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Make it Make Sense College and Career Readiness Mrs. Hendrix

Make it Make Sense

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Make it Make Sense. College and Career Readiness Mrs. Hendrix. Sense vs. Economy Questions. You Have to Care. The shortest answers aren’t necessarily right. When the answers are all about the same length, the question is more likely to test SENSE. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Make it Make Sense

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Make it Make SenseCollege and Career ReadinessMrs. Hendrix

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You Have to Care• The shortest answers aren’t necessarily right.• When the answers are all about the same length, the question

is more likely to test SENSE.• Consider the shortest answer first, but don’t be quite as quick

to select it.• Think about the effect each choice has on the meaning of the

sentence, and pick longer answers if the shortest one doesn’t make sense.

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Connections• While it’s not necessary to think about grammar rules to

answer the questions, being familiar will help. • The more ways you have to think about a question, the more

likely you are to find the right answer.• We’ll go through the quiz to give some examples…

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COMPLETENESSQuestions 1 and 12

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Question 1• Rule at work: Every sentence must contain a subject and a

verb and express a complete thought.• When you are testing completeness, don’t just look to see if it has

a subject and a verb! • If left alone (A), the sentence would be incomplete. • It makes no sense!

• What’s wrong with B?• Nonsensical colon

• What’s wrong with C?• Adds a comma when there’s no grammatical reason to do so

• D is the correct answer.• Continues and completes the sentence without adding anything


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Question 12• Rule at work: Every sentence must contain a subject and a

verb and express a complete thought.• “Though to little acclaim” is obviously a fragment…why?• If you didn’t know that, though, look at it from an intuitive

level. Does the statement make sense?• What’s wrong with F & J?• Fragment is left isolated

• What’s wrong with H?• Omits any punctuation between the fragment and the main body

of the sentence. • G does just what we need…• Logically connects the fragment to the main sentence

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Rule at Work

• There are three ways to connect complete thoughts:• Use a semicolon• Use a comma with a coordinating

conjunction (FANBOYS)•Make one of the two thoughts

incomplete (or dependent).

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Question 4• Rule at Work: A sentence can have two thoughts, but they must be

combined correctly. If none of the answer choices does this, select the choice that creates two separate sentences.

• In this question, there are two complete thoughts: 1) Selkirk found himself a celebrity upon his return, and 2) his tale was bandied about the pubs and coffeehouses.

• What’s wrong with the underlined portion?• Comma splice!

• What’s wrong with J?• Run-on

• What’s wrong with G?• The inclusion of the word “but” doesn’t make any sense

• H is the correct answer because you have to create two sentences, one for each thought.

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Rule at Work for Question 4

• Using the rules for connecting complete thoughts, we have three options for Question 4:• Selkirk found himself a celebrity; his strange

tale had already…• Selkirk found himself a celebrity, for his

strange tale had already…• Selkirk found himself a celebrity because his

strange tale had already…

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We’ll Focus on Question 2• Rule at Work: A modifier, or describer, is any word or group of words

that describes another. Any and all describers must clearly relate to (be close to) whatever they are referring to.

• Sentences become confused if a descriptive word, phrase, or clause is separated from the verb, noun, pronoun, etc. that it should be connected to (its antecedent). • Note: Misplaced modifiers are a common ACT trick. If multiple answers

sound right to you, consider, “Is every modifying phrase placed near the word it logically modifies?”

• “after a bitter quarrel with his captain” should describe the person (or pronoun) that follows next. It doesn’t.

• The he who put Selkirk ashore must be the captain…but it’s not…why?• Which is correct? Why?• As a rule of thumb, you should always make sure that modifiers are as

close as possible to the things they describe.

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Questions 3 & 8

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We’ll Focus on Question 3• Rule at Work: The correct preposition can vary depending on

the sense of the sentence. Many phrases in English are correct because people have agreed to use them in a certain way. No overall rules apply. To master these, listen to what sounds right.

• What’s wrong with B & C?• Completeness problems

• D just sounds weird• The sentence as written actually makes sense. • The idiom “much the same” calls for as to complete the

comparison between Selkirk’s and Crusoe’s ways of life.

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Question 5

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Question 5• Rule at Work: A pronoun must agree with the person or thing it is

referring to, in person, gender, and number. The reference must be clear; if there is any confusion, the sentence must be fixed.• Sometimes the ACT will throw you a sentence in which the meaning of a

pronoun is unclear. You won’t be sure to whom or what the pronoun is referring.

• What’s the intended meaning of the pronoun he? • What’s the closest male name to the pronoun as the question is written?• So make it clear! • What’s wrong with C?• Sense problem – his what became the subject of a book?

• What’s wrong with D?• Shifts the verb tense into the present (the book was written over 250 years

ago!)• B is correct because it changes the pronoun to the correct proper noun.

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Questions 6 & 10

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We’ll Focus on Question 10• Rule at work: Words like therefore, despite, however, and

because are structural clues. They serve to let you know where the author is going an dhow all of the pieces logically fit together.• If you see on the other hand, a contrast is coming up.• If you get the clue moreover, that means a continuation is coming

up – an addition that is more or less in the same vein as what came before.

• Many ACT questions mix up the logic of a piece of writing by giving you the wrong structural clue or another logic word.

• What’s wrong with the sentence as written?• Why is G the correct answer?

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Question 7

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Rules at Work• Use the simplest tense possible. • In most cases, the present, past, and future tenses are all you

need.• Change tenses only if the sentence doesn’t make sense as

written.• Make sure the verb is singular if it has a singular subject and

plural if the subject is plural.

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Question 7• Verbs have an annoying habit of changing form depending on

who’s doing the action and when that person is doing it. • You have to be very careful to make sure verbs match their

subject and the tense of the surrounding context.• The publication of Robinson Crusoe is something that took

place in 1719 – the past. • What’s wrong with the underlined portion?• Puts the verb in the present perfect tense

• What’s wrong with C & D?• Put the verb into tenses normally used to convey a complex time

relationship or a weird time sequence.• B is the correct answer.

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Question 13

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Rule at Work• Every writer of an ACT English passage has a voice, or tone.

This voice is usually either casual (conversational) or factual (informational). Select the answer that fits the author’s voice.

• If a passage contains slang, a few exclamation points, and a joke or two, the tone is informal.

• If the passage sounds like something from a textbook, the tone is probably formal.

• Good style requires that the tone of a piece of writing be consistent throughout. • Sometimes the underlined portion might not fit the tone of the

rest of the passage. • It’s up to YOU to correct it!

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Question 13• Selkirk “never gave a hoot” about going back? Really?• Slang doesn’t belong in this passage.

• Which choice uses a straightforward, factual tone that fits the passage?• NO CHANGE is silly.• Choice B is too wordy and formal.• Choice C is also slang.• Choice D is the correct answer.

• Don’t just pick an answer because it sounds “fancy.” • Pick commonsense, everyday words that express the meaning the

author intends.• Don’t worry if it sounds plain

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Question 14 & 15

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Nonstandard-Format Questions

• Nonstandard-Format Questions ask about the passage as a whole.

• Keep in mind the main point – the gist – as well as the overall tone and style.

• For an entire passage to make sense, it has to be consistent throughout, both in content and in tone and style.

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Question 14 – Judging the Passage

• Question 14 asks you to judge the passage. Was the last sentence an appropriate ending or not?

• Think of the passage as a whole. • What has it been doing?• First, figure out if the last sentence an appropriate ending.• Then, figure out why the last sentence is or is not an

appropriate ending.• Comparing Selkirk’s real life with the one that Defoe made up

for the character of Robinson Crusoe.

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Question 15 – Reading Comprehension

• The English section includes some questions that test your reading comprehension skills!

• So, think about what this passage was about.• How Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe was loosely based on the life of a

real shipwrecked sailor, Alexander Selkirk.• Why is B wrong?• Why are A & C wrong?• Why is D correct?

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If you learned only two things…

• Consider the meaning of a sentence. If it doesn’t make sense, there’s probably a grammatical mistake. The correct answer will make sense.

• Nonstandard-Format Questions ask you to judge the passage and consider it as a whole. You may be asked about paragraph structure and fuction.