Writing: 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.  

Read the original sentence to yourself, listening for errors.  Then evaluate the underlined portion of the sentence using the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  Focus on the first error that you find to quickly eliminate wrong answer choices.

The advent of innovative computer and communications technology toward the end of the twentieth century ushered in a new era, not dominated by industry anymore, rather it was information.

This sentence has a style problem: it uses very complicated language to say something very simple.  You want to convey the meaning that the era was dominated by information instead of industry.  Look for a concise way to say this that is grammatically correct.

(A) era, not dominated by industry anymore, rather it was information
(B) era, it was dominated by information over industry
(C) era, which was not dominated anymore by industry but rather information
(D) era dominated by information rather than industry
(E) era dominated not by industry, but it was information

(A)  This answer matches the original wordy sentence.  Eliminate it.
(B)  This answer is a comma splice (two sentences incorrectly joined by only a comma.)  Eliminate it.
(C)  This sentence is better than the original, but you do not need both “but” and “rather.”  Both words show contrast, so they are redundant.
(D)  This answer is clear and concise.  Keep it.
(E)  This answer has a random and unassociated “it.”  Avoid answers that include pronouns without an antecedent.  Eliminate it.

On, 70% of the responses were correct.

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