Reading Language and Style Practice Test

Updated on Sep 20, 2011

Language and Style Practice Test


  • Reading Point of View Help. Point of view is the perspective from which the writer speaks. Sometimes, writers use the first-person point of view (I, me, my, we, our, us) to express their personal feelings and experiences directly to the reader. This point of view creates a sense of intimacy between the reader and the narrator because it expresses an extremely subjective perspective. When writers use the second-person point of view, they address the reader directly by using the pronoun you. This point of view is often used to give directions and to make the reader feel directly involved in the action described by the writer. The third-person point of view is the objective perspective of a "third person," someone who is not directly involved in the action or ideas expressed in the passage. This point of view establishes a distance between the reader and writer and uses the pronouns he, his, him; she, hers, her; it, its; and they, them, and their.
  • Word Choice Help. Diction refers to the specific words chosen by the author to express his or her ideas. Because words have both a denotation (exact or dictionary meaning) and a connotation (implied or suggested meaning), as well as an emotional register, the words an author chooses are very significant. Authors, like politicians, must choose their words carefully to express exactly the right idea with exactly the right impact.
  • Writing Styel Help. Style is the manner in which writers express their ideas in writing. Style is composed of three main elements: sentence structure, degree of description and detail, and degree of formality. Some writers use a very formal style; others may write in a casual style. Certain styles are best for particular audiences or purposes. For example, a high degree of formality with specific details but without any unneccessary description would be appropriate for business, where time is money and writers should get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Reading and Writer's Tone Help. Finally, tone is the mood or attitude conveyed by the writing. Tone is created by a combination of point of view, diction, and style. Tone is extremely important in determining meaning because as we noted, a word as simple as sure can have many different meanings depending upon the tone in which it is said. To determine the tone, you have to look for clues as to how the writer wants his or her words to sound.

Language and Style Practice Test

Practice Passage 1

Begin with a paragraph someone might see in a local newspaper: a profile of a town figure. Read the paragraph carefully, marking it up as you go, and write your observations in the space provided.

Ms. Crawford has been a model citizen since she moved to Springfield in 1985. She started out as a small business owner and quickly grew her business until it was one of the major employers in the region. In 1991, her company was profiled in Business Week magazine. Her innovative business model includes a great deal of community work and fundraising, the rewards of which have brought deep and lasting benefits to Springfield and its citizens. Today, she is being honored with Springfield's Citizen of the Century Award to honor all her cutting-edge efforts on behalf of our community.
    Now answer the following questions:
  1. Ms. Crawford's company was profiled in Business Week
    1. in 1985.
    2. in 1991.
    3. today.
  2. Which sentence best sums up the main idea of the paragraph?
    1. Ms. Crawford is very smart.
    2. Ms. Crawford is a dedicated citizen.
    3. Springfield would be nowhere without Ms. Crawford.
  3. "Ms. Crawford has been a model citizen since she moved to Springfield in 1985" is
    1. fact.
    2. opinion.
    3. point of view.
  4. Innovative means
    1. helpful.
    2. remarkable.
    3. inventive.
  5. This paragraph is organized according to what structure?
    1. cause and effect
    2. compare and contrast
    3. chronological order
    4. order of importance
  6. This paragraph uses what point of view?
    1. first-person point of view
    2. second-person point of view
    3. third-person point of view
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