Praxis Core Writing: How to Answer Revision-in-Context Questions - dummies

Praxis Core Writing: How to Answer Revision-in-Context Questions

By Carla Kirkland, Chan Cleveland

Revision-in-context questions on the Praxis Core ask that you edit or revise a passage to make it better. The problem may be a clumsy or incorrect sentence or a portion of a sentence. Your job is to make the choice that best improves the sentence. Improving the passage may require a change in word choice, style, tone, grammar, or organization. For some passages, no revision is necessary.

Think of the passage as your first draft of an assigned essay. Imagine that this essay will mean the difference between a “B” and a “C” as your final grade in the course (and your grade point average really could use a “B”). How can you make it better? Try to imagine what comments your instructor would make.

For each of the following three example questions, choose the best answer based on this passage:

1 It’s a cold, clear day in the neighborhood. 2 It is a good day to go for a walk. 3 I like walking because it is good exercise. 4 It is a time to notice the change in seasons. 5 It is a good time to stop and visit with neighbors. 6 My dog really likes to walk with me, too. 7 He doesn’t know about exercise, he just likes the companionship.

Which would be the best revision, if any, of Sentences 1 and 2?

  • (A) It’s a cold, clear day in the neighborhood, a good day for a walk.

  • (B) Being cold and clear, I like to walk.

  • (C) Walking is good on a cold, clear day.

  • (D) It’s a cold, clear day in the neighborhood, and it is a good day to go for a walk.

  • (E) It’s a cold and clear day, I feel like going for a walk around the neighborhood.

The correct answer is Choice (A). Because both sentences are short, joining them improves the passage. While all the choices join the sentences, only Choice (A) preserves the original context and is also concise. Choice (B) contains a misplaced modifier. “Being cold and clear” appears to modify “I.”

Choice (C) leaves out the idea of walking in a neighborhood (which is important to the rest of the passage). Choice (D) joins the sentences but is less concise. Choice (E) contains a comma splice.

Which would be the best revision, if any, of Sentences 3, 4, and 5?

  • (A) No change.

  • (B) I like to exercise and to notice the change in seasons and visit the neighbors when I walk.

  • (C) Not only is walking good exercise, but walking also provides the opportunity to notice the change in seasons and to visit with neighbors.

  • (D) I can exercise, look at the change of season, and visit with neighbors while I walk.

  • (E) Walking is good because it makes me exercise. I can also notice the seasons and visit with neighbors.

The correct answer is Choice (C). This choice effectively uses the correlative conjunctions “not only” and “but also” to provide a transition and to link ideas concisely. The other choices provide no transition and are less effective in linking ideas. Always think about conciseness — using the fewest words to express the same information or ideas.

Which would be the best revision, if any, of Sentences 6 and 7?

  • (A) No change.

  • (B) Another benefit to a neighborhood walk is the chance to take my dog; he enjoys the walk and the companionship even though he knows nothing about exercise.

  • (C) My dog likes the walk. He enjoys the companionship.

  • (D) My dog likes the walk, he enjoys the companionship.

  • (E) However, my dog enjoys the walk and the companionship.

The correct answer is Choice (B). It uses a transition: “Another benefit… .” to tie ideas together and also combines the sentences effectively with a semicolon. Choice (C) creates two choppy sentences. Choice (D) incorrectly joins clauses with a comma. Choice (E) uses an illogical transition, “however.”