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Preparing for the Improving Sentences Section on Standardized Tests Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing for the Improving Sentences Section on Standardized Tests Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing for the Improving Sentences Section on Standardized Tests Time4Writing provides these teachers materials to teachers and parents at no cost. More presentations, handouts, interactive online exercises, and video lessons are freely available at Time4Writing.com. Consider linking to these resources from your school, teacher, or homeschool educational site. The rules: These materials must maintain the visibility of the Time4Writing trademark and copyright information. They can be copied and used for educational purposes. They are not for resale. Want to give us feedback? We'd like to hear your views: Copyright Copyright 2012

2 Standardized tests, particularly the SAT, will present a sentence and ask how you would revise or edit it. Usually, all or part of the sentence is underlined. The answers contain phrases to replace what is underlined in a way that most improves the sentence. The improvement might require a revision of grammar, word choice, structure, or punctuation. If there are no errors in these areas, you must look for any ambiguity or awkwardness to correct. Copyright Copyright 2012

3 For example: Jack and Jill climbed to the top on a mountain. (A) climbed to the top on a mountain. (B) climbed to the top off a mountain. (C) climbed to the top of a mountain. (D) climbed on the top on a mountain. (E) climbed, to the top of a mountain. Answer: C Explanation: "top of a mountain" is an idiom Copyright Copyright 2012

4 The Improving Sentences section is different from the Identifying Sentence Errors section in that it requires you to fix the sentence rather than just find what's wrong with it. It also does not have an answer option of "no error." Instead, the first option is exactly the same as the underlined phrase. DON'T just read the underlined part and the answer options. DO read the ENTIRE sentence slowly, and then do it again for each of the answer options, replacing the underlined part with each answer choice. As you work, remember the following common sentence improvements... Copyright Copyright 2012

5 PARALLELISM Parallelism is a sentence structure that adds clarity by balancing the sentence's content. This means each clause in the sentence has the same sequence of types of words. Look at this example: "I'm in the attic, and in the cellar is Joe." It is much better when the "subject, verb, prepositional phrase" pattern is kept in each clause: "I am in the attic, and Joe is in the cellar." Copyright Copyright 2012

6 PARALLELISM CONTINUED Parallelism also means using similar kinds of words when listing words in a pattern. If you are listing items in a series, they should all be the same type of word or phrase. For consistency, make sure all of the pieces in your succession are singular nouns, plural nouns, verbs of the same tense, adjectives, etc. Does this look right? "Ryan is friendly, smart, and a good athlete." Write down how you would improve this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

7 Did you write this? "Ryan is friendly, smart, and athletic." Changing a good athlete to athletic makes it an adjective. Now it matches the other descriptions of Ryan. Try this one: "When I grow up, I want to be a teacher, a policeman, or work at a store as a cashier." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

8 Did you write this? "When I grow up, I want to be a teacher, a policeman, or a cashier." The part about working at a store must be a noun to match the previous two nouns (teacher and policeman). Here is a tricky one: "A pediatrician is a children's doctor, and a foot doctor is a podiatrist." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

9 Did you write this? "A pediatrician is a children's doctor, and a podiatrist is a foot doctor." The kind of doctor is followed by an explanation of the doctor's specialty, not vice versa. Try this one: "My favorite fruits are the banana, apples, and grapes." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

10 Did you write this? "My favorite fruits are bananas, apples, and grapes." You must make banana plural for it to match the other fruits. One more example of lack of parallelism... "Writing a book takes dedication and being creative." You must change being creative to creativity. Copyright Copyright 2012

11 Besides parallelism, there are some other common sentence improvements to look out for: noun/verb agreement placement of modifiers use of relative clauses Let's practice some of those: "The water fountain is broken behind the playground." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

12 Did you write this? "The water fountain behind the playground is broken." "behind the playground " describes the fountain (not the break), and so it should follow it directly. Try this one: "The student from Mrs. Dura's class lost their binder." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

13 Did you write this? "The student from Mrs. Dura's class lost his binder." (or her binder) Student is singular, so the possessive pronoun must be. Try this one: "Left in the lost and found, Dan recovered his lunchbox." Write down how you would correct this sentence. Copyright Copyright 2012

14 Did you write something similar to these? "Dan recovered his lunchbox from the lost and found." or "Dan recovered his lunchbox, which had been left in the lost and found." The initial sentence does not make it clear that it was Dan's lunchbox that was left in the lost and found. Instead, it implies that Dan was left there! Copyright Copyright 2012

15 Let's try one more in the test format: Rachel Carson, a pioneer environmentalist, she wrote the book Silent Spring. (A) environmentalist, she wrote (B) environmentalist, when she wrote (C) environmentalist, wrote (D) environmentalist she wrote (E) environmentalist is famous for writing The correct answer is C. It is redundant to restate the subject with a pronoun. Copyright Copyright 2012

16 The end. More free SAT WRITING resources: identifying sentence errors editing & revising paragraphs improving sentences writing the SAT essay - characteristics of effective writing Eight-week WRITING courses: elementary school middle school high school Copyright Copyright 2012


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