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Link of the Week: Purdue OWL

The Purdue OWL, or Online Writing Lab, has built up a solid reputation as a resource for writing MLA and APA citations, but it has so much more to offer than that. 

If you have never done so before, check out the academic writing section, which includes a variety of in-depth articles that can help you to craft strong essays.  Need to review argumentative structure or thesis statements?  Looking for some help with sentence variety?  It's all there. 

No matter what the writing assignment, be it a research paper for school or your SAT or ACT essay, this one-stop-shop for everything related to writing is sure to prove useful in high school, college, and beyond. 

SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

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

A.  When you see a verb underlined, check to see whether it agrees with its subject and whether it is in the correct tense.  The verb "began" agrees with "competition," and it matches up with the past tense in the sentence.  This is not the error.

B.  There are many pronoun rules that are tested on the SAT, but only one applies to "I."  When you see "I" underlined in an SAT grammar question, check to see whether that pronoun should be in the objective case or subjective case.  If the pronoun follows a preposition (about, between, by, down, etc.), that pronoun should be objective (me, you, us, him/her, them).  If the pronoun follows a "being" verb like am, is, are was, etc., that pronoun should be subjective (I, you, we, he/she, they).  In this case, the pronoun follows the preposition "between," so it should be in objective case ("between my brother and me").  We have found an error, but let's review the rest of the choices to be sure.

C.  Check to make sure that this verb agrees with its subject and the tense of the sentence.  The verb "suggested" agrees with the noun "mother," and it matches up with the past tense of the sentence.  This is not an error.

D.  When you see a pronoun like who, whom, whoever, or whomever underlined, check to see whether the pronoun should be in objective case (whom, whomever) or subjective case (who, whoever).  Use objective case after a preposition, and use subjective case before a verb.  A good rule of thumb is to use "who" when you can substitute "he" and "whom" when you can substitute "him."  In this choice, we need to take that rule one step further because the pronoun applies to more than one person.  Split up the statement into two parts, like so:  "Give twenty dollars to him.  He collected the most seashells."  After you have done that, follow this rule: him + he = whoever; him + him = whomever.  In this case, whoever is correct.  This is not an error.

E.  We already found an error, so E is not correct.

The correct answer is B.

This is a medium level problem.

For more information about who/whom, click here.

For more information about whoever/whomever, click here.

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Link of the Week: Technological Progress

Why do we talk about technology so often in our links of the week?  Because technology is such a popular topic for SAT prompts. 

Consider these prompts that have appeared within the past few years:   

     Does a strong commitment to technological progress cause a society to neglect other    
     values, such as education and the protection of the environment?
     Are there benefits to be gained from avoiding the use of modern technology, even when
     using it would make life easier?
     Is the most important purpose of technology today different from what it was in the
     past?
     Have modern advancements truly improved the quality of people's lives?

Technology is integrated into most aspects of our lives, so you probably have ample personal experience to draw upon in discussing the role of technology in society.  Then again, so does pretty much every other student, and if you merely write about tablets, smartphones, apps, etc., your essay probably will not stand out from the crowd.  What will make your essay shine is if you find ways to apply scholarly examples to the issue of modern technology.  

Isaac Asimov, one of the best known science fiction writers of all time, considered both the promise and the potential dangers of technological advancement in his works.  This week, his article “Visit to the World’s Fair of 2014,” published in The New York Times in 1964, has appeared in the news as journalists consider whether his predictions from 50 years ago ring true today.  Check out this article, which links to Asimov’s original work and discusses some of the eerily accurate forecasts he makes therein.  Judge for yourself whether life in 2014 is comparable to Asimov’s vision, and consider adding this article to your current event examples.  

Check back here next week for a new link!

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.

Although genetic factors can predispose a person to develop heart disease, doctors say that in most cases proper diet and regular exercise reduces their risk.

A. exercise reduces their
B. exercise has been reducing their
C. exercise, reducing one’s
D. exercise reduce one’s
E. exercise, it does reduce the


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 grammar concepts.  

The underlined part of this sentence contains a noun and a verb, so your first thought should be, do the subject and verb agree?  The tricky part of this question is that the verb “reduces” seems to agree with the noun “exercise” at first.  If you look again, however, you will notice that the subject is compound (“proper diet and regular exercise”), so the verb should be plural, and the sentence should read, “…proper diet and regular exercise reduce…”  

The other issue in the underlined portion is the pronoun “their.”  Who are “they”?  Earlier in the sentence, the writer referenced “a person,” so this pronoun should be singular, either “one’s” or “your.”

Look for an answer choice that resolves the subject verb issue and includes a singular pronoun.

A. Choice A is incorrect, so you can eliminate it without reading it.

B.  Choice B still includes the pronoun “they.”  Eliminate this choice.

C.  Choice C includes the pronoun “one,” which is good, but this choice does not resolve the subject verb error properly.  The comma cuts the verb off from the nouns and changes the verb to a participle (a verb that acts as an adjective) for no reason.  Eliminate this choice.

D.  Choice D resolves the subject verb issue and uses the pronoun “one.”  Keep this choice and check the last remaining option.

E.  This choice probably strikes you as incorrect immediately.  What is “it”?  Why did the verb tense change?  What is “the risk”?  Eliminate this incorrect choice.

The correct answer is D.

This is a hard level problem.

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

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Knowsys Method

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

A.  At first glance, this portion of the sentence looks fine.  Once you read past the comma, however, a problem becomes apparent.  The verb of the sentence must be “was established” because this part of the sentence is not underlined and therefore cannot be changed.   As the sentence stands, it is a run-on because the two verbs, “is” and “was established,” are not separated with a coordinating conjunction like “and” or “but.”  Given the placement of the underlined portions, the only way to fix this problem is to delete “is” and add a comma in its place.  Then the sentence will read “Head Start, a program that offers services to pre-school-aged children in low-income families in the United States, was established …”  Re-worked in that way, the sentence would not be a run-on anymore.  Even though we found an error in choice A, we should still review the rest of the choices just in case.  

B.  The phrase “offer to” is idiomatically correct and is part of the Knowsys idioms lists.  Eliminate this choice.

C.  To say that the children in the sentence are “from low-income families” is idiomatically correct (as opposed to “of low-income families” or “out of low-income families” or something of the like, which would be incorrect).  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  The phrase “established by” is idiomatically correct.  Programs are “established by” people or organizations; programs are not “established of” or “established about” people or organizations.  Eliminate this choice.  

E.  We found an error in choice A, so E cannot be correct.

The correct answer is A.

This is a hard level problem.

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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.

I laid out the presents that I had purchased so far and mentally tallied the amount of gifts I still needed to buy.

A. I laid out the presents that I had purchased so far and mentally tallied the amount
B. I lay out the presents that I had purchased so far, while mentally tallying the number
C. Laying out the presents that I had purchased so far, I mentally tallied the amount
D. Laying out the presents that I had purchased so far and mentally tallying the number
E.  I laid out the presents that I had purchased so far and mentally tallied the number

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 grammar concepts.

The concept tested here is idioms.  Two frequently tested idioms appear in this question, “lay/lie,” and “amount/number.”  Figure out which combination you are looking for before you look down at the choices.  

Lay/lie
“Lay” means “to place” and is used with objects.  “Lie” means “to rest” and is used for people.  The person in the sentence is laying out presents, so the writer must choose “lay.”  Unfortunately, it is a little more complicated than that because the sentence is in the past tense.  The past tense of “lay” is “laid,” and the past tense of “lie” is “lay.”  Thus, you are looking for “laid,” NOT “lay.”  Confused?  For more clarification on lay/lie click here.  

Amount/number
“Amount” is used for non-countable terms (money, happiness, food, etc.), and “number” is used for countable items (dollars, hours, meals, etc.).  Presents can be counted, so the writer should use “number.”

Now that you know you what words you are looking for, get rid of choices that use “lay” (past tense of lie) or “amount.”  That eliminates choices A, B, and C.  Look at your remaining choices.  

D.  Choice D is a sentence fragment.  Who is completing these actions?  Eliminate choice D.  

E.  Choice E uses the correct idioms (“I laid out the presents,” “[I] mentally tallied the number of gifts”).  Choice E is the correct answer.  


The correct answer is choice E.

This is a hard-level problem.

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

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

A.  Whenever you see a preposition underlined, determine whether its usage is idiomatic.  The phrase “anywhere from x to y,” as in “the cost may be anywhere from $5 to $20” or “children grow anywhere from a couple of centimeters to a few inches a year,” is a common idiomatic expression.  Choice A is not the error in the sentence.

B.  This choice constitutes the second part of the idiomatic expression “anywhere from x to y.”  Choice B is not the error in the sentence.  

C.  Once you hit this part of the sentence, you will probably sense that something sounds wrong.  What did Rockwell spend weeks or months doing?  Painting.  There should be no “and” before “painting” because Rockwell spent time painting, he did not spend time and paint.  This is most likely the error in the sentence, but check the remaining choice to be sure.

D.  If you see an adverb underlined on an SAT grammar question, be sure that it clearly modifies a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.  The adverb “meticulously” modifies “painting” because it tells you how Rockwell painted.  Choice D does not contain an error.  

E.  Since you found an error, E cannot be the answer.

The correct answer is C.

This is a medium level problem.

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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.

The drought had a much more profound economic impact on farmers than the people who complained about the skyrocketing prices of fresh produce in grocery stores.

A.  the people who complained
B.  on the people who complained
C.  the people who were complaining
D.  it did on people who are complaining
E.  on complaints from the people

Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then focus on the underlined part.  Evaluate it by checking it against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  If you find an error, use that error to quickly eliminate any answer choices that do not fix the problem you found.

The rule tested here is comparisons.  One important thing to note about comparisons is that they must be parallel.  So in this sentence, if the drought has an impact “ON farmers,” it must also have an impact “ON the people” who complain about increasing prices.   Thus, you should automatically eliminate all answers that do not say “on the people.”  That leaves only B and D for us to consider.  (Note: E begins with “on,” but we are comparing farmers with people, not complaints.)  

B.  This choice fixes the problem in the original sentence.  The drought has an effect “ON farmers” and “ON the people.”  Keep this choice and check the other.

D.  This choice starts out fine.  The “drought had a stronger impact on farmers than … it did on the people.”  However, the verb tense is now wrong.  “Are complaining” should be “complained” because this action happened in the past.  Eliminate this choice.
 
The correct answer is B.
This is a medium-level problem.

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Link of the Week: Successful People

Over the years, numerous SAT prompts have focused on the path to success.  Here are a few examples:

1.  Does being ethical make it hard to be successful?
2.  Is persistence more important than ability in determining a person's success?
3.  Do success and happiness depend on the choices people make rather than on factors beyond their control?
4.  Do highly accomplished people achieve more than others mainly because they expect more of themselves?
5.  Can people achieve success only if they aim to be perfect?

Because success comes up so frequently in SAT prompts, it is a good idea to find an example that addresses the topic.  This list from the Huffington Post is a great place to start: it includes the stories of fifteen individuals who overcame obstacles and tragedies to become highly successful.  

Check back next week for a new link, and thanks for reading!

SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

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

A.  When you see a verb underlined, check to see whether it agrees with its subject.  In this case, the verb “gave” agrees with its subject, “orientation.”  Eliminate this choice.

B.  The phrase “chance + to + verb” is idiomatically correct.  You would say “I had the chance to win a prize,” not “I had the chance winning a prize,” or “I had the chance win a prize.”  Eliminate this choice.  

C.  You might notice once you reach this point in the sentence that a list has begun.  The freshmen have the chance “to tour” campus, and they also have the chance “to learn” about school rules.  Verbs in a list should be parallel, as these two are.  This is not the error, so eliminate this choice.  

D.  The first two items in the list are “to tour” and “to learn,” so the last item should be “to meet,” not “they met.”  This choice is not parallel, so it must be the error in the sentence.

E.  The sentence includes an error, so E cannot be correct.  

The correct answer is D.

This is a medium level problem.

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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.

Burdened by several heavy grocery bags, the stairs were difficult for the woman to climb.

A.  the stairs were difficult for the woman to climb.
B.  the stairs were difficult for the woman who is climbing.
C.  the woman climbed the stairs with difficulty.
D.  the woman difficultly climbed the stairs.
E.  the woman climbed the stairs, which were difficult.

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 grammar concepts.

What do you notice about the original sentence?  It sounds a little like the stairs—and not the woman—are carrying the grocery bags.  This confusion is created by a misplaced modifier, a describing phrase that is not placed next to the word it describes.  When a sentence begins with a modifier phrase followed by a comma, the very next independent noun should be the subject of that phrase.  The woman is carrying the grocery bags in this sentence, so “the woman” should follow the comma.  Now let’s go through each choice and see which one works best.  

A.  We already found an error in this choice, so eliminate it.

B.  This choice has the same issue with a misplaced modifier, and it introduces a verb tense change that makes no sense.  Eliminate it.

C.  This choice fixes the modifier issue and makes sense.  If the woman is weighed down by the heavy grocery bags, she is likely to climb up the stairs with difficulty.  Keep this choice and scan the remaining two choices.

D.  Although this choice resolves the original modifier issue, it introduces a new problem.  How does one “difficultly climb” something?  That wording does not make sense, so eliminate this choice.

E.  This choice looks okay until the end.  Stairs are difficult to climb or to descend, but they are not difficult in and of themselves.  Eliminate this choice.  

The correct answer is C.

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Link of the Week: TED Talks

Are you having trouble thinking up unique historical topics or current events?  Do you want your essay to truly stand out?  Try watching some TED talks.  

TED, or Technology, Education, Design, is a nonprofit dedicated to spreading innovative ideas through yearly conferences and web videos.  On the TED talks website, you can search for videos by topic (business, science, global issues, etc.), you can see lists of videos tagged with terms like “jaw-dropping,” “courageous” or “funny,” or you can simply view the most recent talks.  While a single TED talk may not give you enough details to constitute a full SAT example, these videos can point you in the direction of topics you might want to research.  

At the very least, you are sure to find videos that will pique your curiosity, inspire you, and inform you.  Happy searching!  Check back here next week for a new link. 

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error if there is an error.  If there is no error, select E.

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Knowsys Method

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

This problem is difficult because the original sentence is complex, but if you focus on the underlined portions, it is not that difficult to spot the error.  

A.  Chances are, nothing strikes you as incorrect about this choice.  Places are often referred to as “the town of (name)” or “the city of (name).”  This underlined portion sounds fine because it is idiomatically correct; that is, this expression is always said in this way.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  “Once known as” is an idiomatically correct expression.  If this expression sounds wrong to you, add it to your idiom flashcards and review it until it sounds right.  Eliminate this choice.   

C.  “In an effort to + verb” is not on the Knowsys list of frequently tested idioms, but it is a common idiomatic expression.  If you are not familiar with this expression, add it to your idioms flashcards.  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  This choice includes a pronoun, so you should ask yourself, “does this pronoun refer back to a clear antecedent?”  In this case, the antecedent for “their” is unclear.  Who are the people to whom this word refers?  This is the error in the sentence.

E.  You have found an error, which means that E cannot be correct.

The correct answer is D.
This is a hard level problem.

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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.

John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, who was assassinated in November 1963 in Dallas, Texas.

A.  John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, who was assassinated
B.  The 35th president of the United States, John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated
C.  The 35th president of the United States who was assassinated, John F. Kennedy,
D.  John F. Kennedy was assassinated, being the 35th president of the United States
D.  John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, was assassinated

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 grammar concepts.


This question tests your understanding of sentence structure.  What do you notice when you read the original sentence?  It is a sentence fragment that lacks a verb.  Why isn’t “was assassinated” the verb in the original sentence, you ask?  The verb “was assassinated” is part of a relative clause, so it cannot function as the main verb in the sentence. Find the answer choice that creates a sentence with a complete subject and verb.

A.  Choice A is always the same as the original sentence.  You found an error in the original sentence, so you can eliminate choice A without even reading it.  

B.  This choice merely rearranges the first two parts of the sentence.  The sentence created by choice B still lacks a complete subject and verb.  Eliminate it.

C. The sentence created by choice C sounds awkward and lacks a complete subject and verb.  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  Always avoid answer choices that include the word “being.”  This choice makes it sound like Kennedy was temporarily taking on the role of  president, which does not make sense.  Eliminate this choice.

E. By process of elimination, E must be right, but you should read the choice just to be sure.  Choice E contains a complete subject and verb  (John F. Kennedy was assassinated).  This is the correct answer.  


The correct answer is E.
This is a medium level question.

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Link of the Week: Tiny Houses

The current events you choose for your examples do not have to be "events" at all; they can be societal movements or trends that take place over a period of time. 

One recent trend you could choose is the Tiny House Movement, in which people are choosing to simplify their lives by significantly scaling down their the dimensions of their homes.  Read more about the movement in this article, or check out some amazing pictures and videos of tiny houses here

The Tiny House Movement can be applied to a variety of past SAT prompts.  For instance:

Do material possessions make us truly happy?  People who live in tiny homes voluntarily give up many of their material possessions because they believe a simpler life will make them happier. 

Should modern society be criticized for being materialistic?  According to the aforementioned articles and videos about tiny houses, the average house size in America has doubled since the 1970s.  This could suggest that Americans are more focused on their material possessions now than they were in the past. 

Do people need to "unlearn" or reject many of their assumptions and ideas?  The Tiny House Movement teaches people to reject consumerism and the mantra that "bigger is better." 

Check back next week for a new link.  Thanks for reading!

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

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

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Knowsys Method

Read the sentence carefully, listening for errors. If you do not “hear” the error immediately, then quickly check each of the underlined portions against the Big 8 grammar concepts.

A. This choice contains a prepositional phrase, which is a type of modifier.  According to Knowsys rules, when you see a modifier you should ask yourself:  “is the modifier clear, effective, and logical?”  This modifier clearly refers to the “skyscraper,” and it makes logical sense.  Eliminate this choice.  

B. The concept tested in this choice is idioms.  When you see a prepositional idiom underlined ask yourself, “is the expression or word choice correct?”  It is idiomatically correct to say that something is located “across the street from” something else.  Eliminate this choice.  

C.   This choice contains an adverb.  Knowsys rules stipulate that you should know what adverbs look like and how they function.  Many adverbs end in “ly,” and they modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.  This adverb is used correctly because it modifies the adverbial prepositional phrase “beside [the public square].”  Eliminate this choice.  

D.  Whenever you see a verb underlined, ask yourself whether it agrees with the subject of the sentence.  The subject in this sentence is a simple compound subject (two or more words linked with “and”).  The two parts of the subject are “the modern skyscraper” and “the massive glass aquarium.”  Simple compound subjects take a plural verb, so the singular verb “was” is incorrect.  Mark this error.  

E. You have already found an error, so E cannot be your choice.

The correct answer is (D).
This is a hard level question.

 

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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.

Since that restaurant requires for customers to pay in cash, we will have to stop by the ATM beforehand.

A. Since that restaurant requires for customers to pay in cash
B. Since that restaurant requires that customers should pay in cash
C. That restaurant has a requirement that customers pay in cash
D. When you go to that restaurant it is required for customers to pay in cash and therefore
E. Since that restaurant requires customers to pay in cash

Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then focus on the underlined part.  Evaluate it by checking it against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  If you find an error, use that error to quickly eliminate any answer choices that do not fix the problem you found.

If you noticed that the underlined portion sounds “off,” then you have a good ear for idioms.  A restaurant does not “require for customers to pay in cash”, a restaurant “requires that customers pay in cash,” or it “requires customers to pay in cash.”  We need to find a choice that uses one of these idiomatically correct phrases.  

A.  Choice A is the same as the original sentence, which contains an error.  Eliminate this choice.

B.  This choice would work, except that it includes an unneeded word, “should.”  Eliminate this choice.

C.  There are two problems with this choice.  First, the wording of the phrase “has a requirement that customers pay in cash” is awkward and unnecessarily wordy.  Second, this choice creates a comma splice because it turns the sentence into two independent clauses joined by a comma alone.  Eliminate this choice.

D.  This choice is wordy, which you should always avoid.  Additionally, this choice results in an incorrectly punctuated sentence.  There needs to one comma after “restaurant” and another after “cash.”  Eliminate this choice.

E.  This choice uses an idiomatically correct expression, “requires customers to pay in cash,” and it does not introduce any new errors.  This must be the correct answer.  

The correct answer is (E).

This is an easy level question.

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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.

The Honeycrisp apple, developed by horticultural scientists at the University of Minnesota, is often described as one of the sweetest apple varieties as well as one of the most crisp of them.

A.  one of the sweetest apple varieties as well as one of the most crisp of them 

B.   not only one of the sweetest apple varieties, but also more crisp than others

C.   one of the sweetest and most crisp apple varieties

D.   at once one of the sweetest and also most crisp apple varieties

E.   one of the sweetest and it is also one of the most crisp apple varieties

The Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then focus on the underlined part.  Evaluate it by checking it against the Big 8 Grammar Rules.  If you find an error, use that error to quickly eliminate any answer choices that do not fix the problem you found.

The grammar rule that is tested here is comparisons.  Read the sentence carefully.  It sounds fine until you get to "as well as," and then the rest of the sentence sounds awkward and repetitive.  Note this problem and then look through the answer choices.

A.  This choice matches the original sentence, in which you found an error.  Eliminate it. 

B.  This answer choice changes the meaning of the end of the sentence.  In the original sentence, Honeycrisp apples are one of the most crisp apple varieties, but in this choice, they are only more crisp than others.  Eliminate this choice. 

C.  This answer choice fixes the problem that you found by eliminating the unnecessary wordiness at the end of the sentence. The two parts of the comparison, "sweetest" and "most crisp," are also appropriately parallel.  Keep this choice and check the last two. 

D.  This choice cuts down on the wordiness of the original sentence, but it still includes unnecessary words ("at once," "also").  Eliminate it. 

E.  This answer introduces a new subject and verb that are not necessary.  Eliminate it. 

The correct answer is (C).

This is an easy level question.

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SAT Link of the Week: Education and Technology

 This week's link is an article that discusses the right (and wrong) ways to use a popular new tool in education: online classrooms. 

At first glance, it might seem like this article has a very narrow application.  You could easily use the facts in this article to discuss how technology is changing our lives or how we must be careful when we put our faith in technology over traditional methods.  However, there are broader and more abstract ways to apply this current event as well.  You could use this article to talk about the differences between doing something for a profit and working for the good of humanity,  or you could cite this article to prove that ideas that are failures at first can become successful with some tweaking.  The possibilities go on and on. 

When you gather your SAT examples, be sure to consider more than just the obvious applications.  Practicing this skill will ensure that you can think of relevant examples no matter what essay topic you encounter on the test.  Hone your ability to apply examples to a variety of prompts by writing body paragraphs for the three the prompts listed below.   Use information from the Link of the Week article to write each paragraph. 

1.  Do changes that make our lives easier not necessarily make them better?  

2.  Is there always another explanation or point of view?  

3.  Should people change their decisions when circumstances change, or is it best for them to stick with their original decisions?

Be sure that you not only give pertinent details from the article but also clearly state the link between the example and the point of view that you have taken on the prompt.  

 

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SAT Writing: Identifying Sentence Errors

Identifying Sentence Errors

Read the sentence and select the portion of the sentence that contains an error if there is an error.  If there is no error, select E.

The Knowsys Method

Read the entire sentence carefully, listening for errors.  Then quickly check each underlined part against the Big 8 Grammar Rules. 

The grammar rule that is tested here is parallelism.  Start by looking at the first underlined portion of the sentence.

A.  The phrase "performers in the" may raise a red flag for you.  "Performers in (group)" is much more common than "performers of (group)," and there is nothing grammatically wrong with this phrase.  There is no error here. 

B. Check this verb to see whether it agrees with the noun of the sentence.  The noun (performers) is plural, and the verb (have) is plural as well.  There is no error here.

C. Any time you see the word "being" underlined in an Identifying Sentence Errors question, you have probably found the error.  Does this phrase match up with the other item in this list?  No.  "Immortal words" is an adjective plus a noun, and "being a skilled actor" is a verb plus a noun.  "Being a skilled actor" should be changed to "skilled acting" to create the proper parallel structure.  This is an error!

D.  "To create" is grammatically correct.  Two things can come together to create something else.  There is no error here. 

E.  You know this cannot be the answer because you already marked an error.

 

The correct answer is (D).

This is a medium level question. 

 

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