The SAT Prep Black Book

SAT Writing Multiple Choice

Improving Paragraphs Quick Summary

This is a one-page summary of the major relevant concepts. Use it to evaluate your comprehension, jog your memory, whatever. For a more in-depth treatment of these ideas, see the rest of the section.

The Big Secret: These questions are basically a combination of Improving Sentences questions and Passage-Based Reading questions, with one more idea thrown in.

These questions can seem to vary widely on the surface but they’re all basically the same.

Questions that ask about fixing or combining sentences should be answered like Improving Sentences questions. Find the choice that follows the SAT grammar rules and has the best SAT style according to the 3 Improving Sentences patterns.

Questions that ask about the meaning of a word or phrase should be treated like Passage-Based Reading questions.

The SAT likes paragraphs in which every concept appears more than once. So if you’re asked to add or delete sentences, then:

oadd sentences that restate ideas in the paragraph and contribute the fewest new concepts

odelete sentences that mention ideas that aren’t found    elsewhere in the paragraph

Here's the Improving Paragraphs process:

oIdentify the type of question you're dealing with.

oUse the modified Improving Sentences approach for questions about fixing or combining sentences.

oUse the Passage-Based Reading approach for questions about the meanings of words or phrases.

oIf you’re asked about adding or deleting sentences, add sentences that restate ideas in the paragraph, and/or delete sentences that mention ideas that aren’t elsewhere in the paragraph.

For examples of these ideas in action, please see the sample Blue Book solutions in this Black Book.