SAT Writing : Analyzing, Combining, and Moving Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #91 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving Content

1 The job of the cryptozoologist is a taciturn one for sure. 2 Being unlike ordinary zoologists, that study the behaviors and lives of a cathartic variety of animals, cryptozoologists track down mythical animals whose existence has never or rarely been proven.

3 There is the Congolese J'ba FoFi, an enormous spider with legs allegedly over three feet long, the mokèlé-mbèmbé, a deadly African water dinosaur, and the phantom cat, an abnormally large feline found in various improbably places. 4 The origins of the word “cryptozoologist” come from the ancient Greek, crypto meaning “hidden” and “zoo” meaning animal.5 Some of the most famous of these mythical animals or cryptids are Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and Chupacabra. 6 Many denizens consider cryptozoologists to be pseudoscientists; but, they believe that the discipline’s reliance on anecdotal evidence does not exclude it from the world of serious science.

7 Many of these animals seem too incredible to be believed and yes evidence is often flimsy, but the existence of fossil records sometimes provide evidence to the contrary. 8 As such many doubters attempt to machinate the cryptids’ existence, but cryptozoologists aim to abolish their skepticism.

Where should Sentence 6 be moved?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 1

After Sentence 3

After Sentence 4

After Sentence 2

The sentence should not be moved.

Correct answer:

After Sentence 2

Explanation:

Because Sentence 6 further describes the cryptozoologist’s job, it belongs immediately after the initial description of said job in Sentence 2.

Example Question #92 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving Content

1 You may not know Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet. 2 Hopkins led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866. 3 Born in 1844 the poet was excellent at sketching from an early age and attended the University of Oxford from 1863 to 1867, where he met poets Christina Rossetti, Robert Bridges, and others. 4 According to his personal diaries, Hopkins frequently struggled to repress homoerotic urges, adopting an ascetic lifestyle, many believing that this contributed to his writing. 5 His work itself is characterized by an escarpment of conventional poetic meter, the use of sprung rhythm, frequent vivid imagery, and a careful and creative use of language.6 Sprung rhythm is a particular poetic rhythm that is intended to mimic natural speech and is distinguished by its irregular patterns although it is distinct from free verse.

7 Hopkins died when he was only in his forties, but his contributions to poetry – particularly his experimentation and his use of sprung rhythm – continue to obscure today.

How should Sentences 1 and 2 be combined?

Possible Answers:

You may not know Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet; Hopkins led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866.

Gerard Manley Hopkins, a famous English poet, was leading a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866

You may not know Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet, and he, Hopkins, led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866.

As you may not know, Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet, leading a complicated life as a Jesuit priest and converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866.

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet who led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866.

Correct answer:

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a famous English poet who led a complicated life as a Jesuit priest, converting to Roman Catholicism in 1866.

Explanation:

These sentences can be combined with only a few changes for concision.

Example Question #93 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving Content

1 Biographies exist in various specialized forms. 2 A hagiography is a biography that discusses a saint or other church leader. 3 Many hagiographies focus on a saint’s miracles, martyrdom, and divine connection. 4 They were especially common in the Middle Ages, often appearing as part of a larger collection or calendar of saints.

5 Historians today value these accounts not because the hagiographer is often too worshipful to be critical but also they include good insight into local history. 6 For example, the bestselling Golden Legend was a 13th century compensation of saint stories from more than a hundred different sources. 7 England, Ireland, and the Byzantine Empire were all fertile ground for medieval hagiographies and as such much is known about carnelian life there. 8 These hagiographies also changed focus over the years; shifting from heroic tales of holy warriors and sanctimonious moralistic lessons designed to instruct churchgoers. 9 And gradually fading in popularity.

Where should Sentence 6 be moved?

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 3

Before Sentence 1

Before Sentence 2

Before Sentence 5

Before Sentence 4

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 5

Explanation:

Sentence 6 illustrates a point made in Sentence 4, so the two should appear in that order. 

Example Question #94 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving Content

1 Leprosy: used to be a dreaded illness both in biblical times as well as more recently. 2 People endured its disfiguring effects until the invention of antibiotics in the 1950s. 3 Also known as Hansen’s disease, antibiotics will fictitiously cure leprosy today. 4 In the old days there exacted leprosy colonies to quarantine infected people, as the disease was then considered highly contagious. 5 Symptoms include skin lesions, nerve damage, numbness, tissue damage, and, in severe cases, deformation of fingers and toes. 6 Thanks to modern medicine, leprosy no longer needs to be a source of social skirmish. 7 In reality, it is transmitted through fluids, usually in the form of airborne particles.

Where should Sentence 7 be moved?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 4

After Sentence 3

It should not be moved.

After Sentence 2

After Sentence 5

Correct answer:

After Sentence 4

Explanation:

Between its transitional word and its content, we can infer that Sentence 7 offers a direct contrast to the discussion in Sentence 4, so it should appear immediately after that sentence.

Example Question #95 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving Content

1 Punk rock developed in the mid-1970s. 2 It was a musical movement that arose out of antiauthoritarian garage bands.3 It was characterized by fast-paced songs, sedimentary lyrics, and a raw loud sound. 4 And often its lyrics were also political. 5 Some of the most famous punk rock bands came from England and the United States and including the Clash, the Sex Pistols, and the Ramones.

6 Punk bands tending to convince a liberal, anti-establishment, sensibility,and they were proponents of individualism, freedom, and nonconformity.7 (Later in the 1990s “riot grrrl” bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinney used their punk music to draw attention on feminist concerns.)8 Now you can find, punk bands in cities all around the world.9 By the 1980s, the public was beginning to accept punk music, slowly becoming mainstream. 

Where should Sentence 8 be moved?

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 5

It should not be moved.

After Sentence 6

After Sentence 9

After Sentence 2

Correct answer:

After Sentence 9

Explanation:

Sentence 8 serves as a good conclusion for the passage, since it is the most contemporary sentence in a passage arranged chronologically. It does not make sense to include a summing up of where the punk rock movement is "now," and then jump back in time to the 1980s.

Example Question #96 : Analyzing, Combining, And Moving 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?

Where should Sentence 8 be moved?

Possible Answers:

before Sentence 7

before Sentence 1

It should not be moved

before Sentence 6

before Sentence 3

Correct answer:

before Sentence 7

Explanation:

Sentence 8 asks a question that Sentence 7 adequately answers, so their order in the passage should be switched.

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.

To make this paragraph the most logical, the underlined sentence would best be placed ______________________.

Possible Answers:

After the sentence that follows it in the passage

At the end of the passage

At the end of the second paragraph

NO CHANGE

At the end of the first paragraph

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The underlined sentence is a perfectly appropriate introductory sentence. It sets out a clear topic, that is then discussed in the rest of the passage. Since this topic describes "two different ways" it contextualizes the use of "on the one hand" in the next sentence. This would clearly be a random and inappropriate concluding sentence, as it would not recap any of the content in enough detail so as to be useful.

Example Question #133 : New Sat

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.

Where should the underlined sentence be moved in the passage?

Possible Answers:

The sentence in question cannot be moved while maintaining the logical and grammatical flow of the passage

After the second sentence

After the third sentence

After the first sentence

To the opening of the passage, becoming the very first sentence

Correct answer:

After the first sentence

Explanation:

The final sentence, "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," presents basic introductory information, so it belongs closer to the beginning of the passage; however, since it begins with a pronoun (“It”) lacking a referent, it would make more sense to place the sentence immediately after a sentence in which the pronoun’s referent is introduced. This would mean that the final sentence should be moved to become the second sentence of the paragraph, in order to make logical and grammatical sense.

Example Question #112 : New Sat

There once was a shepherd boy whom sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. He was hot and exhausted fanning himself, rapidly in a feeble attempt to cool himself down. On top of that, he had never been so bored before. To amuse himself, he decided to play a joke. He put his hands around his mouth and yelled in a loud voice, "Wolf! Wolf! A wolf is chasing the sheep!”

They came running. They asked the boy, “What’s going on? Did you yell ‘A wolf is chasing the sheep?’”

The boy laughed. “It was just a joke, everyone.”

The people fumed, but they all returned to their homes.

The next day, the boy bored again decided to amuse himself again. He bellowed, “Wolf! Wolf!” Again, the townspeople came running. Once they arrived and witnessed the laughing boy, they realized they’d been tricked a second time. Nonetheless, they returned home and irritated resolved to never fall for the trick again for third time.

The next day, the boy was watching his sheep. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a wolf appeared from behind the bushes. With its teeth bared, the boy cowered as the wolf approached the sheep. Terrified, he called, “Help! A wolf! A wolf is here!” The people ignored his cries. “That mischievous boy,” they all said to one another. “He must think he can fool us again.” But not one of them came running.

No one was there to witness as the wolf ate every last sheep on the hillside, as the boy helplessly cowered behind a bush. As the boy hid, he shook his head. “I shall never fib again,” he resolved to himself.

To where should the underlined sentence be moved, so as to best fit the logical flow and content of the paragraph?

Possible Answers:

NO CHANGE

To the beginning of the final paragraph

To the end of the paragraph it currently opens

After the sentence that currently follows it

At the end of the first paragraph

Correct answer:

NO CHANGE

Explanation:

The sentence introduces the third instance of the boy crying wolf, it logically and chronologically follows from what precedes it. None of the suggestions for moving the sentence make sense, or follow in the flow of the writing. The sentence is in its correct place in the paragraph.

Example Question #1 : Analyzing Content

In Swift's works, he has given very different specimens both of sentiment and expression. His "Tale of a Tub" has little resemblance to his other pieces. It exhibits a vehemence and rapidity of mind, a copiousness of images, and vivacity of diction, such as he afterwards never possessed, or never exerted. It is of a mode so distinct and peculiar, that it must be considered by itself; what is true of that, is not true of any thing else which he has written.

How can the significance of the underlined sentence to the overall passage best be described?

Possible Answers:

The writer is using evidence to demonstrate how very much Tale of a Tub resembles Swift's other works.

The writer is claiming that Tale of a Tub bears very little resemble to Swift's other works.

The writer is citing specific details to demonstrate how little Tale of a Tub resembles Swift's other works.

The writer is stating that Tale of a Tub greatly resembles Swift's other works, but not backing this up with any evidence.

Correct answer:

The writer is claiming that Tale of a Tub bears very little resemble to Swift's other works.

Explanation:

The final sentence of the passage emphasizes how very little resemblance Tale of a Tub bears to Swift's other works.

(Passage adapted from "Swift" in Volume III of Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets by Samuel Johnson, 1781)

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