Paragraph Development Practice Exercises 4

Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Paragraph Development Practice Exercises

The study guide for these practice exercises can be found at:

Paragraph Development Study Guide

Practice Set 1

Answer questions 1 and 2 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) None of us knew my Uncle Elmer, not even my mother (he would have been ten years older than she) we had pictures of him in an ancient family album, a solemn, spindly baby, dressed in a white muslin shirt, ready for bed, or in a sailor suit, holding a little drum. (2) In one photograph, he stands in front of a tall chiffonier, which looms behind him, massive and shadowy, like one of the Fates in a greek play. (3) There weren't many such pictures, because photographs weren't easy to come by in those days, and in the ones we did have, my uncle had a formal posed look, as if, even then, he knew he was bound for some unique destiny. (4) It was the summer I turned thirteen that I found out what happened to him, the summer Sister Mattie Fisher, one of Grandma's evangelist friends, paid us a visit, sweeping in like a cleansing wind and telling the truth.

  1. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the above passage?
    1. Part 2: Change greek to Greek.
    2. Part 4: Change Sister to sister.
    3. Part 4: Change summer to Summer.
    4. Part 3: Change uncle to Uncle.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard sentence?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 4

Answer questions 3–5 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) O'Connell Street is the main thoroughfare of Dublin City. (2) Although it is not a particularly long street Dubliners will tell the visitor proudly that it is the widest street in all of Europe. (3) This claim usually meets with protests, especially from French tourists who claim the Champs Elysées of Paris as Europe's widest street. (4) But the witty Dubliner will not ensign bragging rights easily and will trump the French visitor with a fine distinction: the Champs Elysées is the widest boulevard, but O'Connell is the widest street.

    (5) Divided by several important monuments running the length of its center, the street is named for Daniel O'Connell, an Irish patriot. (6) An impressive monument to him towers over the entrance of lower O'Connell Street and overlooking the Liffey River. (7) O'Connell stands high above the unhurried crowds of shoppers, business people, and students on a sturdy column; he is surrounded by four serene angels seated at each corner of the monument's base.

  1. Which of the following words should replace the underlined word in Part 4 of the passage?
    1. require
    2. relinquish
    3. acquire
    4. assign
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the second paragraph of the passage?
    1. Part 7: Replace the semicolon with a comma.
    2. Part 5: Change Irish to irish.
    3. Part 5: Change running to run.
    4. Part 6: Change overlooking to overlooks.
  3. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the first paragraph of the passage?
    1. Part 2: Insert a comma after that.
    2. Part 3: Replace the comma after protests with a semicolon.
    3. Part 4: Remove the colon after distinction.
    4. Part 2: Insert a comma after street.

Answer questions 6–8 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) Mrs. Lake arriving twenty minutes early surprised and irritated Nicholas, although the moment for saying so slipped past too quickly for him to snatch its opportunity.

    (2) She was a thin woman of medium height, not much older than he—in her middle forties he judged—dressed in a red-and-white, polka-dot dress and open-toed red shoes with extremely high heels. (3) Her short brown hair was crimped in waves, which gave a incongruous, quaint, old-fashioned effect. (4) She had a pointed nose. (5) Her eyes, set rather shallow, were light brown and inquisitive.

    (6) "Dr. Markley?" she asked. (7) Nicholas nodded, and the woman walked in past him, proceeding with little mincing steps to the center of the living room where she stood with her back turned, looking around. (8) "My my," she said. (9) "This is a nice house. (10) Do you live here all alone?"

  1. Which of the following changes should be made in Part 3?
    1. Change was to is.
    2. Change gave to gives.
    3. Change a to an.
    4. Change effect to affect.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a modifier?
    1. Part 7
    2. Part 5
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 2
  3. Which of the following changes needs to be made to Part 1?
    1. Insert a comma after early.
    2. Change too to two.
    3. Change Lake to Lake's.
    4. Change its to it's.
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