SAT Writing : Inserting Content

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for SAT Writing

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Example Questions

Example Question #231 : Improving Paragraphs

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 transitional word or phrase would best begin Sentence 5?

Possible Answers:

Most recently,

Heretofore,

However,

On the other hand,

Stereotypically,

Correct answer:

Most recently,

Explanation:

Because we know there were multiple times when the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction wasn’t awarded over the years, we can infer that the case in 2012 was the most recent one. “Most recently” is the best introductory phrase of the options provided. In context, the sentence is not discussing stereotypes, nor does it offset the statement against the preceding sentence.

Example Question #21 : Inserting Content

1 Wedding customs range between families and social classes, but also between countries. 2 Since the dawn of time, human couples have been entering into long-term romantic commitments with each other. 3 In Ethiopia, for example, one of the groom’s friends sprays perfume inside the house of the groom’s future wife; while in Finland, engaged women go door-to-door with pillowcases to accept wedding gifts. 4 Certain celebratory traditions, such as eating special food and reciting some sort of vows or prayers, are so widely practiced today that they seem almost unilateral.

5 Recently, the very definition of marriage has shifted to include same-sex couples, both in popular culture and in certain nations’ and American states’ laws. 6 Dancing is an important part of many marriage ceremonies and celebrations, and festive wedding music can be found across a wide variety of cultures. 7 The presence of family members is also common to weddings in nearly every nation, although fathers do not always “give away” brides; sometimes mothers, grandparents, or even siblings play this role instead.

Where should the following sentence be inserted in the passage? “All in all, wedding traditions can provide not only fascinating insight into a particular culture’s beliefs and practices but also a lovely testament to enduring love.”

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 7

After Sentence 3

After Sentence 4

After Sentence 1

After Sentence 5

Correct answer:

After Sentence 7

Explanation:

As a rhetorical question and a generally broad sentence, this would be an excellent conclusion for the entire passage. The fact that it begins with “All in all” is another hint that this would be a good conclusion. It belongs after Sentence 7.

Example Question #22 : Inserting Content

1 Although many people have heard of the seven wonders of the world, most don’t know who made the original list. 2 Both Herodotus, an ancient Greek historian, and Callimachus, a scholar at the famous Library of Alexandria, composed early lists of the seven wonders. 3 Although, an extract copy of these lists has not survived.

4 Still, historians know that the original seven wonders were. 5 They included Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. 6 Only the Great Pyramid still exists today. 7 Ruins or evidence of five of the other wonders have been found, but the Hanging Gardens have never been located by archaeologists.

8 What do these seven wonders have in common? 9 Since ancient times, scholars have made their own lists of seven wonders of the world. 10 Some of these wonders include Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, the Hagia Sophia, Macchu Pichu, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

What would be the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

Ancient Wonders of the World

Modern Wonders of the World

The Wondrous World

An Ancient Mystery: The Famous Gardens of Babylon

From Giza to Rhodes: Early Architects

Correct answer:

The Wondrous World

Explanation:

All the titles except for “The Wondrous World” are too specific and narrow in too closely on one particular aspect of the passage while ignoring the broad focus of the passage.

Example Question #23 : Inserting Content

1 Wedding customs range between families and social classes, but also between countries. 2 Since the dawn of time, human couples have been entering into long-term romantic commitments with each other. 3 In Ethiopia, for example, one of the groom’s friends sprays perfume inside the house of the groom’s future wife; while in Finland, engaged women go door-to-door with pillowcases to accept wedding gifts. 4 Certain celebratory traditions, such as eating special food and reciting some sort of vows or prayers, are so widely practiced today that they seem almost unilateral.

5 Recently, the very definition of marriage has shifted to include same-sex couples, both in popular culture and in certain nations’ and American states’ laws. 6 Dancing is an important part of many marriage ceremonies and celebrations, and festive wedding music can be found across a wide variety of cultures. 7 The presence of family members is also common to weddings in nearly every nation, although fathers do not always “give away” brides; sometimes mothers, grandparents, or even siblings play this role instead.

What is the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

To Wed or Not To Wed

Shifting Marital Customs

Marriage Traditions: A Brief Overview

Arguments For and Against Marriage

A Short History of Coupledom

Correct answer:

Marriage Traditions: A Brief Overview

Explanation:

While the passage does discuss some new or shifted marital customs as well as a brief mention of marriage’s historical role, neither “Shifting Marital Customs” nor “A Short History of Coupledom” fully encompasses the passage. “Arguments For and Against Marriage” and “To Wed or Not To Wed” both suggest topics that this passage does not include. The best answer is “Marriage Traditions: A Brief Overview.” 

Example Question #24 : Inserting Content

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

What is the best title for this passage?

Possible Answers:

From Egyptians to Enigmas

A Brief History of Mathematics

Roots of Game Theory

Chaos Theory Today

Math’s Mystery and Meaning

Correct answer:

Math’s Mystery and Meaning

Explanation:

Don’t be fooled into choosing “A Brief History of Mathematics”; although the text starts with a mention of math’s long history, that isn’t the main point of the passage. “From Egyptians to Enigmas” is overly vague, and “Roots of Game Theory” and “Chaos Theory” today are too specific. The text is primarily concerned with math’s beauty and significance, so “Math’s Mystery and Meaning” is the best title choice.

Example Question #241 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Where should the following sentence be added? “Throughout recorded history, humans have attempted to articulate their ideas about amount and quantity.”

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 1

Before Sentence 3

Before Sentence 5

Before Sentence 6

Before Sentence 7

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 1

Explanation:

This sentence provides an excellent introduction to the topic at hand, since it encompasses the various main ideas presented in the passage. For this reason, it belongs at the very beginning of the passage in front of Sentence 1.

Example Question #25 : Inserting Content

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Where should the following sentence be added to the text? “All things considered, there is much left to learn about the world we inhabit, and we must continue to turn to mathematics to teach ourselves.”

Possible Answers:

After Sentence 8

After Sentence 2

After Sentence 6

After Sentence 4

After Sentence 1

Correct answer:

After Sentence 1

Explanation:

The phrase “All things considered” indicates that this is a conclusion sentence, and the rest of the sentence supports this indication. The sentence would fit best at the very end of the passage.

Example Question #241 : Improving Paragraphs

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

In Sentence 7, what abbreviation should be added inside the parentheses?

Possible Answers:

n.b.

etc.

no addition

i.e.

e.g.

Correct answer:

e.g.

Explanation:

The correct abbreviation would be “e.g.” This is a Latin abbreviation that means “for example,” and it indicates that physics and biology are two examples of science fields that use mathematics primarily as a tool. The abbreviation “i.e.” means “that is,” “n.b.” means “nota bene” or “pay attention,” and “etc.” means “etcetera” or “so on and so on.”

Example Question #21 : Inserting Or Deleting Content

1 The history of mathematics is a long and storied one. 2 Filled with many characters and enigmas. 3 Ancient Babylonian and Egyptian texts reveal some of the earliest mathematical concepts, most involving counting and record keeping. 4 At it’s heart, mathematics represents inquiries about the nature of number and magnitude as well as form and function, some people liken the subject to quantitative philosophy.

5 Modern day mathematics involves signified amounts of creativity. 6 Mathematicians must be not only well versed in old formulas and also they must be able to think daftly and imaginatively. 7 While some scholars see mathematics solely as a useful tool to aid scientific discoveries (in physics and chemistry), most recognize mathematics’ immanent importance and beauty. 8 Some of modern-day math’s areas of investigation are game theory, chaos theory, and economics.

Where should the transitional phrase “in order to produce new theories and proofs” be added?

Possible Answers:

At the beginning of Sentence 6, with a comma after “proofs”

At the end of Sentence 5, with a comma after “creativity”

At the end of Sentence 5, with no comma

At the end of sentence 6, with a comma after “imaginatively”

At the beginning of Sentence 6, with no comma

Correct answer:

At the beginning of Sentence 6, with a comma after “proofs”

Explanation:

This transitional phrase would best begin Sentence 6, since it explains the whole purpose for mathematicians being well versed and able to think deftly and imaginatively. A comma is needed to separate this phrase since the rest of the sentence, as commas are always necessary to separate dependent and independent clauses.

Example Question #244 : Improving Paragraphs

1 Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.2 On their various voyages to the South Pacific, Captain Cook and other European explorers brought back accounts of colorfully inked natives, and their sailors soon began to adopt the practice. 3 Early medieval Northern European tribes such as the Picts and Visigoths were often heavily tattooed; particularly the warriors. 4 Over the centuries, various cultures have described various meanings to tattoos, with indelible ink signifying everything from royalty to gang membership to magical powers.

5 Interestingly modern-day tattooing’s popularity evolved out of its adoption by wealthy British nobility, and by American celebrities, musicians, and actors. 6 While tattoos do have a dark past, most notably at Auschwitz, where Nazi’s identified prisoners by tattooing numbers on their arms. 7 Tattoos can be signs of joy, belief, or even healing, such as the colorful tattoos that breast cancer survivors use to cover mastectomy scars.

8 Today, there are more options than ever before, tattoo artists often have fine arts training, lengthy apprenticeships, and can offer specialty inks that glow in the dark or are easier to remove. 9 The internet is full of design ideas, tattoo parlor rankings, and even horror stories about bad tattoo experiences. 10 Now more than ever, information about ink abounds. 11 Choose wisely!

Where should the following sentence be inserted in the passage? “Tattoos have been a part of human expression practically since the beginning of recorded history.”

Possible Answers:

Before Sentence 1

Before Sentence 7

Before Sentence 9

Before Sentence 5

Before Sentence 3

Correct answer:

Before Sentence 1

Explanation:

This sentence provides an excellent introduction to the topic and a seamless transition into the original first sentence of the passage: “Tattoos have even been found on ancient Icelandic, Egyptian, and South American mummies.” Therefore, it should be placed before Sentence 1.

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