Paragraph Development Practice Exercises 4 (page 2)

Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Practice Set 2

Answer questions 9–11 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) If your office job involves telephone work, than your voice may be the first contact a caller has to your company or organization. (2) For this reason, your telephone manners have to be impeccable. (3) Always answer the phone promptly, on the first or second ring, if possible. (4) Speak directly into the phone, neither too loudly nor too softly, in a pleasant, cheerful voice. (5) Vary the pitch of your voice, so that it will not sound monotonous or uninterested, and be sure to enunciate clearly. (6) After a short, friendly greeting, state your company or boss's name, then your own name.

    (7) Always take messages carefully. (8) Fill out all pertinent blanks on the message pad sheet while you are still on the phone. (9) Always let the caller hang up first. (10) Do not depend in your memory for the spelling of a name or the last digit of a phone number, and be sure to write legibly. (11) When it is time to close a conversation, do so in a pleasant manner, and never hang up without saying good-bye. (12) While it is not an absolute rule, generally closing with goodbye is more professional than bye-bye. (13) Verify the information by reading it back to the caller.

  1. Which of the following editorial changes would most improve the clarity of development of ideas in the second paragraph?
    1. Delete Part 9.
    2. Reverse the order of Part 8 and Part 13.
    3. Reverse the order of Part 9 and Part 13.
    4. Add a sentence after Part 7 explaining the need to take phone messages from customers politely.
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the first paragraph?
    1. Part 5: Change they to it.
    2. Part 1: Change than to then.
    3. Part 2: Change manners to manner.
    4. Part 6: Change boss's to bosses.
  3. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a preposition?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 8
    4. Part 10

Answer questions 12 and 13 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) Understand that your boss has problems, too. (2) This is easy to forget. (3) When someone has authority over you, it's hard to remember that they're just human. (4) Your boss may have children at home who misbehave, dogs or cats or parakeets that need to go to the vet, deadlines to meet, and/or bosses of his or her own (sometimes even bad ones) overseeing his or her work. (5) If your boss is occasionally unreasonable, try to keep in mind that it might have nothing to do with you. (6) He or she may be having a bad day for reasons no one else knows. (7) Of course, if such behavior becomes consistently abusive, you'll have to do something about it—confront the problem or even quit. (8) But were all entitled to occasional mood swings.

  1. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a pronoun?
    1. Part 3
    2. Part 4
    3. Part 7
    4. Part 8
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the above passage?
    1. Part 5: Change unreasonable to unreasonably.
    2. Part 7: Change the dash to a semicolon.
    3. Part 8: Change were to we're.
    4. Part 4: Change deadlines to a deadline.

Answer questions 14 and 15 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) Patrick Henry is considered one of the great patriots of America's early history. (2) He was an early leader in every protest against British tyranny and in every movement for colonial rights, openly speaking against the unfair taxation and burdensome regulations imposed upon the American colonists by the British Parliament. (3) In March 1775, Patrick Henry urged his fellow Virginians to arm themselves in self-defense. (4) He spoke boldly in Richmond, Virginia, during the meeting of the state legislature. (5) He closes that famous speech with the immortal words, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death."

  1. Which of the following sentences would be the best topic sentence for a second paragraph on the same subject?
    1. Patrick Henry was born on May 29, 1736, in Hanover County, Virginia.
    2. The Virginia legislature meets regularly from September through May every year.
    3. Taxes have gone up steadily in Virginia since the days of Patrick Henry.
    4. One rule of speechmaking is to speak clearly.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts on the passage contains a wrong verb tense?
    1. Part 2
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 5

Answer questions 16 and 17 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) Beginning next month, City Transit will institute the Stop Here Program, who will be in effect every night from 10:00 p.m. until 4:00 a.m. (2) The program will allow drivers to stop the bus wherever a passenger wishes, as long as they deem it is safe to stop there. (3) This program will reduce the amount of walking that passengers will have to do after dark. (4) Passengers may request a stop anywhere along the bus route by pulling the bell cord a block ahead. (5) During the first two months of the program, when passengers attempt to flag down a bus anywhere but at a designated stop, the bus driver should proceed to the next stop and wait for them to board the bus. (6) Then the driver should give the passenger a brochure that explains the Stop Here Program.

  1. Which of the following editorial changes in the above passage would best help to clarify the information the paragraph intends to convey?
    1. Add a sentence between Parts 4 and 5 explaining that while the Stop Here Program allows passengers to leave the bus at almost any point, passengers may board only at designated stops.
    2. Delete Part 6.
    3. Add a sentence between Parts 5 and 6 explaining the safety advantages for passengers of flagging down buses at night.
    4. Reverse the order of Parts 4 and 5.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a pronoun?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 5

Answer questions 18 and 19 on the basis of the following passage.

    (1) Last October, a disastrous wildfire swept across portions of Charlesburg. (2) Five residents were killed, 320 homes destroyed, and 19,500 acres burned. (3) A public safety task force was formed to review emergency choices. (4) The task force findings were as follows;

    (5) The water supply in the residential areas was insufficient, some hydrants could not even be opened. (6) The task force recommended a review of hydrant inspection policy.

    (7) The fire companies that responded had difficulty locating specific sites. (8) Most companies came from other areas and were not familiar with Miller Point. (9) The available maps were outdated and did not reflect recent housing developments.

    (10) Evacuation procedures were inadequate. (11) Residents reported being given conflicting and/or confusing information. (12) Some residents of the Hilltop Estates subdivision ignored mandatory evacuation orders, yet others were praised for their cooperation.

  1. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard sentence?
    1. Part 7
    2. Part 5
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 12
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the passage?
    1. Part 12: Change were to we're.
    2. Part 12: Insert a comma after others.
    3. Part 2: Remove the comma after killed.
    4. Part 4: Replace the semicolon with a colon.

Practice Set 3

Answer questions 20–22 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) In the early 1700s, sailors had no way of accurately figure out longitude. (2) They were able to estimate quite accurately what their Latitude was at any given time, but the instruments that they used could not ascertain longitude. (3) This created a very significant problem in navigation, as ship captains had to estimate their location by celestial navigation, using the stars and moon and other heavenly bodies to know where on Earth they were at any given time. (4) A small error in their calculations could cause a ship to reach land hundreds of miles away from where the captain wanted to be. (5) During times of war, this problem could be catastrophic, as a ship might arrive at an enemy port rather than a friendly one. (6) The problem was solved by an uneducated clockmaker named John Harrison. (7) Harrison invented a small clock that looked like an overgrown pocket watch, which he calls a chronometer.(8) This complex clock enabled ship captains to accurately determine their location at sea, and remained in use until the recent invention of modern satellite navigational systems.
  1. Which of the underlined words in the passage could be replaced with a more precise verb?
    1. figure out
    2. using
    3. reach
    4. remained
  2. Which of the following sentences uses the verb incorrectly?
    1. Part 3
    2. Part 5
    3. Part 7
    4. Part 2
  3. Which of the following changes needs to be made in the passage?
    1. Part 2: Do not capitalize Latitude.
    2. Part 3: Capitalize navigation.
    3. Part 5: Remove the comma after war.
    4. Part 7: Add a comma after clock.

Answer questions 23 and 24 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) The ballpoint pen was invented in 1938 by a Hungarian named Laszlo Biro, a journalist who wanted a reliable pen that didn't leak unlike the fountain pens that were popularly used at the time. (2) Biro noticed that the ink used by his employer's to print newspapers dried very quickly, and he decided that it would be useful in a pen. (3) The problem was that newspaper ink was too thick to use in fountain pens; Biro needed to find another way to flow that ink onto paper. (4) His solution was to use a tiny steel ball in the tip of a pen nib. (5) The ball rotated inside its collar, picking up ink from the pen and transferring it smoothly onto paper. (6) The result was the ballpoint pen, which still bears the name of Biro in many European countries today.

  1. Which of the following corrections should be made in punctuation?
    1. Part 2: Remove the apostrophe from employer's.
    2. Part 3: Change the semicolon to a comma.
    3. Part 5: Remove the comma after collar.
    4. Part 6: Change the comma to a semicolon.
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made in the first sentence?
    1. Add an apostrophe to pens.
    2. Add a comma after leak.
    3. Capitalize ballpoint pen.
    4. No changes need to be made.

Answer questions 25 and 26 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Theodore Roosevelt were born with asthma and poor eyesight. (2) Yet this sickly child later won fame as a political leader, Rough Rider, and hero of the common people. (3) To conquer his handicaps, Teddy trained in a gym and became a lightweight boxer at Harvard. (4) Out west, he hunted buffalo and ran a cattle ranch. (5) He was civil service reformer in the east and also a police commissioner. (6) He became President McKinley's Assistant Naval Secretary during the Spanish-American War. (7) Also, he led a charge of cavalry Rough Riders up San Juan Hill in Cuba. (8) After achieving fame, he became Governor of New York and went on to become the Vice-President.

  1. Which of the following sentences represents the best revision of Part 5?
    1. Back east, he became a civil service reformer and police commissioner.
    2. A civil service reformer and police commissioner was part of his job in the east.
    3. A civil service reformer and police commissioner were parts of his job in the east.
    4. His jobs of civil service reformer and police commissioner were his jobs in the east.
  2. Which of the following should be used in place of the underlined verb in Part 1 of the passage?
    1. will be
    2. are
    3. is
    4. was

Answer questions 27–29 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Charles Dickens was the most widely read author of the Victorian era, and one of the most prolific writers of modern times. (2) His novels remain popular even today because they present pictures of ordinary people facing extraordinary difficulties, people who have to deal with things that are hard and unusual, especially regular people like you and me. (3) He is still so popular, in fact, that none of his novels has ever gone out of print, and all are still widely available today in inexpensive paperback editions. (4) _____ (5) Many of those characters are memorable simply because of their peculiar characteristics, such as the eccentric but loveable traveler, Samuel Pickwick. (6) Other characters are famous largely because of Dickens' skill at giving them unusual names, such as Uriah Heep and Mr. Micawber. (7) The novels tend to be long, but most readers are so drawn in by the stories that they are disappointed when the book ends. (8) These alone is a testimony to Dickens' skill as a storyteller.

  1. Which of the following sentences would be most consistent with the passage's development if it were inserted into the blank in Part 4?
    1. Dickens' novels contain many memorable characters—people who come alive from the pages and remain in the minds of readers.
    2. Dickens' novels are available in paperback at your local bookstore.
    3. The novels address many themes, including poverty and pollution.
    4. Most of Dickens' novels include humorous incidents—things that are designed to make a reader laugh even in the midst of dark and serious details.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts should be revised to reduce its unnecessary repetition?
    1. Part 6
    2. Part 5
    3. Part 2
    4. Part 1
  3. Which of the following changes should be made in the final sentence (Part 8)?
    1. Change skill to weakness.
    2. Change Dickens' to Dicken's.
    3. Change is to was.
    4. Change These to This.
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