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Paragraph Development Practice Exercises 5 (page 2)

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Updated on Sep 28, 2011

Practice Set 2

Answer questions 10–12 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Typically people think of genius, whether it manifests itself in Mozart symphonies or Einstein's discovery of relativity, as having a quality not just of the divine, but also of the eccentric. (2) People see genius as a "good" abnormality; moreover, they think of genius as a completely unpredictable abnormality. (3) Until recently, psychologists regarded the quirks of genius as too erratic to describe intelligibly; however, Anna Findley's groundbreaking study uncovers predictable patterns in the biographies of geniuses. (4) Despite the regularity of these patterns, they could still support the common belief that there is a kind of supernatural intervention in the lives of unusually talented men and women. (5) _____. (6) For example, Findley shows that all geniuses experience three intensely productive periods in their lives, one of which always occurs shortly before their deaths; this is true whether the genius lives to nineteen or ninety.
  1. Which of the following sentences, if inserted in the blank numbered Part 5, would best focus the main idea of the passage?
    1. These patterns are normal in the lives of all geniuses.
    2. Eerily, the patterns themselves seem to be determined by predestination rather than mundane habit.
    3. No matter how much scientific evidence the general public is presented with, people still like to think of genius as unexplainable.
    4. Since people think of genius as a "good" abnormality, they do not really care what causes it.
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the passage?
    1. Part 1: Change Mozart to Mozart's.
    2. Part 3: Change too to to.
    3. Part 4: Change there to their.
    4. Part 6: Change geniuses to geniuses'.
  3. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a pronoun?
    1. Part 2
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 6

Answer questions 13–15 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Horatio Hornblower, a British naval hero whose exploits take place during the great age of sailing ships, is a fictional character created by author C. S. Forester. (2) The Hornblower novels trace the heros career from its very beginning, when he joins a British warship as a seasick midshipman, and follow his rise through the ranks until he reaches the level of Admiral of the Fleet. (3) The Hornblower novels are famous for their exciting battle scenes, as wooden sailing ships range the seas firing broadsides at one another. (4) But these novels are significant for more than that: they also provide a very accurate picture of what life is like aboard those great ships of war during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. (5) It was a hard life! (6) Sailors lacked what we would consider edible food and drinkable water, often for months at a time. (7) Discipline was severe—a sailor could be flogged for what we today would consider minor offenses—yet the Hornblower novels also help us to understand that such discipline and self-denial were essential to the safety and effectiveness of warships in that age. (8) The Hornblower books are available in paperback and hardcover. (9) Forester's Horatio Hornblower novels thus serve two very valuable functions: they give modern audiences a glimpse into a bygone era, showing us what life was like for the fighting men of the seas; and they manage to provide many hours of enjoyable reading in the process. (10) Combining these two elements together is indeed a remarkable literary feat.
  1. Which of the following editorial changes should be made to improve the focus of the passage?
    1. Reverse the order of Parts 2 and 3.
    2. Remove Part 5.
    3. Part 10: Change Combining to Combined.
    4. Remove Part 8.
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the passage?
    1. Part 4: Add a comma after But
    2. Part 6: Remove the comma after water
    3. Part 2: Change heros to hero's
    4. Part 9: Change Forester's to Foresters
  3. Which of the following sentences has an error in verb tense?
    1. Part 2
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 5

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

(1) The Disasters of War is a famous series of prints by Spanish artist Francisco Goya, which he etched between 1810 and 1820. (2) The individual prints depict the devastating effects of the war waged by Napoleon against the people of Spain. (3) The scenes that the artist represented showed the ravages of the Napoleonic Wars on ordinary people focusing on the side effects various battles had on commoners. (4) This approach to artistic representation of battle was unusual at the time, since most artists sought to capture the actions and deeds of soldiers who were actually fighting the war. (5) But Goya wanted to protest against Napoleon's war-mongering and greed, so he showed the world what the battles did to ordinary people who were merely trying to live out their lives. (6) Goya feared that his prints would be very controversial, and that he might suffer for making them. (7) This fear caused him to keep the works secret not permitting them to be made public until well after his death.
  1. In which of the following numbered parts should a comma be inserted?
    1. Part 6
    2. Part 7
    3. Part 1
    4. Part 2
  2. Which of the following sentences is a run-on?
    1. Part 6
    2. Part 5
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 3

Answer questions 18–20 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Whether or not you can accomplish a specific goal or meet a specific deadline depends first on how much time you need to get the job done. (2) What should you do when the demands of the job precede the time you have available. (3) The best approach is to correctly divide the project into smaller pieces. (4) Different goals will have to be divided in different ways, but one seemingly unrealistic goal can often be accomplished by working on several smaller, more reasonable goals.
  1. Which of the following sentences has an error in the verb infinitive?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 4
  2. Which of the following words should replace the underlined word in Part 2 of the passage?
    1. exceed
    2. succeed
    3. supercede
    4. proceed
  3. Which of the following sentences in the passage needs a question mark?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 4

Practice Set 3

Answer questions 21 and 22 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) The Competitive Civil Service system is designed to give candidates fair and equal treatment and ensure that federal applicants are hired based on objective criteria. (2) Hiring has to be based solely on a candidate's knowledge, skills, and abilities (which you'll sometimes see abbreviated as KSA), and not on external factors such as race, religion, sex, and so on. (3) Whereas employers in the private sector can hire employees for subjective reasons, federal employers must be able to justify his decision with objective evidence that the candidate is qualified.
  1. Which of the following sentences lacks parallelism?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Parts 2 and 3
  2. Which of the following sentences has an error in pronoun agreement?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Parts 2 and 3

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

(1) A light rain was falling. (2) He drove home by his usual route. (3) It was a drive he had taken a thousand times; still, he did not know why, as he passed the park near their home, he should so suddenly and vividly picture the small pond that lay at the center of it. (4) In winter, this pond was frozen over, and he had taken his daughter Abigail there when she was small and tried to teach her how to skate. (5) She hadn't been able to catch on, and so after two or three lessons Abigail and him had given up on the idea. (6) Now there came into his mind an image of such clarity it caused him to draw in his breath sharply; an image of Abigail gliding toward him on her new Christmas skates, going much faster than she should have been.
  1. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the passage?
    1. Part 3: Change the semicolon to a comma.
    2. Part 4: Remove the word and.
    3. Part 5: Change the comma to a semicolon.
    4. Part 6: Change the semicolon to a colon.
  2. Which of the following changes needs to be made to the passage?
    1. Part 3: Replace their with there.
    2. Part 4: Remove the comma after over.
    3. Part 5: Change him to he.
    4. Part 6: Replace Christmas with Christmas'.

Answer questions 25–27 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) For years, Mt. Desert Island, particularly its major settlement, Bar Harbor, afforded summer homes for the wealthy. (2) Finally though, Bar Harbor has become a burgeoning arts community as well. (3) But, the best part of the island is the unspoiled forest land known as Acadia National Park. (4) Since the island sits on the boundary line between the temperate and sub-Arctic zones the island supports the flora and fauna of both zones as well as beach, inland, and alpine plants. (5) Lies in a major bird migration lane and is a resting spot for many birds. (6) The establishment of Acadia National Park in 1916 means that this natural monument will be preserved and that it will be available to all people, not just the wealthy. (7) Visitors to Acadia may receive nature instruction from the park naturalists as well as enjoy camping, hiking, cycling, and boating. (8) Or they may choose to spend time at the archeological museum learning about the Stone Age inhabitants of the island.
  1. Which of the following sentences is a sentence fragment?
    1. Part 2
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 5
  2. Which of the following adverbs should replace the words Finally though in Part 2?
    1. Suddenly
    2. Concurrently
    3. Simultaneously
    4. Recently
  3. Which of the following changes needs to be made to Part 4?
    1. Insert a comma after the word zones.
    2. Delete the word Since at the beginning of the sentence.
    3. Delete the comma after the word inland.
    4. Add a question mark at the end of the sentence.

Answer questions 28 and 29 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) A smoke detector should be placed on each floor level of a home and outside each sleeping area. (2) A good site for a detector would be a hallway that runs between living spaces and bedrooms. (3) Because of the "dead" air space that might be missed by turbulent hot air bouncing around above a fire, smoke detectors should be installed either at the ceiling at least four inches from the nearest wall, or high on a wall at least four, but no further than twelve, inches from the ceiling. (4) Detectors should not be mounted near windows, exterior doors, or other places where drafts might direct the smoke away from the unit. (5) Also, it should not be placed in kitchens and garages, where cooking and gas fumes are likely to set off false alarms.
  1. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard use of a preposition?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 4
    4. Part 5
  2. In which of the following numbered parts should a pronoun be replaced with a different pronoun?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 2
    3. Part 3
    4. Part 5

Answer questions 30–32 on the basis of the following passage.

(1) Heat exhaustion, generally characterized by clammy skin, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, profuse perspiration, and sometimes fainting, resulting from an inadequate intake of water and the loss of fluids. (2) First aid treatment for this condition includes having the victim lie down, raising the feet 8 to 12 inches, applying cool, wet cloths to the skin, and giving the victim sips of salt water (1 teaspoon per glass, half a glass every 15 minutes) over the period of an hour. (3) _____. (4) Heatstroke is much more serious; it is an immediate life-threatening condition. (5) The characteristics of heatstroke are a high body temperature (which may reach 106°F or more); a rapid pulse; hot, dry skin; and a blocked sweating mechanism. (6) Victims of this condition may be unconscious, and first aid measures should be directed at cooling the body quickly. (7) Heatstroke often occurs among poor people in urban areas. (8) The victim should be placed in a tub of cold water or repeatedly sponged with cool water until his or her temperature is lowered sufficiently. (9) Fans or air conditioners will also help with the cooling process. (10) Care should be taken, however, not to chill the victim too much once his or her temperature is below 102°F.
  1. Which of the following sentences, if inserted into the blank in Part 3 in the passage, would best aid the transition of thought between the first and second paragraphs?
    1. Heat exhaustion is a relatively unusual condition in northern climates.
    2. The typical victims of heatstroke are the poor and elderly who cannot afford air conditioning even on the hottest days of summer.
    3. Heat exhaustion is never fatal, although it can cause damage to internal organs if it strikes an elderly victim.
    4. Air conditioning units, electric fans, and cool baths can lower the number of people who suffer heatstroke each year in the United States.
  2. Which of the following numbered parts draws attention away from the main idea of the second paragraph of the passage?
    1. Part 6
    2. Part 7
    3. Part 8
    4. Part 10
  3. Which of the following numbered parts contains a nonstandard sentence?
    1. Part 1
    2. Part 3
    3. Part 5
    4. Part 8
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