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 #5 : New Sat Writing And Language

There are two different ways to consider the so-called “Dark Ages.” On the one hand, you can think of the period directly after the fall of the Roman Empire, when civilization began to collapse throughout the Western Empire. On the other hand, you can consider the period that followed this initial collapse of society. It is a gross simplification too use the adjective dark to describe the civilization of either of these periods.

As regards the first period, it is quite a simplification to consider this period to be a single historical moment. It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb. At one moment light and then, at the next, dark. Instead, the decline of civilization occurred over a period of numerous decades and was, in fact, already occurring for many years before the so-called period of darkness. Thus, the decline of civilization was not a rapid collapse into barbarism, but instead, was a slow alteration of the cultural milieu of a partitions of Europe. Indeed, the Eastern Roman Empire retained much of it’s cultural status during these years of decline!

More importantly, the period following the slow collapse of the Western Empire was much less “dark” than almost every popular telling states. Indeed, even during the period of decline, the seeds for cultural restoration was being sown. A key element of this cultural revival were the formation of monastic communities throughout the countryside of what we now know as Europe. Although these were not the only positive force during these centuries, the monasteries had played an important role in preserving and advancing the cause of culture through at least the thirteenth century and arguably until the Renaissance.

How should the underlined section be changed?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

It is not, as though, the civilization switched off like a lightbulb.  At one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb; at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb; at one moment light, and then, at the next, dark.

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb—at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

Correct answer:

It is not as though the civilization switched off like a lightbulb—at one moment light and then, at the next, dark.

Explanation:

As written, the expression, "At one moment light and then, at the next, dark," is only a sentence fragment. Therefore, you need to integrate it into the first sentence in this selection in some way. Among the options provided, the only one that does this appropriately is the one that places a long dash after the first sentence. This makes the fragment into a kind of interrupting expression at the end of the main thought. A semicolon is not proper, for then you would need two fully formed sentences.

Example Question #611 : Improving Paragraphs

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. 

How should the underlined section be corrected?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life...

Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life;

Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life?

Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life.

Correct answer:

Have you ever heard of such a thing in your life?

Explanation:

This question asks you about the grammatically correct use of an exclamation point. Generally, exclamation points should be used to give emphasis to an interjection or to express a strong feeling. An interjection like this could end with an exclamation point if it were a statement, but since it begins with the interrogative form "Have you," we know that it is a question. Even when it is an interjection, a question should always end with a question mark, not an exclamation point.

Example Question #162 : Correcting Grammatical Errors In 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.

How should the underlined portion of Sentence 5 be rewritten?

Possible Answers:

territories ranging in Africa to South America

territories ranging from Africa and South America (no change)

territories ranging from Africa to South America

territories ranging in Africa and South America

territories including from Africa and South America

Correct answer:

territories ranging from Africa to South America

Explanation:

The proper grammatical construction is always “ranging from __________ to __________.”

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