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Paragraph Development Practice Exercises 1

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Paragraph Development Practice Exercises

Review the following study guide for paragraph development help:

Paragraph Development Study Guide

Practice Set 1

For each of the following paragraphs, choose the topic sentence that best fits the rest of the paragraph.

  1. _____. Residents have been directed to use the new plastic bins as their primary recycling containers. These new containers will make picking up recyclables faster and easier.
    1. The city has distributed standardized recycling containers to all households.
    2. Recycling has become a way of life for most people.
    3. While most Americans recycle, they also use more resources than residents of other countries.
    4. Even small cities have begun recycling to pick up used glass, plastic, and paper.
  2. _____. Telecommuters produce, on average, 20% more than if they were to work in an office. Their flexible schedule allows them to balance both their family and work responsibilities.
    1. People who work in offices make up a large part of the U.S. workforce.
    2. Office workers who telecommute from their own homes are more productive and have greater flexibility.
    3. Many companies now offer their employees benefits that were not available just a few years ago.
    4. One of the biggest problems in corporate America is the lack of skilled office workers.
  3. _____. No search of a person's home or personal effects may be conducted without a written search warrant. This means that a judge must justify a search before it can be conducted.
    1. There is an old saying that a person's home is his or her castle.
    2. Much of the U.S. legal system was based on the old British system.
    3. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches.
    4. "Personal effects" is a term that refers to the belongings of a person.
  4. _____. You must imitate as closely as possible the parents' methods of feeding. First, hold the beak open using thumb and forefinger. Then, introduce food into the beak with tweezers or an eyedropper.
    1. Recently, I read an article about baby birds.
    2. Hand-rearing wounded or orphaned baby birds requires skill.
    3. Baby birds are very special creatures, and they are also very small.
    4. I have been told that you should not touch a baby bird that has fallen out of its nest.
  5. _____. All waves, though, have common characteristics that govern their height. The height of a wave is determined by its speed, the distance it travels, and the length of time the wind blows.
    1. Currents, unlike waves, are caused by steady winds or temperature fluctuations.
    2. Tsunamis used to be called tidal waves.
    3. Ocean waves can vary from tiny ripples to powerful, raging swells.
    4. A breaker is when a wave gets top-heavy and tips over.
  6. _____. When people respect the law too much, they will follow it blindly. They will say that the majority has decided on this law and therefore I must obey it. They will not stop to consider whether or not the law is fair.
    1. Some people say there is too little respect for the law, but I say there is too much respect for it.
    2. Sometimes, a judge will decide that a law is unfair.
    3. I believe that the majority of the people in this country do not understand what it means to have respect for other people.
    4. Most of the laws passed at the end of the twentieth century are fair laws.
  7. Gary was a very distinguished looking man with a touch of gray at the temples. Even in his early fifties, he was still the one to turn heads. He enjoyed spending most of his time admiring his profile in the mirror. In fact, he considered his good looks to be his second most important asset in the world. The first, however, was money. He was lucky in this area, too, having been born into a wealthy family. _____. He loved the power his wealth had given him. He could buy whatever he desired, be that people, places, or things. Gary checked that mirror often and felt great delight with what he saw.
    1. Gary's gray hair was his worst characteristic.
    2. Conceit was the beginning and the end of Gary's character—conceit of person and situation.
    3. Gary felt blessed to be wealthy and the joy consumed his every thought.
    4. The only objects of Gary's respect were others who held positions in society.
  8. The term spices is a pleasant one, whether it connotes fine French cuisine or a down-home, cinnamon-flavored apple pie. _____. Individuals have traveled the world seeking exotic spices for profit and, in searching, have changed the course of history. Indeed, to gain control of lands harboring new spices, nations have actually gone to war.
    1. The taste and aroma of spices are the main elements that make food such a source of fascination and pleasure.
    2. The term might equally bring to mind Indian curry made thousands of miles away and those delicious barbecued ribs sold around the corner.
    3. It is exciting to find a good cookbook and experiment with spices from other lands—indeed, it is one way to travel around the globe!
    4. The history of spices, however, is another matter altogether, often exciting and filled with danger and intrigue.
  9. _______. The best way to begin is by selecting a working space with good lighting. Proper tools are also important, and you will want to purchase some quality paint brushes and a selection of quality paints.
    1. Painting models and miniatures is a satisfying hobby.
    2. Low quality painting tools can be frustrating.
    3. Good lighting is important when painting.
    4. Don't buy paintbrushes on sale.
  10. _______. The farm dates back to the Revolutionary War, when it was owned by Silas Wheeler. Wheeler himself fought in several early battles of the war, but his farm is best remembered as the site of an important battle, when the Colonial forces won a decisive victory against the British.
    1. Farms are places where we can learn many things.
    2. Wheeler Farm is an important historical landmark.
    3. Silas Wheeler was an American patriot.
    4. The Revolutionary War made many people famous.
  11. ______. They are certainly useful for keeping the grass short, yet the spinning blade of any power mower can sever fingers, toes, and even a hand. Proper safety measures must be followed at all times when using a power lawn mower.
    1. Wear safety shoes when cutting the lawn.
    2. Power lawn mowers are useful tools, but they can also be very dangerous.
    3. The history of lawn mowers is very interesting.
    4. Short grass is important for the environment.
  12. _____. Effective immediately, all vacation time must be pre-approved by an employee's immediate supervisor. No vacations will be approved unless the employee has completed his or her probationary period, and employees can no longer borrow against future vacation days.
    1. The company's vacation policy has been changed.
    2. Employees on probation must not take vacations.
    3. Borrowing from future vacations is not allowed.
    4. We used to do things differently, but now we don't.
  13. _____. Hearsay that depends on the statement's truthfulness is inadmissible because the witness does not appear in court and swear an oath to tell the truth. This means that his or her demeanor when making the statement is not visible to the jury, the accuracy of the statement cannot be tested under cross-examination, and to introduce it would be to deprive the accused of the constitutional right to confront the accuser.
    1. Hearsay evidence is not acceptable in a criminal trial because the witness cannot be cross-examined.
    2. Hearsay evidence in a trial is inadmissible because there is too great a chance that it will be false.
    3. The definition of hearsay evidence is the "secondhand reporting of a statement" and is sometimes allowable.
    4. Hearsay evidence, which is the secondhand reporting of a statement, is allowed in court only when the truth of the statement is irrelevant.
  14. _____. Any truck that finishes its assigned route before the end of the workers' shift will return to the sanitation lot, where supervisors will provide materials for workers to use in cleaning off the graffiti. Because the length of time it takes to complete different routes varies, trucks will no longer be assigned to a specific route but will be rotated among the routes. Therefore, workers should no longer leave personal items in the trucks, as they will not necessarily be using the same truck each day as they did in the past.
    1. Graffiti on city trucks is unsightly and gives city residents a poor impression of the Sanitation Department.
    2. The Sanitation Department greatly appreciates city workers' extra efforts in cleaning graffiti off the city trucks.
    3. Beginning next month, the Sanitation Department will institute a program intended to remove the graffiti from sanitation trucks.
    4. City workers should keep a sharp lookout for persons spray-painting graffiti on Sanitation Department trucks.
  15. _____. One type of tickler system is the index-card file with 12 large dividers, one for each month, and 31 small dividers, one for each day. Whenever secretaries need to schedule a reminder, they jot it down on a card and place it behind the appropriate divider. Each morning, they review the reminders for that particular day.
    1. As busy secretaries, we cannot expect to remember all the details of our daily responsibilities without some help.
    2. At the beginning of the day, good secretaries review and organize the tasks they must attend to during that day.
    3. The word tickler perfectly describes the organizational system to which it refers.
    4. All secretaries need a good reminder system, sometimes known as a tickler system because it tickles the memory.
  16. _____. Space shuttle astronauts, because they spend only about a week in space, undergo minimal wasting of bone and muscle. But when longer stays in microgravity or zero gravity are contemplated, as in the proposed space station or a two-year roundtrip voyage to Mars, these problems are of particular concern because they could become acute. Fortunately, studies show that muscle atrophy can be kept largely at bay with appropriate exercise. Unfortunately, bone loss caused by reduced gravity cannot.
    1. Space flight, especially if it is prolonged, can be hazardous to the health of the astronauts.
    2. The tissues of human beings are ill-prepared for the stresses placed upon them by space flight.
    3. In space flight, astronauts must deal with two vexing physiological foes—muscle atrophy and bone loss.
    4. Travel on the space shuttle does less damage to an astronaut's bones and muscles than an extended stay on a space station.
  17. _____. Rather, asthma is now understood to be a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways—that is, inflammation makes the airways chronically sensitive. When these hyper-responsive airways are irritated, air flow is limited, and attacks of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing occur.
    1. No longer is asthma considered a condition with isolated, acute episodes of bronchospasm.
    2. The true nature of asthma has only recently been understood.
    3. The true character of asthma is now understood, so there is more hope for a cure than there was in earlier times.
    4. No age is exempt from asthma, although it occurs most often in childhood and early adulthood.
  18. _____. Many experts, including those in the American Diabetes Association, recommend that 50 to 60% of daily calories of patients suffering from non-insulin-dependent diabetes come from carbohydrates, 12 to 20% from protein, and no more than 30% from fat. Foods that are rich in carbohydrates, like breads, cereals, fruits, and vegetables, break down into glucose during digestion, causing blood glucose to rise. Additionally, studies have shown that cooked foods raise blood glucose higher than raw, unpeeled foods.
    1. In 1986, a National Institute of Health panel gave broad recommendations as to the type of diet that is best for non-insulin-dependent diabetics.
    2. It is extremely important for certain medical patients to watch what they eat.
    3. A good cookbook is the best friend a non-insulin-dependent diabetes patient can have!
    4. Non-insulin-dependent diabetes patients can lead long, healthy lives if only they pay attention to their diets.
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