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26/10/2011

Effective Sentence Structures and Organization

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  • Ally

    Ally

    自小熱衷鑽研英語、分享心得,酷愛研究遣詞用字、文法活用,討厭硬記生吞詞彙生字、死記爛背文法規則。自有一套獨特的英語教學方法——「語境技巧」(Context Approach) ,著重語境理解及語文邏輯,達到有效表達和溝通。慨歎學生過於考試主導(exam-oriented)、死操試題、不求甚解,欲藉著學生爭取優異成績的鬥志,驅動學生有效地應付英語公開試,同時提升英語水平,求分數同時求學問。

    大學畢業後即任會考及高考班英文老師,現為資深英文導師及英語專欄作家,熟悉各大英語公開試,例如:SAT, IELTS, TOEFL, HKCEE, HKASLE, HKDSE。

    進攻SAT

Improving Paragraphs


Out of the 49 MC questions in the SAT writing section, there are only 6 questions in the Improving Paragraphs sub-sections. Nonetheless, if you want to get a high grade, you cannot ignore this part. The level of difficulty is easy to medium, very rarely difficult.

 

 

Format


Below is the instruction given in the Improving Paragraphs sub-section. Read it carefully, especially the parts highlighted in blue. The instruction is the same as that in the actual SAT, so do not waste time reading it in the exam center.

 

 

 

The passage is usually consisted of 2-4 short paragraphs with a total of 10-15 sentences. As “an early draft of an essay”, there are errors and areas for improvement. The questions can be intra-sentential (relating to constituents within a sentence), supra-sentential (relating to two or more sentences), paragraph or passage level. Intra-sentential questions require you to improve sentence structures or word choice while the other three require you to improve organization and development.

 

 

 

Requirements


From the instruction above, you can see that the task requires you to choose an answer which is most effective in terms of sentence structures, organization and development. It requires that the sentence itself is effective in clearly and precisely conveying the writer’s intended meaning, as well as that the flow between sentences and between paragraphs are smooth and logical. You will also need to keep a lookout for grammatical errors if the question is intra-sentential.

 

Commonly tested areas


1. Improving sentences

  • same as the Improving Sentences sub-section
  • deal with 1 sentence


2. Logical and smooth flow of ideas between sentences or between paragraphs

  • similar to the Improving Sentences sub-section but deal with 2 sentences instead of 1


3. Overall writing strategies

  • writing strategies such as balance, relevance and flow of content as well as tone
  • deal with 1 or more paragraphs, or even the whole passage

 

Approach

1. Read the entire passage quickly to get:

  • the main idea of the entire passage
  • the main idea of each paragraph
  • organization
  • writer’s attitude and tone


Remark: There are flaws in the passage which is an early draft. Do not stuck with these and edit them as you read.


2. Read the question and all the options


3. Go back to the passage for context whenever needed


4. Choose the best option which fits:

  • both grammar & meaning (Similar to the approach of Improving Sentences, check grammar first.)
  • the context of the preceding and following sentences and of the paragraph or the passage as a whole

 

If you have any questions or enquires, feel free to visit my facebook page:
www.facebook.com/allylo.english.

 

(Next Tue: Improving Paragraphs cont’d)

 

 《經濟通》所刊的署名及/或不署名文章,相關內容屬作者個人意見,並不代表《經濟通》立場,《經濟通》所扮演的角色是提供一個自由言論平台。

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