ACT English 1.13 Passage Drill

ACT English: Passage Drill 1, Problem 13. Proper flow of sentences in a paragraph.

ACT EnglishPassage Drill
Expository TextsOrganizing Structure
LanguageEnglish Language
Parts of SpeechRestrictive and Nonrestrictive Relative Clauses
Product TypeACT English
Rhetorical SkillsOrganization: Sentences and Paragraphs

Transcript

00:41

As writers, we need to take our readers on a smooth ride from one point to the next.

00:45

If the ride gets too bumpy or jarring, readers might get confused and lost.

00:48

And well, go elsewhere.

00:50

And when readers get lost, they stop reading, and everything we’ve written becomes a waste of time.

00:57

As it is, the paragraph in question definitely takes readers on a bumpy ride.

01:01

Choice (A) suggests leaving it as it is, but we can’t in good conscience do that since we know readers

01:06

will be lost without a map.

01:08

This is because Sentence 4 inserts a topic kinda randomly. Sentence 3 tell us about the

01:13

shoots that emerge from the pores of a coconut, and sentence 5 continues the thought by informing

01:18

us that the “shoots eventually make a new fruit.” Sentence 4, however, is focused

01:23

on defining what a seed is in general.

01:27

Since Sentence 4 has nothing specifically to do with “shoots,” it interrupts the flow of logic.

01:32

It’s clear then that this sentence needs to relocate.

01:35

Choice (D) claims that we should make Sentence 4 the final sentence of the paragraph.

01:39

Just like choice (A), however, this puts a major bump in the road.

01:43

As we said earlier, Sentence 5 is about how shoots turn into fruit.

01:47

Placing a definition for seeds after it makes no more sense than placing such a definition before it.

01:53

Thus, we can nix choice (D) for the good of the paragraph

01:55

and all those readers who are desperate for a clear understanding of how coconuts reproduce.

02:06

Choice (B) also interrupts the train of logic.

02:10

It doesn’t work to place Sentence 4 between Sentences 2 and 3.

02:13

Sentence 2 fills us in on coconut pores, and Sentence 3 carries on the thought.

02:18

Breaking up the flow with Sentence 4 would only cause confusion.

02:21

The correct answer is (C).

02:23

The topic of Sentence 4 is the "seed" of the coconut, an idea that

02:27

is introduced in the first sentence of the paragraph, but not discussed in any of the

02:31

following sentences. This tells us that the best place for Sentence 4 is after Sentence 1.

02:36

Disturbing thought: if we eat coconut seeds, will baby coconuts grow in our bellies?