Literary Genres, Elements, 1 and Techniques

What is the topic sentence of the paragraph? 2

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1 What is the topic sentence of the paragraph?
2 How many supporting sentences does this paragraph contain?
3 What transitions are used to connect ideas in the paragraph?
4 What is the clincher sentence of the paragraph?
B Read the following paragraph.

Underline the topic sentence once.

Underline the clincher sentence twice.

Circle the transitions and number the

supporting sentences.
Throughout history, new ideas have often been met with skepticism, resist­ance, and even fear. For example, many people vehemently rejected the idea that the Earth is round, and there are those today who still believe that
the Earth is flat. Similarly, Galileo faced hostility and imprisonment in the 1600s when he promoted Coperni­cus’s idea that the
sun, not the Earth, is the

more than a hundred years ago, many people doubted that a heavier-than-air machine would ever fly. As recently as the 1970s, many people thought that the idea of home computers was completely impractical. Maybe you will someday have an idea that seems crazy to the world but will eventually be proved true, or perhaps you will help to make some “impossible” invention a reality.

C Choose a transition from the list on page 160 to connect the ideas in each of the following sentences.
1 As twilight approached, we began to worry about the hikers who had

fallen behind. ________________

they staggered into camp, weary but

2 Rainfall this summer has been much lower than normal. ______________ the ground is hard and dry, lawns are turning brown, and flowers are withering.



~ Galileo



Lesson 6.4—Preparing Longer Written Responses 165

source of iron. __________________, a

cup of cooked spinach provides about 4 mg of iron.

Isaac Newton was a poor student at first, but then he got motivated to learn and went on to become a great scientist. _______________________, Albert Einstein had trouble in school

when he was young, but he became one of the most remarkable geniuses of the twentieth century.
5 Louie jammed his finger

in the fourth quarter.

D Write a sentence that could follow, logically, each of the following sentences. Introduce your sentence with a transition from the list on page 160. Use a different transition for each sentence. Write your answers on a separate piece of paper.
EXAMPLE: Shanaz isn’t afraid of heights.

ANSWER: Shanaz isn’t afraid of heights.

On the contrary, she enjoys activities like

rock climbing and parasailing.

1 The weatherman has predicted a severe ice storm with possible power outages.
2 The policemen rushed to the scene of the burglary.
3 Melvin has a gloomy disposition and is always complaining.
4 Jeff locked himself out of the house in the rain.
5 One way to become famous is by creating a brilliant invention.
E Write topic sentences for paragraphs about the following subjects:

—A job you would like to have

—An actor or actress



—The ideal vacation spot

F Choose two topic sentences that you wrote for Exercise E, and develop these into complete paragraphs. Make sure that each paragraph has a topic sentence, several sentences related to the topic sentence, transitions to connect the ideas, and a clincher sentence.

3 Green, leafy vegetables are a good

________________ he kept on playing and sank the winning basket at the buzzer.





166 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

G Read the following selections. Then rewrite the sentences that follow, correcting any errors in the punctuation of quotations and paraphrases.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood, Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,

Here, once the embattled farmers stood, And fired the shot heard round the


1 The first stanza is made musical by its rhymes and by alliteration, the repetition of the initial f sound in words and phrases like the following “the flood,” “their flag,” “unfurled,” “the farmers,” and “fired”.
2 Concord Bridge crosses over the Concord River near Lexington, Massachusetts. It was “Here, once the embattled farmers stood, and fired the shot heard round the world.
3 The boy says “Come back”! but Jimmy cannot hear him.
4 “Jimmy fell into the river but did not drown.”
5 The setting plays a crucial role in the scene. The river “was raging, and its sound drowned out all else.” Because the river is so loud, Jimmy couldn’t hear his friend calling.
H Write one paragraph of your own, illustrating at least five of the rules from the chart on pages 163 and 164.

“Come back!” the boy called to his friend. Jimmy could not hear him, however. The river was raging, high and wild, and its sound drowned out all else. Jimmy was already halfway across the narrow footbridge, and there was nothing to be done. Mike watched as the bridge collapsed. Minutes later, Jimmy washed up on the bank a hundred yards downstream, safe but wet.




Lesson 6.4—Preparing Longer Written Responses 167


L~So~i Evaluating and Proofreading

6.5 Your Response


our answers to open-response questions will be graded on

content_-how well you have fulfilled the requirements of the task. Your responses will be evaluated on how well you understand the reading and the elements of literature. You may also be graded on mechanics-_grammar, spelling, capitaliza­tion, and punctuation. Even if you do not receive a specific grade for mechanics, the

proper use of mechanics will improve the overall quality of your writing. The power of an idea is weakened if faulty mechanics cause the reader to falter, whereas using good form and grammar will make your ideas come across clearly. Therefore, it is very important to proofread your writing— to read it through, check for errors, and mark corrections. The list below tells you what to look for as you check your work.

~‘ Each verb agrees with its subject.

~( Each pronoun has a clear antecedent and agrees with it.

~ij’ Commonly confused pronouns, such as I/me and who/whom, are used correctly.

~( Commonly confused words, such as to/too/two,

among/between, and effect/affect, are used correctly.
~j’ There are no sentence fragments or run-ons.
~‘ There are no double negatives.
~( All words, including names, are spelled correctly.
~j’ Every sentence begins with a capital letter.

~j’ All proper nouns and proper adjectives, including the

names of people and places, begin with capital letters.

~3~j’ Every sentence ends with an end mark—a period (.),

exclamation mark (I), or question mark (?).

~( Commas and other punctuation marks are used correctly.
~f’ All direct quotations are enclosed in quotation marks.


~roofreading Checklist

Manuscript Form ~( Every paragraph is indented.
~j’ Ample margins have been left on either side.
~‘ The writing is legible.

Grammar and



Capitalization and Punctuation







168 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

When marking corrections in your writing, use the standard proofreading symbols, marks that indicate corrections that need to be made. In this way it will be clear to the reader what you intend to say. Your answers will be graded according to the corrected version, as long as the corrections can be clearly understood by the evaluator.

proofreading Symbols

•- Symbol and Example


bicycle builtAtwo

Paris in the th2~ring

ext r-er’-~e

the ~i~e~~cate slippers
five portuguese sailors a lantern and a $ieeping bag waves. “Help me!” she cried. All’s well that ends well o parrots,~nacaws, and toucans childrei~ toys
There are three good reasons~J the grand~pening

Insert (add) something that is missing.

Delete (cut) these letters or words.
Replace this letter or word
Transpose (switch) the order.
Move this word to where the arrow points.
Close up this space.
Delete this letter and close up the space.
Capitalize this letter.
Lowercase this letter.
Begin a new paragraph
Put a period here.
Put a comma here.
Put an apostrophe here.
Put a colon here.
Put a space here.

Study the chart below to learn the proof­reading symbols. Most of the symbols have obvious meanings, and with just a little practice, you will find them very easy and convenient to use. As you proofread, keep in mind that attention to these details will improve your writing and your scores and make you a more effective communicator.

Meaning of Symbol










Lesson 6.5—Evaluating and ProofreadingYoUr Response 169

This lesson gives you the basics of proofreading. You will not have much time to correct open-response answers, but knowing what to look for will help you to make key corrections quickly, enhancing

Yo~~r Turn

A Rewrite the following sentences, making the corrections indicated by the proofreading symbols.



chewing gym was invented by-p~we~ accident in the l870s,~when a man tried to make rubber(~fIo~ chicleA the sap of a mexican tree0

the presentation of your work. In addition, proofreading skills will help you write high-quality essays (See Unit 7). For more information about mechanics, see Lesson 6.6, “Conventions of English.”

2 The mai~s rubber experiment failed, but he and his~on started chewing r1~ices of the chicle, realized itts

potential, and wentAthe chewing~um




170 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

B Use the proofreading symbols to make corrections in the following sentences as indicated.
Hazardous waists are the Dangerous sub stances that are leftover form places like factories power hospitals, and plants.
Begin a new paragraph with the word “Hazardous.”

Replace the word “waists” with the word “wastes.”

Make the “D” in the word

“Dangerous” lowercase.

Close up the space between “sub” and “stances.”
Put a space between “left” and “over” in “leftover.”
Switch the letters “o” and “r” in the word “form” to make “from.”
Insert a comma after “factories.” Move the word “power” and put it

before the word “plants.”

2 some scientist’s have found away make fake lightening that turns hazardous wastes into a glassy material has that pratical uses
Capitalize the “s” in “some.”

Delete the apostrophe in “scientist’s” and close up the space.

Put a space between “a” and “way” in “away.”
Insert the word “to” before “make.”
Delete the letter “e” from

“lightening” and close up the


Switch the order of the words “has” and “that.”

Insert the letter “c” between “a” and “t” in “pratical.”
Put a period after “uses.”
C Use proofreading symbols to correct the following paragraph.
A close reeding of Gary Levitt’s essay, “How to Become a Martian, reveals that the evidince for life on Mars is mixed according to Levitt, the chanels observed by Giovanni Schiaparelli back in 1877 turned out not to be canals, as Percival Lowell and others thought they were. Further more, the so-called “Mars face” turned out to be a natural formation it was a volcano, not “a monumental, carved portrait.” Despite these setbacks to arguements for existance of life on Mars, some resent evidence sugests that life once existed their. Scientists now no that in the past, “Mars had a much thcker atmosfere and lots of running water” Of course, water and an atmosfere are crucial to life. In addition, in 1996 NASA scientists announces the discovery on Earth of a meteorite that may contain fossil bacteria. That lived on Mars billions of years ago. In sumary while there probablee isn’t no life on Mars today, their may well have been life on Mars in the distant past and if humans ever colonise the planut, their will be life their in the future.






Lesson 6.5—Evaluating and ProofreadingYOUr Response Ill

i~ Conventions of English



he rules for writing are called conventions. There are conventions governing manuscript form, spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation. If you follow these rules, your writing will come across as intelligent and coherent. This lesson will outline some of the basic conventions of English and give you practice in following these rules.
Manuscript Form

If you were producing a typewritten or word-processed paper, you would have to observe certain rules regarding the elements of manuscript form, such as margins, paragraph form, and space between lines. The tests in this book provide you with lines for your written responses, so the margins and line spaces are already established for you. Since your answers will be handwritten, your main concern regarding form will be to make sure that your handwriting is neat and legible. Use the standard proofreading symbols. Do not scratch out an unwanted word; draw a line through it instead. Also remember to indent every paragraph so that the arrange­ment of your ideas is clear.

Keep in mind that no matter how good your ideas are, you will not get credit for them if the evaluator cannot decipher your handwriting. You may be accustomed to using a keyboard for most of your writing, but try to make your handwriting legible so that your penmanship will not interfere with the communication of your ideas.

Grammar and Usage

Grammar is the study of the structure of a language—how words are put together to form phrases, clauses, and sentences. Following the rules of English grammar will help you to produce good writing. Usage is the way in which people use language. Only standard usage, according to the agreed-upon rules, is acceptable in formal writing.

As you proofread, check your writing for errors in grammar and usage. Especially keep in mind the following points:
• Make sure that each verb agrees with, or matches, its subject in number. Both

should be singular or both plural.

WRONG The girl with six brothers are very athletic.

RIGHT The girl with six brothers is very athletic.

(Think, “The girl. . . is”)

• An antecedent is the noun that a

pronoun refers to or replaces. Every

pronoun should have a clear antecedent

and agree with it.

WRONG A tight end with the Panthers broke their leg.

RIGHT A tight end with the Panthers broke his leg.

(Think, “A tight end.. . broke his leg”)








172 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment






• Be careful not to mix up commonly confused pronouns.

WRONG Mom gave Al and I the third degree when we arrived late.

RIGHT Mom gave Al and me the third degree when we arrived late.

(Think, “Mom gave. . . me”)
• Be aware of commonly confused words and make sure that you use these words correctly.


The equipment was divided evenly between the four


RIGHT The equipment was divided evenly among the four teams.
• A fragment is a group of words that lacks some essential part of a sentence and does not express a complete thought. Check your writing for fragments and turn them into complete sentences.


The Vietnam Veterans

Memorial in Washington,


RIGHT The Vietnam Veterans

Memorial in Washington, D.C., honors Americans who died in the Vietnam War.

• A run-on is two or more sentences joined without a word to connect them or a punctuation mark to separate them. WRONG The owner of the goose cut her

open to get the gold she turned out to be an ordinary goose inside.

RIGHT The owner of the goose cut her open to get the gold, but she turned out to be an ordinary goose inside.

A double negative is a sentence with two negative words such as aren’t, doesn’t, haven’t, no, not, none, and never. WRONG Sammy doesn’t have no money. RIGHT Sammy doesn’t have any


Sammy has no money.
• Make sure not to confuse words that are similar in spelling but different in meaning, such as affect/effect, desert/dessert, loose/lose, and weather/ whether.


General Washington lead his army to victory at the Battle

of Yorktown.

RIGHT General Washington led his

army to victory at the Battle of Yorktown.

I cont uave ~

ANY, sa~~’ ‘you ~n’t slave ANY ~ne~’

Lesson 6.6—Conventions of English 173


One of the best things you can do to improve your spelling is to read a lot. The more often you see a word in print, the more likely you will be to remember how to spell it. You should also keep a list in your journal of the words that you misspell. Use a dictionary to find correct spellings as well as definitions.

Although English has many exceptions to its spelling rules, the majority of words do follow the rules. Therefore, when uncertain about the spelling of a word, you can think about a similar word that you know how to spell and take a clue from it. Appendix C in this book contains a list of commonly misspelled words. Try to learn at least ten of these words every week in preparation for an exam. One good way to practice is to have someone else read each word to you as you write it down. Check your answers. Then, write each word that you spelled incorrectly over and over until you can remember the correct spelling without thinking too much about it.

Capitalization and Punctuation

Punctuation is the use of periods, commas, question marks, and other marks to help make meaning clear. Punctuation does for writing what pauses and changes in pitch do for speech. Consider the words below:
Jill is a great friend who cares about you These words can take on very different meanings depending on how you say them; so, too, changing the punctuation can completely change the meaning:
Jill is a great friend who cares about you. Jill is a great friend. Who cares about you?

It is important to punctuate your writing carefully so the meaning will be clear. Every sentence should end with an end mark— either a period, an exclamation mark, or a question mark. Make sure that commas, which represent slight pauses or interruptions, are correctly placed. Quotation marks should enclose quotations and titles of short works, such as essays and stories. The names of longer works, such as novels, should be italicized or underlined.

Also remember to capitalize the first word of every sentence. All proper nouns (Liza, Iowa, Brooklyn Bridge) and proper adjec­tives (Shakespearean, Spanish, Tibetan) should be capitalized as well.

Your Turn

A Fill in the blanks with the correct present tense form of the verb in parentheses.
1 Every year, the philanthropist ten scholarships to
promising students. (give)
2 Each of the four sisters ___________ a different musical instrument. (play)
3 The Inuit people of the Arctic igloos that keep them

warm even when the temperature

drops to — 1000 F (build)






174 AIM Higher! English Skills for Assessment

B Circle the correct word in

parentheses in each sentence below.

1 Just between you and (I, me),

Gilbert is really clumsy on the dance floor.

2 In 1921, Charles Lindbergh became


the first person. To fly soio across

- the Atlantic Ocean.

2 (Their, There) are more than
250,000 species of beetles.
3 After doing her aerobics workout, Sally always (lays, lies) down for 15 minutes.
C Use proofreading marks to correct the commonly confused words in the sentences below.
1 We drove threw nineteen states on our trip to Washington.
2 Seeing all the children at the orphanage effected her deeply.
3 The Atacama Dessert in Chile is


Lindbergh and

The Spirit of

St. Louis


The duck-billed platypus and the spiny anteater are the only mammals that lay eggs they are called monotremes.

one of the driest in the world.

D Rewrite each sentence below on the lines provided, eliminating sentence fragments, run-ons, and double negatives.
1 In 1906, Fanny Workman reached


the summit of Pinnacle Peak in the

Himalayas. She was wearing a skirt

and didn’t carry no oxygen.





The duck-billed platypus,

Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Lesson 6.6—Conventions of English 175

E Use the proofreading symbols to mark corrections in grammar and usage in the

following passage. Also indicate that a new paragraph should begin with the sentence, “Almost every source of energy. . . .“

Energy is the ability too do work. ne o t e irst orms o energy• harnessed by humans were fire, fueled by would from trees. Over the centuries, people have found many other ways. To harness energy to do work. Flowing water turn waterwheels that grinds grain or cut lumber. The wind powers sailing ships and windmills, which can convert wind energy in to electricity. Coal, gas, and oil can be burned as fuel four heating or for powering engines. The son’s energy

can be captured to provide heat or produce electricity. In this century, people has even discovered how to split atoms to release atomic, or nuclear, energy. Almost every source of energy that people have tapped have sum disadvantages. If fire gets out off control they can be dangerous. Fossil fuels like coal and oil causes pollution furthermore, they will not last forever. Solar energy doesn’t cause no pollution, but when it is cloudy or dark, solar energy is not reliable. The wind can also be undependable. And their are serious dangers involved in using nuclear power.

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