SAT Writing Practice Problems: Logic and Organization
Some questions on the SAT Writing and Language section will test your logic and organizational skills. You will have to decide whether a passage has expressed the idea in the best way possible.
In the following practice questions, you first have to select the best sentence that links two other sentences, and then decide on the best location to insert a supporting quotation.
Questions 1 and 2 are based on the following information.
The following passage is an excerpt from Sherlock Holmes For Dummies, by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder (Wiley).
The public was wildly enthusiastic about Sherlock Holmes, but one man didn’t share that feeling. Incredibly, it was Arthur Conan Doyle himself. He had greater ambitions in mind as a writer; he believed he’d make his mark in literature by writing historical novels. (1) Doyle began to see the detective as an impediment to his work instead of as a part of it.
. . .
(A) Doyle never realized how popular Sherlock Holmes was until he killed him. (B) “I was amazed at the concern expressed by the public,” he wrote in his autobiography. (C) “They say a man is never properly appreciated until he is dead, and the general protest against my summary execution of Holmes taught me how many and numerous were his friends.”
- At this point, the authors want to add a sentence to set up the public’s response to Holmes’s death later in the passage. Which choice most effectively does this?
A. The public enjoyed both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty, the supervillain who would take his life.
B. Reichenback Falls was soon to occupy a place in Holmes’s history and the public mind.
C. The public, however, wanted more Sherlock Holmes.
D. Though Doyle enjoyed writing about Sherlock Holmes, he wanted something more.
- The authors are considering adding this quote from Doyle as an example of the public’s response to Holmes’s death:
“‘You Brute!’ was the beginning of the letter which one lady sent me. . . .”
Where in this paragraph should this sentence be added?
A. Before Sentence A
B. After Sentence A
C. After Sentence B
D. After Sentence C, continuing the quote from Doyle
Answers and explanations
- The correct answer is Choice (C).
This sentence clearly describes what the public wants, which sets up the public’s reaction later in the passage. Choice (A) is wrong because it doesn’t state that the public wanted more, simply that they enjoyed the character. It’s the wanting more that caused the public reaction.
- The correct answer is Choice (D).
After Sentence C, continuing the quote from Doyle The specific example properly follows Doyle’s description of the general protest.