SAT Writing : Inserting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #11 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

[1] Voltaire was an eighteenth-century's French Enlightenment philosopher. [2] According to Voltaire, an enlightened person is a rational individual who thinks independently, tolerates others, rejects superstition, and embraces science and reason. [3] Voltaire was a strong monarchist who rejected democracy and wanted a ruler who used his or her power to allow free intellectual activity. [4] Many enlightenment philosophers gave their own definitions of what an enlightened person was and did.

[5] Voltaire very much admired the English monarchy, leading him to publish Letters on the English, and he wanted the French monarchy to closely resemble the enlightened English monarchy. [6] He did not think that democracy was a plausible form of government because he simply did not have enough trust in the common people and believed that an enlightened despot would be a safer option. [7] Ironically, just as Luther’s ideas were twisted and exaggerated to inspire peasant revolts, some of Voltaire’s anti-democratic ideas ended up inspiring the French and American Revolutions.

Which would be the best sentence to insert between Sentence 2 and Sentence 3? 

Possible Answers:

Like many of his other beliefs, Voltaire’s religious beliefs were complicated. 

It was especially important that a ruler reject superstitution. 

Voltaire's opinions about government were influenced by his definition of an enlightened person. 

However, Voltaire did not believe that all citizens were enlightened. 

Voltaire was born in 1694. 

Correct answer:

Voltaire's opinions about government were influenced by his definition of an enlightened person. 

Explanation:

"Voltaire's opinions about government were influenced by his definition of an enlightened person" is the best transition between his definition of an enlightened person (Sentence 2) and his ideas about government (Sentence 3) because it makes the definition relevant to the material in the rest of the paragraph.

Example Question #11 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

What transitional word or phrase would be the best way to begin sentence three?

Possible Answers:

On the other hand,

Erstwhile,

Although,

Heretofore,

Henceforth,

Correct answer:

On the other hand,

Explanation:

The third sentence describes vegetarianism in ancient India, contrasting it with the previous sentence about vegetarianism in ancient Greece. The only phrase that accurately and grammatically expresses this contrasting relationship is “On the other hand.” "Although" would suggest that vegetarianism in Greece would somehow prevent or inhibit vegetarianism in India.

Example Question #13 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

Where should the following sentence be inserted in the text? “Luminaries such as Ovid, Leonardo da Vinci, Mahatma Gandhi, and even Benjamin Franklin were all supporters of the vegetarian cause.”

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 9

After Sentence 11

After Sentence 7

After Sentence 10

After Sentence 8

Correct answer:

After Sentence 9

Explanation:

This sentence would conclude the second paragraph nicely. It lists several famous proponents of vegetarianism, and Sentences 8 and 9 were concerned with explaining that some people were historically proponents of the practice and others were opponents. Generally, specific examples belong best in the sentence that immediately follows the introduction of the broader topic or point.

Example Question #12 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

What transitional word or phrase would be the best way to begin Sentence 7?

Possible Answers:

As in ancient India,

Nevertheless,

However,

As in later years,

As in ancient Greece,

Correct answer:

As in ancient Greece,

Explanation:

This sentence discusses the fact that vegetarianism in the Middle Ages was restricted mostly to small religious groups, which is similar to the situation in ancient Greece that Sentence 2 describes. The transitional phrase “As in ancient Greece” would help highlight this similarity for readers. "As in ancient India" would be factually inacurate, as vegetarianism was more widespread in that region. Either "nevertheless" or "however" would suggest a direct oppositional relationship to the sentence preceding it (also, it is more grammatically correct to use a semi-colon to connect independent clauses beginning with "however" (although this is a disputed grammatical convention)). 

Example Question #13 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 Although vegetarianism is sometimes considered a recent phenomenon, the practice actually has roots in both ancient India and ancient Greece. 2 In Greece, being vegetarian was a way to abstain from eating ‘beings with souls,’ and vegetarianism was primarily practiced by small religious sects or certain philosophical thinkers. 3 Ancient Indian vegetarianism may have been more widespread, as it was mandatory for many Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists. 4 Buddhist scholars argue whether Gautama Buddha ever ate meat. 5 Obviously, vegetarianism is a constantly evolution practice that has changed considerably over the past several thousand years.

6 During the Middle Ages, vegetarianism remained largely outside the cultural milieu in Europe. 7 Certain aseptic religious sects may have avoided eating meat, but the practice didn’t truly gain ground in Western Europe until the Age of Enlightenment. 8 During and before that time, many people still argued that animals existed only for the benefit of humankind. 9 They were opposed by other people who thought that that was an anthropocentric viewpoint.

10 Over time, vegetarianism gradually gained diction with influential thinkers and by the twentieth century, organizations such as the International Vegetarian Union, the North American Vegetarian Society, and the Animal Aid were appearing. 11 What new form will vegetarianism take in the future?

What would be the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

A Brief History of Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism’s Declining Popularity: Fact or Fiction?

Vegetarianism: Pros and Cons

Vegetarians Versus Vegans

Vegetarianism’s Controversial Changes

Correct answer:

A Brief History of Vegetarianism

Explanation:

This passage is mainly concerned with vegetarian’s evolution over the years, so “A Brief History of Vegetarianism” would be the best title. While the passage does discuss changes in and popularity of vegetarianism, neither of these issues is at the heart of the reading. The specific attention to vegetarianism's popularity in specific historical periods is a good indicator of the focus of this passage.

Example Question #14 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

What is the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

Philippe Petit’s Infamous Walk

Tightrope Walking in the 1970s

A Brief Biography of Philippe Petit

The Tightrope: Brilliance or Madness? 

Tightrope Walking: Risks and Rewards

Correct answer:

Philippe Petit’s Infamous Walk

Explanation:

This passage is primarily concerned with outlining the history and circumstances behind Philippe Petit’s notorious tightrope walk, so “Philippe Petit’s Infamous Walk” is the best title. It does not give a detailed or chronological history of Petit's life, nor does it trace a broader history of the practice of tightrope walking in general, or in any particular period.

Example Question #15 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

What is the best introductory phrase to begin Sentence 3?

Possible Answers:

Because of this, 

To prepare for this stunt, 

While this stunt was difficult,

On the other hand,

Nevertheless, for the sake of the stunt,

Correct answer:

To prepare for this stunt, 

Explanation:

Sentence 3 discusses the preparations Petit made for his tightrope walk, so the logical choice is “To prepare for this stunt.” The preparations were not set up in opposition to any other statement or idea, so "nevertheless" and "on the other hand" are not appropriate. While the preparations certainly sound difficult, the difficulty itself was not the focus of this sentence.

Example Question #18 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 French high-wire artist Philippe Petit has a long history of daredevil and breathtaking performances. 2 Although none are so well known as his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers in New York City. 3 Petit made more than two hundred trips to the Twin Towers in surrogate preparation for the eminent walk. 4 Supposedly, he spent more than six years practicing on a low wire at a property in upstate New York and laying his plans. 5 He first read an article about the Twin Towers in his dentist’s office while they were still being built.

6 On August 7, 1974 Philippe Petit made the walk. 7 With the help of his tepid friends, he snuck into the buildings, strung a cable more than a quarter mile above the ground, and began the walk. 8 The buildings were still under construction. 9 The performance lasted for more than half an hour and included Petit walking, running, and even lying down on the rope. 10 Whereas Petit was arrested when he returned to the ground, the judge only sentenced him to perform for city children in Central Park. 11 After the Twin Tower walk, Petit continues to give lectures, write books, and perform everywhere from the Eiffel Tower to Niagara Falls.

Where should the following sentence be added to the passage? “The stunt has been the inspiration for several artistic projects, including films and novels."

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 10

After Sentence 8

After Sentence 9

After Sentence 2

After Sentence 11

Correct answer:

After Sentence 10

Explanation:

Since this sentence discusses events that happened after the walk and subsequent arrest, it should appear after those sentences; however, it’s not a broad enough sentence to wrap up the entire passage, so it should appear immediately after Sentence 10 and immediately before Sentence 11, the conclusion.

Example Question #19 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to writers in the United States for nearly one hundred years. 2 It is one of twenty-one different categories of the Pulitzer Prize, that is named after newspaper baron Joseph Pulitzer and admonished by Columbia University. 3 Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board generally chooses more than 100 judges to serve on 20 different juries, and each jury nominates three finalists for its respectful category.

4 Because the fiction award is usually given annually, there have also been years when it was not given to anyone. 5 This occurred when no winner was chosen from the three finalists (Denis Johnson’s collection Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s novel Swamplandia!, and David Foster Wallace’s unfinished The Pale King) in 2012. 6 As could be expected there was general outcry in the literary community following the announcement that no award would be given that year. 7 The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was also not awarded to anyone in 1920, 1946, 1956, or 1971.

8 While some authors believe that winning the Pulitzer is up to random luck or connections in the publishing world, others think that the judges consistently choose exemplifies of American fiction. 9 In their minds, the Pulitzer recognizes and honors literature’s greatest powers; to entertain, enlighten, instruct, transcend, and astonish.

What would be the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

A Brief History of the Pulitzer Prize

Pulitzer Qualms and Quarrels

Pulitzer: Gatekeeper to the Art World

Joseph Pulitzer’s Prize-Winning Legacy

American Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize

Correct answer:

American Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize

Explanation:

Although the title “A Brief History of the Pulitzer Prize” is tempting, this passage deals more with the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction than the Pulitzer Prizes in general. The best choice is “American Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize.”

Example Question #20 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded to writers in the United States for nearly one hundred years. 2 It is one of twenty-one different categories of the Pulitzer Prize, that is named after newspaper baron Joseph Pulitzer and admonished by Columbia University. 3 Each year, the Pulitzer Prize Board generally chooses more than 100 judges to serve on 20 different juries, and each jury nominates three finalists for its respectful category.

4 Because the fiction award is usually given annually, there have also been years when it was not given to anyone. 5 This occurred when no winner was chosen from the three finalists (Denis Johnson’s collection Train Dreams, Karen Russell’s novel Swamplandia!, and David Foster Wallace’s unfinished The Pale King) in 2012. 6 As could be expected there was general outcry in the literary community following the announcement that no award would be given that year. 7 The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction was also not awarded to anyone in 1920, 1946, 1956, or 1971.

8 While some authors believe that winning the Pulitzer is up to random luck or connections in the publishing world, others think that the judges consistently choose exemplifies of American fiction. 9 In their minds, the Pulitzer recognizes and honors literature’s greatest powers; to entertain, enlighten, instruct, transcend, and astonish.

The sentence “Along with the other categories, the fiction prize was established in 1917 in order to recognize outstanding contributions to the arts in America – specifically, a distinguished novel or story collection concerning American life.” would best be inserted between which two sentences?

Possible Answers:

Sentences 3 and 4

Sentences 5 and 6

Sentences 4 and 5

Sentences 2 and 3

Sentences 7 and 8

Correct answer:

Sentences 2 and 3

Explanation:

This sentence elaborates upon an idea introduced in Sentence 2 (the various Pulitzer Prize categories) and provides information about a topic (the fiction prize) that will be discussed in more detail in subsequent sentences. For this reason, the sentence belongs immediately after Sentence 2.

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