Interpreting Non-Literary Sources Practice Exercises (page 3)

Updated on Aug 25, 2011


Exercise 1

  1. b. The context of the word suggests that it is a type of fertilizer. If you planned to follow these directions, you would probably want to research this (and other types of) fertilizer to make your own informed decision about the product.
  2. c. In constructing your container planter, the second step is to place a pottery shard over the hole (the first step is to drill a drainage hole). Note that step 3—adding materials to the container—has its own sequence. In step 3 the writer uses sequencing clues and carryover clues. But don't confuse the overall sequence with the sequence in step 3.
  3. b. The first paragraph tells you to add the pottery shard to the container because it "facilitates consistent, steady draining" and "prevents the dirt from washing out."
  4. c. The author is recommending a certain product, which reflects his or her opinion. The other options are matter-of-fact instructions.
  5. a. The instruction to add woodchips says to fill the container halfway, so 50% of the container holds wood chips. The other 50% holds a combination of potting soil and fertilizer, so neither of those can be the largest ingredient. Water is only added at the end and is intended to drain out of the container. You could come to the same conclusion by reading the text or by looking carefully at the diagram.

Exercise 2

  1. b. As you learned in Lesson 18, the author's purpose can be to inform, persuade, or entertain. An advertisement is a type of persuasive text.
  2. a. Fantasy is the best description of the advertising technique used in this passage. The text paints images of escape, excitement, beautiful places, relaxing activities, and good family memories. This appeals to the reader's imagination more than to his or her senses, logic, or ethics.
  3. b. Inviting is the best option to describe the tone of this advertisement because it is encouraging the reader to become interested and take action. It is somewhat friendly (choice a) but has a strong persuasive purpose. Many advertisements are aggressive (choice b), but this example is not overly pushy. There are no phrases that suggest a passionate (choice d) tone.

Exercise 3

  1. c. This paragraph explains that wolves used to live in the Yellowstone area until conflict with humans caused them to disappear. The wolves moved to Canada (choice b), and were a threat to ranchers (choice d), but these choices are too narrow and do not reflect the main idea of the paragraph. You can eliminate choice a because it's the main idea of the first paragraph.
  2. a. Biologists hoped that wolves would help balance the elk and coyote populations. Restoring the park's plant diversity (choice b) was a factor, but not the main motive. Ranchers and farmers objected to the wolves killing their livestock, so choice c can't be the reason for reintroduction. And although the wolves are technically extinct, the Yellowstone wolves are governed by special, looser rules, so choice d can be eliminated.
  3. d. The phrase "although the wolves are technically an endangered species" suggests that the Yellowstone wolves are going to be an exception. More specifically, the word technically tells us that the exception will be to their endangered status. It only suggests the legal definition of endangered (choice a) but does not explain it. Choice b, that the government controls the wolves' status, is a true statement, but it is not the best answer to the question. The statement also does not explain why the wolves are endangered (choice c).
  4. c. Because the purpose of the article is to inform, the author chooses a third-person point of view to seem impartial and balanced.
  5. b. Paragraph 3 shows the outcome of the wolf 's disappearance. Although the events occur in chronological order (choice c), they are organized to show cause and effect.
  6. a. According to the table, the Hayden pack had only one adult and three pups, for a total of four wolves. This small family unit forms the smallest of Yellowstone's packs.
  7. d. The author concludes the article by listing some of the positive effects of the wolf 's return: beaver and red fox populations are being restored, and elk and coyote populations are balancing to normal levels. Thus the author must not believe that the program was a mistake (choice a). Choice b is not broad enough to encompass the main idea of the whole passage. Choice c, on the other hand, is too general, because the article only discusses Yellowstone Park and does not comment on the wolf 's role in other national parks.
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