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SAT Writing: Improving Sentences

Improving Sentences

Select the choice that results in the best sentence – the sentence that follows the requirements of standard written English and communicates effectively.

Elaine's decision to attend State College was influenced by the college's reasonable tuition rates and because of its convenient location

A.  because of its convenient location
B.  because it is conveniently located
C.  it is conveniently located
D.  by its convenient location
E.  due to its convenient location

Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not find the error immediately, then check the underlined portion against the Big 8. 

This sentence completion tests your understanding of parallelism.  Whenever two or more elements are listed in a sentence, they should be in the same format (parallel).

For instance, these two constructions are parallel:

        Alisha likes to ski, to rock climb, and to swim.

        Alisha likes to ski, rock climb, and swim. 

These two constructions are incorrect because the elements in the list are not parallel:

        Alisha likes to ski, rock climb, and to swim.

        Alisha likes skiing, to rock climb, and swimming. 

So, what is wrong with the parallel construction in the sentence above?  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced BY the college's reasonable tuition rates and BECAUSE OF its convenient location."  The phrase "because of" must be eliminated or replaced to make the construction parallel.  You could rewrite the sentence as either:

1.  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced BY the college's reasonable tuition rates and BY its convenient location."  (both elements begin with "by")

OR

2.  "Elaine's decision . . . was influenced by THE COLLEGE'S reasonable tuition rates and ITS convenient location." (both elements begin with a possessive noun/pronoun)

If you scan the answer choices, you will see that the only choice that works is D. 

The correct answer is D.

This is a medium level problem.

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