but related sentences, would be most appropriate here.

Example Question #1 : Improving And Correcting Sentences

The plot of modern political television usually revolves around several key themes. First, there is a political conflict at the national level between major parties. Second, there are emotional and practical concerns related to office politics; furthermore, there are a number of subplots that usually have to do with local politics and tit-for-tat agreements. Finally, things resolve themselves later on in the show because much television just works itself out.

 

Pick an appropriate revision for the underlined phrase below, taken from the first sentence in the passage: 

The plot of modern political television usually revolves around several key themes.

Possible Answers:

No change

around nothing substantive

around several comedic and dramatic tropes that matter greatly

many key themes

around ideas that surprise audiences

Correct answer:

No change

Explanation:

The phrasing offered here is good, useful, and direct. This opening thesis statement does not need to be complicated; "around nothing substantive" changes the meaning of the sentence; "many key themes" introduces a grammatical error, changing the verb "revolves" from instransitive to transitive; "around several comedic and dramatic tropes that matter greatly" is prolix (wordy); "around ideas that surprise audiences" again changes the intended meaning, as key themes need not be surprising.

Example Question #2 : Revising Introductions And Transitions In A Sentence Fragment

1 All in all, aviation will likely continue to fascinate people for centuries to come. 2 Long before the famous Wright brothers humans were attempting to fly. 3 The ancient Greek myth of Icarus and Daedalus shows the tantalizing allusion of flight. 4 With large kites’ in China may have been the first successful instance of human flight several thousand years ago. 5 Hundreds of years later and despite many hazings; the Montgolfier brothers and other pioneering aviators began experimenting with manned hot-air balloon flights. 6 Therefore, technology has advanced to the point of supersonic and hypersonic flight, but people are still trying to break new barriers and invent new methods of flight.

In Sentence 1, what transitional word or phrase could not replace “All in all”?

Possible Answers:

On balance

Where this will hold true

By and large

In the long run

All things considered

Correct answer:

Where this will hold true

Explanation:

“Whereas” is a word that indicates contrast and not conclusion, so “Whereas this will hold true” could not logically replace “All in all.” All the other choices indicate conclusion.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 The Moluccas is a chain, or archetype, of islands belonging to Indonesia. 2 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. 3 Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, anise, and pepper were particularly popular during the medieval times. 4 In the 1600s, the Spice Wars arose as a result of competing Portuguese and Dutch interest’s in the Spice Islands. 5 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. 6 For this day, strife occasionally breaks out on the islands although it is now motivated by religious and not colonial disagreements.7 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.

What would be a better transitional phrase to begin Sentence 6?

Possible Answers:

For this day (no change)

To this day

While those days

After these days

In those days

Correct answer:

To this day

Explanation:

The sentence is explaining that a conflict still exists in the Moluccas up to and including the present day. The proper phrase to indicate this kind of temporal relationship is “To this day.” 

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

1 The purpose of this agricultural practice is to produce large amounts of meat, milk, eggs, and textiles, such as wool and leather, at low costs. 2 It has many negative consequences; however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics. 3 Factory farming, sometimes known euphonically as intensive animal farming, or industrial farming, is the practice of raising livestock at very high densities in order to decrease the costs of production. 4 On most factory farms, animals are reduced to commodities: bred unnaturally, confined in uncomfortably small cages, and dosed with high strength antibiotics to reduce concomitant infections. 5 Although, the livestock suffers considerately, drug-resistant bacteria become more common, and significant environmental hazards arise from the high quantities of animal waste. 6 Does the phrase manure lagoons sound familiar? 7 As a light of this issue, many people choose to become vegetarian or join anti-factory farming campaigns. 8 What will you do?

What would be a better transition to begin Sentence 5?

Possible Answers:

Even though

All things considered

As a result

In this way

Effectively

Correct answer:

As a result

Explanation:

Sentence 5 discusses consequences of Sentence 4, so “As a result” is the best transition to indicate this relationship.

Example Question #1 : Revising Introductions And Transitions In A Sentence Fragment

1 The purpose of this agricultural practice is to produce large amounts of meat, milk, eggs, and textiles, such as wool and leather, at low costs. 2 It has many negative consequences; however, and many activists have raised concerns about sustainability, environmental risks, and ethics. 3 Factory farming, sometimes known euphonically as intensive animal farming, or industrial farming, is the practice of raising livestock at very high densities in order to decrease the costs of production. 4 On most factory farms, animals are reduced to commodities: bred unnaturally, confined in uncomfortably small cages, and dosed with high strength antibiotics to reduce concomitant infections. 5 Although, the livestock suffers considerately, drug-resistant bacteria become more common, and significant environmental hazards arise from the high quantities of animal waste. 6 Does the phrase manure lagoons sound familiar? 7 As a light of this issue, many people choose to become vegetarian or join anti-factory farming campaigns. 8 What will you do?

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 7 be rewritten? 

Possible Answers:

In light of this issue

As a light of this issue (no change)

In lighting of

In the light of these issues

As a light

Correct answer:

In light of this issue

Explanation:

The standard phrase is “In light of.” There are no variants to it.

Example Question #1 : Rewriting A Sentence Fragment

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).

In Sentence 4, what transitional word or phrase should replace “As a result”?

Possible Answers:

Arguably

Wherefore

Today

Henceforth

However

Correct answer:

However

Explanation:

The sense of Sentence 4 is that, despite Bellocq’s official line of work, he became famous for a different kind of photography although. “However” is the only transitional word on the list that indicates that contrast satisfactorily.

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