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Paragraph Development Practice Exercises 1 (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Practice Set 2

Choose the answer that best develops the topic sentence given.

  1. Indoor pollution sources that release gases or particles into the air are the primary cause of indoor air-quality problems in homes.
    1. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources.
    2. Some physicians believe that the dangers of "environmental allergens" are greatly exaggerated.
    3. Although there are more potential pollution sources today than ever before, environmental activists are working hard to make our world a safer place.
    4. I'll choose a good, old-fashioned log cabin any day to the kind of squeaky-clean, hermetically-sealed modern condos you find in the big American cities.
  2. In the Middle Ages, red hair was associated with evil, so to have red hair was to be in constant danger.
    1. People with red hair are sometimes singled out and called unflattering nicknames.
    2. The Middle Ages was a time of great turmoil and people were often summarily executed by being burned at the stake.
    3. During that time period, people with red hair were sometimes killed because they were thought to be witches.
    4. Red hair is passed on genetically from parent to child.
  3. Many weed killers operate by killing the plant's root, thereby preventing the weed from spreading.
    1. The weed killer is absorbed by the leaves, then travels to the roots.
    2. Proper care must be taken when handling weed killers.
    3. Some weeds don't need water to survive.
    4. Weeds are plants that nobody wants.
  4. One of the most fascinating discoveries in modern physics is the idea that light can behave both as particles and as waves.
    1. In order to understand quantum physics, one must know a great deal about mathematics.
    2. What is called "empty space" by laypersons is really not empty at all, but a sea of negative energy electrons.
    3. This idea, first suggested by the French noblemen Louis de Broglie, is counterintuitive, but can be empirically proven.
    4. Some physicists say that nothing is real unless it is observed.
  5. The Internet has revolutionized mass communication.
    1. The Internet was not invented by a politician.
    2. E-mail, blogs, chat rooms, and many other tools make it easy to communicate with people.
    3. Communication is a difficult art to learn.
    4. The world's largest computer fills an entire building.
  6. There are many good reasons to eat organic food. It tastes great. It is grown and handled according to strict guidelines to ensure that it is safe and pesticide-free. And organic farming respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem.
    1. Many restaurants and supermarkets now carry organic products.
    2. Health-food stores are popping up all over the country.
    3. An organic lifestyle is good for you, and for our world.
    4. Ten years ago, it was much more difficult to find organic food in traditional supermarkets.
  7. It is a myth that financial aid for higher education just means getting a loan and going into heavy debt.
    1. It's important for young people to avoid starting out their working lives under a load of indebtedness.
    2. Financial aid is meant to help those students who could otherwise not attend college.
    3. The truth is that students in medicine and law are often able to pay back their student loans in short order.
    4. The fact is that most schools have their own grants and scholarships, which the student doesn't have to pay back, and a large percentage of students get these.
  8. This contract will confirm our agreement in connection with your services as freelance writer for the work entitled Why Kangaroos Can't Fly.
    1. The title, although rather silly, accurately sums up the tone and style of the book.
    2. You agree to assist us in preparation of the book by developing content for it, based on your zoo-keeping experience.
    3. It is important to have a legal contract before turning your written work over to a publishing company.
    4. This book will make an important contribution to kangaroo lore around the world.
  9. America's fascination with reality television is a topic of much discussion. Many think that people tune in simply to keep up-to-date with the latest popular culture trends.
    1. Whether you love it or hate it, reality television is definitely here to stay.
    2. Every season brings several new reality television shows. However, not every one of them succeeds.
    3. Reality television has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Critics find it shallow, sensationalistic, and mindless.
    4. Ordinary people might also see themselves in these reality television personalities, leading to a sense of exhilaration as they watch their television counterparts achieve celebrity status and win big prizes.
  10. Pasta is both delicious and healthy, and it has the added benefit of being easy to prepare.
    1. Pasta was invented in the Middle Ages in Italy.
    2. Tomato sauce is the best topping for spaghetti.
    3. Marathon runners eat pasta before a race.
    4. Most pasta dishes can be prepared in less than 15 minutes.
  11. During colonial times in America, juries were encouraged to ask questions of the parties in the courtroom.
    1. The jurors were, in fact, expected to investigate the facts of the case themselves. If jurors conducted an investigation today, we would throw out the case.
    2. Many states are experimenting with new ways to get more people to serve on juries. All eligible voters can be called to serve.
    3. There are usually two attorneys: a prosecutor and a defense attorney. This sometimes makes the courtroom lively.
    4. There were thirteen colonies. Each colony at first had its own legal system.
  12. Landscapers do not recommend rose bushes for homeowners who have shade-filled gardens and who don't spend a great deal of time maintaining outdoor plants.
    1. Bugs called aphids can destroy roses. However, you can get rid of them by spraying with a solution of water and dish soap.
    2. Gardening can be quite time-consuming. Most gardeners spend hours in their gardens each week.
    3. When these conditions are present, a better choice would be hostas. They are extremely hardy and easy-to-grow shade plants with attractive foliage.
    4. Landscapers can be hired on a weekly or monthly basis to care for lawns and gardens. They can also be hired for a one-time consultation or for a specific lawn or garden project.
  13. Ginkgo biloba extract is the most commonly prescribed plant remedy in the world.
    1. There are many plant remedies, including the ones that can be purchased in health-food stores. Not all plant remedies have been approved.
    2. It is a highly refined compound produced from the leaves of the ginkgo tree. Many people take ginkgo to treat conditions such as headaches, asthma, and hearing loss.
    3. Ginkgo has also been widely prescribed in Europe. It has been approved by the German government for the treatment of memory loss.
    4. A 1977 study with ginkgo was conducted with twenty patients. These patients ranged in age from 62 to 85.
  14. Cats have the highest level of hygiene of any common domestic pet.
    1. They wash themselves frequently, and never need baths.
    2. The first recorded domesticated cat was in ancient Egypt.
    3. Cats come in many breeds and types.
    4. Most pet stores offer a variety of foods for cats.

Practice Set 3

For each of the following paragraphs, choose the sentence that does NOT belong.

    (1) The cassowary, a solitary, meat-eating creature who makes its home deep in the jungles of New Guinea, hardly seems like a bird at all. (2) It is enormous, weighing up to 190 pounds. (3) Its plumage is more like hair than feathers; its song is a deep, menacing rumble; and it has lost the capability of flight. (4) Human beings have long been fascinated by birds, particularly by their ability to fly.

  1.  
    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  2. (1) An odd behavior associated with sleep and dreaming is somnambulism, commonly known as sleepwalking. (2) Sleepwalkers suffer from a malfunction in a brain mechanism that monitors the transition from REM to non-REM sleep. (3)REM sleep is vitally important to psychological well-being. (4)Sleepwalking episodes diminish with age and usually cause no serious harm—the worst thing that could happen would be a fall down the stairs.

  3.  
    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  4. (1) Lyme disease is sometimes called the great imitator because its many symptoms mimic those of other illnesses. (2) When treated, this disease usually presents few or no lingering effects. (3) Left untreated, it can be extremely debilitating and sometimes fatal. (4) One should be very careful when returning from a trek in the woods to check for deer ticks.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  6. (1) The harp is a musical instrument that has an upright triangular frame. (2) Its strings are positioned perpendicular to the sounding board. (3) Harps are found in Africa, Europe, North and South America, and a few parts of Asia. (4) Its beautiful sound, which is capable of stirring great emotion, might bring tears to your eyes.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  8. (1) In the summer, the northern hemisphere is slanted toward the sun, making the days longer and warmer than in winter. (2) Many religions make use of the solstices in their rites. (3) The first day of summer is called the summer solstice and is also the longest day of the year. (4) However, June 21 marks the beginning of winter in the southern hemisphere, when that hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  10. (1) People are quick to blame the weatherman if it rains on their parade! (2) The American Meteorological Society defines a meteorologist as a person "who uses scientific principles to explain, understand, observe, or forecast the earth's atmospheric phenomena and/or how the atmosphere affects the earth and life on the planet." (3)Many meteorologists have degrees in physics, chemistry, and other fields. (4) Their work often involves teaching, weather forecasting, atmospheric research, and other kinds of applied meteorology.

  11.  
    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  12. (1) The park was empty, except for a child who stood just on the other side of the fence, a little girl about seven years old, thin and pale, with dark eyes and dark hair cut short and ragged. (2) The statistics on neglected children in our country probably fall short of the actual numbers. (3) The child wore no coat, only a brown, cotton skirt that was too big for her—pinned at the waist with a safety pin—and a soiled, long-sleeved yellow blouse with rhinestone buttons. (4) Her fingernails were dirty and broken, the tips of her fingers bluish with cold.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  14. (1) Ghosts can be either benevolent or malevolent. (2) As someone once said, "I don't believe in ghosts, but I'm afraid of them." (3) They can be comic and comfortable, like the old sea captain in The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, or horrific beyond belief, like the ghosts of the revelers at the party in the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King's The Shining. (4) They can emerge from the afterlife to teach us lessons, like old Marley in A Christmas Carol, or come back moaning to be avenged, like the ghost in Hamlet.

  15.  
    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
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    4. Sentence 4
  16. (1)There are many ways to benefit from a weight-lifting program. (2) Using light weights for many repetitions builds muscle tone and protects against injuries. (3) Using heavy weights for just a few repetitions builds muscle mass and makes the body stronger. (4) There are many gyms that provide personal trainers.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
    3. Sentence 3
    4. Sentence 4
  18. (1)C. S. Lewis is best known for his fantasy stories called The Chronicles of Narnia. (2) Lewis lived in Cambridge, England. (3) He was actually a prolific author, however, and wrote a great many books. (4) He was not limited to fantasy, but also wrote science fiction, satire, and many other types of literature.

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    1. Sentence 1
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  20. (1) Ladders come in many shapes and sizes. (2) Aluminum ladders can conduct electricity, and should never be used near power lines. (3) Even wooden ladders, however, will conduct electricity. (4) The safest approach is to keep all ladders safely away from power lines.

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    1. Sentence 1
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  22. (1) A book is actually a complicated item, composed of many parts. (2) The spine is what holds the book together, just as your spine enables you to stand upright. (3) Many people also enjoy buying used books. (4) The pages are like tongues, speaking words to the reader and communicating ideas.

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  24. (1) Firefighters must learn the proper procedures for responding to residential carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies. (2) Upon arriving at the scene of the alarm, personnel shall put on protective clothing and then bring an operational, calibrated CO meter onto the premises. (3) CO poisoning can be lethal, both to firefighters and to ordinary citizens. (4) Occupants of the premises shall then be examined, and if they are experiencing CO poisoning symptoms—i.e., headaches, nausea, confusion, dizziness, and other flu-like symptoms—an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) crew shall be sent immediately to evacuate and administer oxygen to the occupants.

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    1. Sentence 1
    2. Sentence 2
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