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Exam: 250483RR – The Reading and Writing Process 

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Questions 1 to 30: Select the best answer to each question. Note that a question and its answers may be split across a page break, so be sure that you have seen the entire question and all the answers before choosing an answer. 

1. Your topic is courtesy, and you’re writing from the point of view of a caring mentor. Which of the following sentences is most persuasive for an audience of high school graduates from a working-class neighborhood?

A. Courtesy to others shows self-respect as much as it does respect for others.

B. Remember that you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

C. Courtesy yields profits to the impecunious as well as to the wealthy.

D. Courtesy is the oil that lubricates the machinery of discourse. 

2. As a general rule, where in your essay is it best to place your thesis statement?

A. In the first, introductory paragraph of the essay

B. In the second or third paragraph of the body of the essay

C. At the end of the essay, as part of the conclusion

D. Anywhere at all, because the best thesis statement is implied, not specified 

3. Bette and Juan are choosing a topic for their writing assignment. In doing so, Bette will take the time necessary to choose a good topic. Juan will focus on narrowing his topic ideas. Who is using guidelines to choose a successful topic?

A. Only Bette

B. Only Juan

C. Both Bette and Juan

D. Neither Better nor Juan 

4. Which of the following methods is used to narrow a broad essay topic?

A. Wikipedia

B. Polling classmates

C. Branching and questioning

D. Brainstorming 

5. Ron and Quincy are organizing the facts in their essays. Ron says putting details in spatial order means to organize them according to the order in which they happened. Quincy says it means putting the details in order according to their location. Who is correct?

A. Neither is correct.

B. Only Ron is correct.

C. Only Quincy is correct.

D. Both are correct. 

6. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. In the passage, the sentences are numbered to help you respond to the question. (1) Biologically, adolescence is marked by hormonal changes that produce secondary sexual characteristics. (2) These include breast development in females and beard growth in males. (3) Psychologically, however, adolescence is a concept that applies only to modern industrial societies. (4) In fact, in most preliterate or tribal societies, the modern American idea of adolescence simply does not exist. (5) In such societies, the social roles of adulthood are to be learned during childhood. (6) Then, around the time of biological puberty, a child becomes an adult through a ritual anthropologists call a rite of passage. (7) By contrast, in American society, adolescence amounts to a sort of social and cultural limbo. (8) Informally, the end of childhood is often marked by one’s thirteenth birthday. The child is now a “teenager.” (9) More formally, the end of adolescence is marked by legal strictures that vary irrationally. (10) In a given state the age of sexual consent may be 16 for girls and 18 for boys. (11) An 18-year-old may vote or enlist to die for his country, but, until he reaches age 21, he may not legally purchase alcoholic beverages. In the paragraph, the thesis is best suggested

A. in sentences 1 and 3.

B. in sentences 3 and 4.

C. through an implied topic sentence.

D. by what the reader decides about the actual nature of adolescence. 

7. Please read the following excerpt from an essay. The sentences are numbered to help you respond to the question that follows. (1) After Sean was arrested for breaking into a pawnshop, I began to wonder. (2) Why did some kids from my neighborhood end up in trouble while most of us didn’t? (3) I started out with a question: What causes young people to make bad choices? (4) Now, after two years of research, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that there is no simple answer. (5) There is no one reason why good kids go bad, but there are typical reasons. (6) According to my research, teenagers are most likely to get into trouble if they hang out with a bad crowd. (7) That’s because people learn their values from the people they associate with. (8) So a very big reason for bad behavior is imitating one’s peers. (9) But there are other important factors as well. (10) Kids who get in trouble are often school dropouts. (11) Also, kids being raised by a single mother are more likely to get in trouble than kids raised in an intact family. (12) Substance abuse also plays a role, especially when it comes to alcohol and legal or illegal drugs. In which sentence or sentences do you find the thesis statement in this excerpt?

A. 5

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4 and 5 

8. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. I’ve never actually met a real live humorist. Well, not in person at any rate. However, one summer, having a lot of time on my hands, I discovered unexpected treasures lurking in the local public library. Among the nuggets I unearthed in those musty stacks was a book by humorist Robert Benchley. To this day I remember one of his quips. He wrote, “There are two kinds of people in this world; those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.” After laughing out loud, I became pensive. I wondered why the quip was so funny. A year or so later, I formed a theory. Humor is based on the unexpected.(br)In the passage above, the topic sentence and the thesis are one and the same. 

What makes the last sentence effective as a thesis statement?

A. Humor

B. Specific detail

C. Simplicity

D. Assertion 

9. Which of the following is not a good suggestion for writing an introductory paragraph?

A. Use a quotation to help illustrate your thesis.

B. Describe a hypothetical situation.

C. Cite a surprising fact or statistic.

D. Never asks questions. 

10. Leila says that a thesis statement is like a promise to a reader. Lucas says a thesis statement expresses the writer’s point of view. Who is correct?

A. Only Lucas is correct.

B. Both Leila and Lucas are correct.

C. Only Leila is correct.

D. Neither Leila nor Lucas is correct. 

11. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. I’ve never actually met a real live humorist. Well, not in person at any rate. However, one summer, having a lot of time on my hands, I discovered unexpected treasures lurking in the local public library. Among the nuggets I unearthed in those musty stacks was a book by humorist Robert Benchley. To this day I remember one of his quips. He wrote, “There are two kinds of people in this world; those who divide the world into two kinds of people and those who don’t.” After laughing out loud, I became pensive. I wondered why the quip was so funny. A year or so later, I formed a theory. Humor is based on the unexpected.(br)In the passage above, the topic sentence and the thesis are one and the same. In the paragraph about Robert Benchley, what types of evidence does the writer use to support his thesis, other than narration?

A. Comparison and contrast

B. Example

C. Historical background

D. Classification 

12. Cary and Vince are discussing titles for their essays. In developing a good title, Cary will create a title using alliteration. Vince will use a vague, broad title. Who is using a better strategy to develop a good essay title?

A. Only Cary

B. Neither Cary nor Vince

C. Only Vince

D. Both Cary and Vince 

13. What is the dominant pattern of development in this passage? Having been raised on a dairy farm in rural Minnesota, Lorie Ann Kline was having trouble adjusting to life in the city and to Central High School. In a conference with her parents, the school guidance counselor 

explained that Lorie Ann avoided talking to her fellow students and sat by herself in the lunchroom. Perhaps most disturbing, her grades were not what one would expect given her high scholastic aptitude scores. Mrs. Kline agreed that Lorie Ann was often shy around strangers. A solemn Mr. Kline explained that his daughter had been severely bullied by two older children who had lived at the farm for a short time. The guidance counselor nodded in understanding.

A. Narration

B. Process

C. Description

D. Comparison and contrast 

14. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. In the passage, the sentences are numbered to help you respond to the question. (1) Biologically, adolescence is marked by hormonal changes that produce secondary sexual characteristics. (2) These include breast development in females and beard growth in males. (3) Psychologically, however, adolescence is a concept that applies only to modern industrial societies. (4) In fact, in most preliterate or tribal societies, the modern American idea of adolescence simply does not exist. (5) In such societies, the social roles of adulthood are to be learned during childhood. (6) Then, around the time of biological puberty, a child becomes an adult through a ritual anthropologists call a rite of passage. (7) By contrast, in American society, adolescence amounts to a sort of social and cultural limbo. (8) Informally, the end of childhood is often marked by one’s thirteenth birthday. The child is now a “teenager.” (9) More formally, the end of adolescence is marked by legal strictures that vary irrationally. (10) In a given state the age of sexual consent may be 16 for girls and 18 for boys. (11) An 18-year-old may vote or enlist to die for his country, but, until he reaches age 21, he may not legally purchase alcoholic beverages. In which sentence of the paragraph do you find a transitional word or phrase that shows a time connection?

A. Sentence 3

B. Sentence 6

C. Sentence 7

D. Sentence 4 

15. Carmen asserts that a strong conclusion to an essay should look ahead and present a call for action. Carl agrees, except he insists that a strong conclusion should restate the thesis verbatim. Who is correct?

A. Only Carl is correct.

B. Neither Carmen nor Carl is correct.

C. Both Carmen and Carl are correct.

D. Only Carmen is correct. 

16. Which of the following is a common error in composing a thesis statement?

A. You focus your thesis statement after you begin writing.

B. Your thesis statement contains two or more central points.

C. You offer an original perspective on a familiar theme.

D. Your thesis statement is specific as opposed to general. 

17. Karen asserts that a thesis statement is best developed as part of the prewriting process. Kyle claims that a thesis statement should be completely developed before the writer is sure of the topic. Who is correct?

A. Only Kyle is correct.

B. Neither Karen nor Kyle is correct.

C. Both Karen and Kyle are correct.

D. Only Karen is correct. 

18. If you’re creating an opening paragraph and you present supporting details in the beginning, where in the paragraph is your topic sentence, most likely?

A. At the end of the paragraph

B. In the second sentence

C. In the next paragraph

D. In the first sentence 

19. Terri and Jose are preparing outlines. In preparing an informal outline, Terri will use key words and phrases to list her main points. In preparing a formal outline, Jose will use capital letters and Roman numerals to list the important points. Who is using the correct outline for the purpose?

A. Both Terri and Jose

B. Only Terri

C. Only Jose

D. Neither Terri nor Jose 

20. To narrow a general topic you’ve selected, which pair of techniques is most likely to be effective?

A. Freewriting and questioning

B. Questioning and choosing an issue that interests you

C. Branching diagram and questioning

D. Using a branching diagram and consulting your journal 

21. One of the nine ways, or patterns, of developing an essay is

A. disputation.

B. editing.

C. elaboration.

D. process. 

22. What type of information do you need to support your thesis statement?

A. Reports

B. Evidence

C. Back-up

D. Theory 

23. When you write your ideas quickly and don’t worry about punctuation, what writing strategy are you using?

A. Freewriting

B. Styling.

C. Narrowing

D. Mapping 

 24. A _____________ should make clear what the paragraph is about and express a view about the subject matter.

A. thesis statement

B. conclusion

C. topic sentence

D. title 

25. Please read the following excerpt from an essay. The sentences are numbered to help you respond to the question that follows. (1) After Sean was arrested for breaking into a pawnshop, I began to wonder. (2) Why did some kids from my neighborhood end up in trouble while most of us didn’t? (3) I started out with a question: What causes young people to make bad choices? (4) Now, after two years of research, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that there is no simple answer. (5) There is no one reason why good kids go bad, but there are typical reasons. (6) According to my research, teenagers are most likely to get into trouble if they hang out with a bad crowd. (7) That’s because people learn their values from the people they associate with. (8) So a very big reason for bad behavior is imitating one’s peers. (9) But there are other important factors as well. (10) Kids who get in trouble are often school dropouts. (11) Also, kids being raised by a single mother are more likely to get in trouble than kids raised in an intact family. (12) Substance abuse also plays a role, especially when it comes to alcohol and legal or illegal drugs. Sentence 7 of the excerpt is an example of

A. an opinion.

B. random evidence.

C. a supporting explanation.

D. a conclusion. 

26. Most-to-least, spatial, and chronological are all

A. critical reading techniques.

B. pattern of development.

C. methods of organization.

D. thesis statement order. 

27. Which of the following is not an example of a transition word or phrase?

A. Consequently

B. Beyond

C. Or

D. For instance 

28. The usual point of view when writing a formal academic essay is

A. subjective.

B. third person.

C. second person.

D. personal. 

End of exam 

29. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. After Sean was arrested for breaking into a pawnshop, I began to wonder. Why did some kids from my neighborhood end up in trouble while most of us didn’t? I started out with a question: What causes young people to make bad choices? Now, after two years of research, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that there is no simple answer. There is no one reason why good kids go bad, but there are typical reasons. According to my research, teenagers are most likely to get into trouble if they hang out with a bad crowd. That’s because people learn their values from the people they associate with. So a very big reason for bad behavior is imitating one’s peers. But there are other important factors as well. Kids who get in trouble are often school dropouts. Also, kids being raised by a single mother are more likely to get in trouble than kids raised in an intact family. Substance abuse also plays a role, especially when it comes to alcohol and legal or illegal drugs. What method of organization is used by the writer?

A. Least-to-most

B. Chronological

C. Spatial

D. Most-to-least 

30. Please read the following excerpt from an essay, and answer the question that follows. Biologically, adolescence is marked by hormonal changes that produce secondary sexual characteristics. These include breast development in females and beard growth in males. Psychologically, however, adolescence is a concept that applies only to modern industrial societies. In fact, in most preliterate or tribal societies, the modern American idea of adolescence simply does not exist. In such societies, the social roles of adulthood are to be learned during childhood. Then, around the time of biological puberty, a child becomes an adult through a ritual anthropologists call a rite of passage. By contrast, in American society, adolescence amounts to a sort of social and cultural limbo. Informally, the end of childhood is often marked by one’s thirteenth birthday. The child is now a “teenager.” More formally, the end of adolescence is marked by legal strictures that vary irrationally. In a given state the age of sexual consent may be 16 for girls and 18 for boys. An 18-year-old may vote or enlist to die for his country, but, until he reaches age 21, he may not legally purchase alcoholic beverages. If the topic of this paragraph is adolescence, which of the following statements best captures or reiterates the thesis?

A. Western society has no single concept of adolescence.

B. Adolescence is an irrational concept.

C. Adolescence is defined differently in different societies.

D. Adolescence is an aspect of modern society.

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