SAT Writing Section - Greer Middle College || Building the Future

Multiple Choice & Essay
Essay- first draft response to a given prompt;
the goal is to assess your ability to develop
and express ideas.
Develop a point of view, presents ideas
logically and clearly, and uses precise
Multiple-choice- recognize sentence errors,
choose best version of writing, improve
49 questions on grammar and usage.
DON’T ask you to define or use grammatical
DON’T test spelling or capitalization.
DO have you choose the best answer based
on clarity, correct grammar
Goal: to write with clarity and thought out
To write better you have to write more.
To write better you have to read more.
When you read challenging material, to more
you’ll be exposed to interesting and
provocative ideas and to varied use of
◦ Sequence of tenses (After he broke his arm, he is
home for two weeks.)
◦ Shift of pronoun (If you are tense, one should try to
◦ Parallelism (The carpenter showed us how to sink
the nails, how to varnish the wood, and getting a
smooth surface was also demonstrated.)
◦ Subject-verb agreement (There is eight people on
Logical expression of ideas:
◦ Coordination and subordination (Nancy has a rash,
and she is probably allergic to something.)
◦ Logical comparison (Harry grew more vegetables
than his neighbor’s garden.)
◦ Modification and word order (Barking loudly, the
tree had the dog’s leash wrapped around it.)
Clarity and Precision:
◦ Ambiguous and vague pronouns (In the newspaper
they say that few people voted.)
◦ Diction (He circumvented the globe on his trip.)
◦ Wordiness (There are many problems in the
contemporary world in which we live.)
◦ Missing subject (If your car is parked here while not
eating in the restaurant, it will be towed away.)
◦ Weak passive verbs (When you bake a cake, the
oven should be preheated.)
Appropriate Use of Conventions:
◦ Adjective and adverb confusion (His friends agree
that he drives reckless.)
◦ Pronoun case (He sat between you and I at the
◦ Idiom (Natalie had a different opinion towards her.)
◦ Comparison of modifiers (Of the 16 executives,
Meg makes more money.)
◦ Sentence fragment (Whether or not the answer
seems correct.)
◦ Comma splice or fused sentence (Shawna enjoys
puzzles, she works on one everyday.)
Read each sentence quickly and carefully.
 Read aloud during practice at home.
 Look for the most common mistakes people
make in grammar: subject/verb agreement,
adjective/adverb confusion.
 Look for errors in an idiom (words or phrases
that are particular to our language because of
what they mean when used together)
Ex/talk behind someone’s back; not on
someone’s back
Verb forms that function as adjectives.
In the present tense, participles always end in
–ing (laughing, falling, gusting). Present
In the past tense, participles often end in –ed,
-en, or –t (cooked, broken, spent, lost); some
are irregular (bought, wrung)
Ex/Raw vegetables are more nutritious than
cooked ones.
Group of words that begins with a participle.
The entire phrase is an adjective used to
modify a noun.
Fix this: Tourists see statues of many
famous patriots walking along Boston’s
Freedom Trail.
What appears to be walking?
Tourists walking along Boston’s Freedom
Trail see statues of many famous patriots.
1. I thought I heard a strange rattle driving
my car.
2. Strumming on his guitar, we suddenly
remembered where we had seen this folk
singer before.
3. I turned the corner and bumped into an
elderly man paying no attention to where I
was going.
4. The caterer served refreshments to the
guests wearing a frilly white apron.
5. Orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, research
astronomers discovered a new group of
6. I saw a long line of traffic looking both ways
before I tried to cross the street.
7. Raised in an open field without any pesticides,
I prefer vegetables and fruits.
8. Cooked too long, she thought the pasta did
not taste good anymore.
9. Spiced with Italian herbs, I had never tasted
anything quite like Imelda’s salad.
10. Wrapped in brightly colored paper, Matt tore
open the birthday present.
Careful and close reading is key!
Focus: the ability to recognize and write clear,
effective, accurate sentences.
Many questions deal with compound or complex
Compound sentence- has two or more
independent clauses but no subordinate clause.
Shelley was born in England, but he died in Italy.
Complex sentence- contains one independent
clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
Although sailors encountered Shelley’s boat in a
storm, Shelley refused their offer to go on board.
Using similar structures in a series. Creates
balance in a sentence.
Ex/ Hawaii is famous for its beautiful
beaches, and Montana is well known for its
majestic mountains.
Hawaii, Montana are the subjects.
Both described with adjectives – famous/well
Both have a prepositional phrase that tells us
for what they are famous/well known.
Sharon wanted to have the party at her house
on Saturday night rather than in a restaurant
on Sunday afternoon.
How is this balanced?
Always try to balance a word with a word, a
phrase with a phrase, a clause with a clause.
1. On a hot day, I like swimming or to sit in the
2. The message was short, quiet, and what I
couldn’t understand.
3. I want to know when you are going to be
home, where you will be if I need to call you, and
the kind of transportation you are going to use to
get there.
4. A teacher needs patience and to be aware.
5. I decided to buy the gift whether the store
took credit cards or even making me pay cash.
6. The legislature should approve the budget
and can lower taxes if possible.
7. The movie was not entertaining or a
pleasant experience.
8. She is hoping for a career in medicine, law,
or to be an engineer.
9. I try to be honest, hardworking, and to pay
attention to my friends.
10. The produce in that store is fresh, well
displayed, and costs too much.

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