Link of the Day

Frida Kahlo is famous for her self-portraits and for her ability to blend surrealism with elements of her traditional Mexican culture. This site has a short biography and images of all her works. Look through them and consider how they make you feel. Some are sad, some simple, some downright creepy. Pick a few favorites and memorize the details around them--the date they were composed, the subject matter, the color scheme, and Kahlo's situation when she created the paintings--and you can use them as Excellent Examples that will really make your essay stand out. 

4/20 Improving Sentences

Part or all of the following sentence is underlined; beneath the sentence are five ways of phrasing the underlined material. Select the option that produces the best sentence. If you think the original phrasing produces a better sentence than any of the alternatives, select choice A.

Always take the time to read carefully and make a prediction before looking at the answer choices. You should also avoid looking at choice A since it is the same as the original sentence.

Mexican Painter Frida Kahlo drew inspiration from her Mexican heritage, where she incorporated native and religious symbols into her work.

The word "where" does not fit in this sentence because heritage is not a location. Obviously, Kahlo incorporated symbols of her heritage into her work, so some form of the word "incorporated" is still needed in the sentence. You might want to use "incorporated" as your prediction, but check the sentence:

Mexican Painter Frida Kahlo drew inspiration from her Mexican heritage, incorporated native and religious symbols into her work.

The word "incorporated" alone does not work. It is a verb, but the sentence does not provide a subject. What you need is something that looks like a verb, but doesn't act like one. For example, the participle "incorporating." Now that you have a prediction, look at the answer choices.

A) where she incorporated

B) in which she incorporated

C) incorporated

D) incorporating

E) therefore, she incorporated

Eliminate A and C immediately, since you have already ruled them out. D matches your prediction, but there is always a chance that your prediction was not the best possible version of the sentence, so check B and E.

B) "in which she incorporated" is very similar to the original "where she incorporated" because "in which" still indicates that she is somehow incorporating things inside of her heritage. That does not make sense! Eliminate B.

E) "therefore, she incorporated" makes sense, but the punctuation is wrong. "She incorporated" begins a sentence that could stand on its own, and the sentence up to the word "heritage" could similarly stand on its own. Between two complete sentences, you can never have just a comma. You could have a period, a semicolon, or a comma and a conjunction, but since "therefore" is not a conjunction, eliminate E.

The answer is D.

On, 60% of responses were correct.

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