The Madan: A Fading Way of Life (1) An animal species is classified as endangered when most of its kind disappears.
(2) The disappearance of a species is often the result of environmental changes that cause a loss of natural habitat. (3) In modern-day Iraq, a group of people are facing this same type of destruction. (4) The ancient civilization of the Madan is endangered.
(5) For some 5,000 years, the Madan, or Marsh Arabs, have lived in the vast wetland where the Tigris and Euphrates rivers split. (6) This historic region is sometimes called the Fertile Crescent or the Cradle of Civilization. (7) There, on 8,000 square miles of channels and lakes, from thick beds of marsh reeds, the Madan constructed islands. (8) They then used reeds to build dome-shaped huts on their tiny islands. (9) For centuries the Madan flourished. (10) They hunted and fished; they traveled down the waterways in long carved boats.
(11) More recent events, however, have negatively impacted the Madan way of life.
(12) After the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein ordered a new river dug between the Tigris and the Euphrates. (13) He also initiated additional efforts that would eventually drain the marshes.
(14) For the Madan and the marsh environment, this project was a tragedy. (15) At one time, nearly half a million people lived on the marshes. (16) Today there are just 10,000 to 20,000 residents. (17) What was once a world filled with blue lagoons, rice paddies, otters, and waterfowl has become a cracked, salty desert. (18) Lakes have shrunk to shallow ponds, and sandstorms are blowing away the topsoil. (19) According to the United Nations Environmental Program, about 90 percent of the marshlands are now dry. (20) As the climate changes, new plant and animal species are replacing the old.
(21) Are the Madan and their marshes doomed? (22) Many people say no.
(23) Scientists from various world agencies are discussing ways to flood the region and restore the marshlands. (24) Baghdad is Iraq’s largest city and is also its capital. (25) Baroness Emma Nicholson, a British politician and a delegate to the World Health Organization, heads a foundation seeking aid for the marshes.
(26) Nicholson sums up the urgent situation by stating, “If the marshlands are not restored, then the marsh people will fade into history, and our generation will be responsible for the deliberate extinction of one of the oldest races in the world.”
1. What is the most effective way to revise sentence 7 to improve its clarity?
There, on 8,000 square miles of channels and lakes, from thick beds of marsh reeds. The Madan constructed islands.
There, it is on 8,000 square miles of channels and lakes that the Madan constructed islands. They were from from thick beds of marsh reeds.
There, on 8,000 square miles of channels and lakes, the Madan constructed islands from thick beds of marsh reeds.
There, on 8,000 square miles of channels and lakes, the Madan constructed islands; they used thick beds of marsh reeds.
2. What is the most effective way to rewrite sentence 10 to convey a more logical connection of ideas?
They hunted, and they fished, and they traveled down the waterways in long carved boats.
They hunted and fished. They were traveling down the waterways in long carved boats.
Long carved boats traveled down the waterways, and they hunted and fished.
Traveling down the waterways in long carved boats, they hunted and fished.
3. Norma is trying to add relevant details to help support the ideas in paragraph 3 (11-13). Which sentence would best follow sentence 13 in this paragraph?
This new river would pull essential water flow from the marshes.
These efforts included ordering dikes and dams to be built in this region.
Many call his action one of his greatest crimes against humanity.
To many, these marshes served as a refuge for those who didn’t support Hussein.
4. What is the most effective way to improve the organization of the paragraph 5
Delete sentence 23
Switch sentences 23 and 24
Move sentence 24 to the end of the paragraph
Delete sentence 24
5. Norma wants to combine sentences 21 and 22 to have a more effective topic sentence. Which is the best revision of these sentences?
There may still hope for the Madan and their marshes, however, and different people are searching for solutions to this crisis.
Scientist are discussing ways to help the region and this includes politicians as well who think the marshes are not doomed.
Wondering whether the Madans are doomed, you will find that many people will say that it is not.
The climate of this region makes it impossible to restore vegetation in the area. That is why many people feel that the Madan are doomed.
6. The writer would like to include a final thought in her conclusion to wrap up her message. Which of the following would be the best sentence to insert after sentence 26?
The marshlands must be restored or our society will be responsible; that is why we should raise awareness about its crisis.
These marshlands may have been the inspiration for the Biblical Garden of Eden, so it is an important place for all Christians.
Something must be done before this historical land and civilization vanish, and raising awareness may be an important first step.
The price to restore these lands and culture may deter many government officials and organizations from helping.
Answer Key Revising Practice #4
Revising Practice #5
Clayton’s teacher asked him to write a paper about an interesting event. Clayton decided to describe an unusual festival he had read about in the newspaper. He wants you to read his paper and suggest corrections and improvements he should make. When you finish reading, answer the questions that follow.
(1) Many festivals feature the same kinds of activities. (2) Usually there are races, exhibits, and tasty treats. (3) However, this festival is a little different. (4) The annual Bug Bowl, which is put on each spring at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, started in 1990 as a class project. (5) Today, this unusual festival brings in more than 10,000 visitors each year.
(6) At first glance Bug Bowl events may seem rather ordinary, but a closer look reveals some surprises. (7) The races aren’t relay or sack races; they are cockroach races. (8) Held at Purdue’s Roach Hill Downs, these races are quite popular with visitors, who are invited to select their favorite roach and cheer for it to win. (9) Spectators stand and observe these cockroaches run across the ground.
(10) In an adjacent area another unique competition takes place—cricket spitting. (11) Women, men, girls, and boys compete to see how far they can propel a cricket. (12) This unusual sport is even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. (13) As of the year 2000, the world record stood at just over 32 feet. (14) National news agencies are always on hand. (15) They take pictures and interview the people who participate in this strange event.
(16) Of course, a festival wouldn’t ever be complete without a big offering of delicious snacks. (17) The Bug Bowl is no exception. (18) On the night before the celebration begins, designated chefs participate in an insect cook-off. (19) Local professionals judge the “delicious” dishes. (20) In addition to these gourmet items, the following concoctions have been offered at Bug Bowls in years past: Chinese stir-fry with mealworms, chocolate crickets on a stick, and a snack mix made with cereal and wax-moth larvae.
(21) Before they leave this festival, many visit the insect petting zoo. (22) Scientists believe some insects have been on Earth since prehistoric times. (23) Children line up for the opportunity to hold strange bugs of all kinds. (24) Most people agree that Purdue’s Bug Bowl is definitely a one-of-a-kind experience!
1. Paragraph 2 (sentences 6-9) needs a transition to help promote the logical progression of ideas. Which transition is needed at the beginning of sentence 7?
On the other hand,
2. Clayton would like to add better diction and description. Which of the following sentence would best replace sentence 9 to accomplish this task?
Many visitors who attend the festival watch as the cockroaches race across the ground.
Thousands of spectators stand and observe as the big brown insects scurry across the ground.
The race includes many insects racing across the groups and observed by spectators.
Scurrying across the ground, thousands of spectators observe the brown insects race.
3. How should sentences 14 and 15 be combined?
National news agencies are always on hand to take pictures because they interview the people who participate in this strange event.
National news agencies are always on hand to take pictures, so they interview the people who participate in this strange event.
National news agencies are always on hand if they take pictures and interview the people who participate in this strange event.
National news agencies are always on hand to take pictures and interview the people who participate in this strange event.
4. Which of the following would best substitute the word big as it is used in sentence 16?
5. Clayton wants to clarify the meaning of a general reference in sentence 21. Which of the following should replace the word they in sentence 21?
6. What is the most effective way to improve the organization of the last paragraph (sentences 21–24)?
Delete sentence 21
In response to an English assignment, Benny wrote an essay about whether or not high school students should be required to complete community service to graduate. Benny would like you to read his essay and help him revise and improve it. Read the essay, and then answer the questions that follow.
The Forcing Element of Volunteering
(1) There are many issues to consider before reaching a decision. (2) The merit of community service is not in question. (3) When it is a forced requirement to graduate, people disagree. (4) Making community service mandatory is detrimental to the students because it defeats its purpose and can deter their focus on academics.
(5) Community service, by definition, is a voluntary action implemented to portray one’s personal drive, motivation, and ability to handle many responsibilities. (6) Specific programs and scholarships offered by the schools require a certain number of community service hours. (7) This completion allows the students to showcase qualities above and beyond the required high school experience. (8) When community service is required, voluntary nature of community service is shattered, taking away admirable qualities this involvement implies.
(9) Community service is an action that requires a lot of effort and time that may take away from academic responsibilities. (10) Modern high school students take more challenging courses in high school in hopes of earning college credit. (11) To be successful in these classes, students must devote countless hours to ensure academic success. (12) With these demanding time commitments that already exist in high school, it becomes a challenge to find time to complete required community service.
(13) As a result, passing the community service proposal would create problems for each student.(14) It will lessen the intrinsic value of participating in these activities, and it will force students to focus less time on academics.
1. Benny would like to combine the ideas in Sentence 2 and 3. Which of the following is the best way to combine these sentences?
Community service is not a questionable merit since people disagree whether it should be required or not to graduate from high school.
People disagree that the merit of community service is in question and whether it should be required to graduate high school.
The merit of community service is not in question because when it is a forced requirement to graduate, people disagree.
Although the merit of community service is not in question, people disagree about whether or not it should be required to graduate high school.
2. The writer would like to add a sentence to his first paragraph to introduce the background of this issue. To accomplish this goal, which of the following is the best sentence to insert before sentence 1?
A recent city hall meeting revealed several problems among the school district including low attendance, low test scores, and low funds for the fine arts program.
At a recent city hall meeting, school officials asked school board members to consider adding community service requirements to graduation requirements.
School board members are being asked to consider many proposals at their most recent school board meeting.
When it comes to student safety, the school board members agree there is a priority to increase security among the high schools.
3. Benny would like to add the following sentence to his essay to improve details.
National Honor Society, for example, requires all members to complete 12 hours of community service each year.
Where is the best place to insert this sentence?
After sentence 5
After sentence 6
After sentence 7
After sentence 8
4. Which of the following is a transition that should be added to the beginning of sentence 9 to improve the logical progression between paragraphs?
On the other hand,
In other words,
5. The writer would like to add specific details to paragraph 3 (sentences 9-12). Which of the following would be the best sentence to insert after sentence 10?
These classes require a lot of hours to be successful in the course.
People are able to earn college credit in a variety of ways.
These classes could include Advanced Placement and Dual-Credit courses.
Most students avoid challenging courses and take regular classes instead.
6. Benny would like to add a call to action at the end of his essay. Which of the following would be the best statement to insert after sentence 14?
The schools board should, therefore, reject the proposal to attach community service hours to graduation requirements.
This is why community service is not a worthy activity that society should be involved in.
The total required hours for community service should be increased from 8 hours to 12 hours.
Many people believe that community service builds character, but many others disagree with this notion.
Answer Key Revising Practice #6
Variety of Sentences
Conclusion – Call to action
Revision Practice #7 In response to a writing assignment, Danielle wrote the following essay on why working in high school is a good option. Read her essay, paying particular attention to any changes and improvements that Danielle can make. Then, answer the questions that follow. More than a Job
(1) Many people believe that having a job during high school can stress out students. (2) Its extrinsic and intrinsic benefits, however, can prove these objections wrong. (3) Having a job is beneficial because it provides high school students with needed supplementary income, and it teaches them responsibility.
(4) High school students are notorious for needing money. (5) They may need to help support their families. (6) The income from the job of the high school student would help support the family. (7) The money from the job could also be saved in case a situation arises in which extra money is needed. (8) Because jobs provide this needed supplementary income, it becomes obvious that it is a good alternative to high school students.
(9) Having a job also teaches responsibility. (10) Students don’t often understand the importance of being on time and meeting deadlines. (11) A job forces students to follow a set schedule. (12) They have to manage time well. (13) Also, they learn to spend money wisely and to follow through on their assigned job. (14) These are important skills needed to develop responsibility. (15) Having a job, therefore, ensures that students develop this responsibility that will benefit them at school and in the real world.
(16) A high school job is not for everyone. (17) There are some students who can’t handle the additional responsibility, for example. (18) Jobs are not always the best alternative for every student. (19) The large majority of McDonald’s employees are students. (20) Generally speaking, though, students have much to gain by having a high school job.
1. The writer needs better diction in the first paragraph. Which of the following is the best word that can be used to replace stress out in sentence 1?
2. Danielle wants to avoid wordiness in her essay. Which sentence is the best way to combine the ideas in sentences 5 and 6?
They need to help support their families; the income from the job of the high school student would help.
Needing help to support their families, the students can rely on their income from their jobs to help support their family.
Income from a high school job would help students financially support their families who may be struggling.
Supporting their struggling families is what students who rely on the income from their high school job can do.
3. Danielle would like to strengthen her argument presented in paragraph 2 (sentences 4 – 8). Which of the following is a good detail to insert after sentence 7?
This can include personal expenses like cell phone bills or school costs like school pictures.
Extra money is always needed in emergency situations, and students can have access to it.
People who work are more likely to require more money during emergencies.
Having money during emergencies is a reason to get a job in the first place.
4. Which of the following is a transition word that needs to be added to the beginning of sentence 9 to strengthen the flow of the essay?
5. Danielle wants to combine her short and choppy sentences. Which sentence is the best way to rewrite sentences 11 and 12?
Although a job forces students to follow a set schedule, they have to manage time well.
Managing time well is how students follow a set schedule at their job.
A job requires students to manage their time well by forcing them to follow a set schedule.
Forcing students to follow a set schedule and managing their time well is their job.
6. To improve the organization of the essay, the writer should delete which of the following sentences?
Answer Key Revising Practice #7
Revising Practice #8
In response to an English assignment, Ashley wrote the following essay arguing the need for internet access throughout school. She would like you to read her paper and make suggestions for corrections and improvements. When you finish reading, answer the questions that follow.
(1) During a presidential radio address in 1997, President Clinton stated, "We must prepare our children for the 21st century with the full promise of the Information Age at their fingertips." (2) The enormous task of wiring schools to the internet is expensive. (3) Students will benefit from the knowledge they gain by exploring the world through the internet. (4) In order to ensure a technically literate future for generations to come, computer and internet accessibility should be provided for all schools.
(5) Help from the state and federal government is a must. (6) In a news release, Governor Keating proposed using 70 million dollars to help schools link up to high-speed connections. (7) Some older schools had to be completely rewired in order to receive the technology. (8) Government programs were able to help them move forward. (9) This assistance will hopefully pay off by preparing students for the technology to come.
(10) Additionally, financial programs have been developed to help internet capability. (11) One program gave the Federal Communications Commission the ability to give discounts for schools. (12) This is called E-rate, a discounted telecommunications service for schools and libraries. (13) With help from E-rate, seventh graders at Whitebead School in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, communicated directly with scientists conducting research in Africa. (14) The students were then able to write papers based on what they learned from the research.
(15) Of course, there is opposition. (16) One concern from Senator Hollings (D-SC) was that with children becoming more comfortable with the internet, they might have access to inappropriate material.
(17) We shouldn't rely only on support from the government; we all need to be involved in making sure it is second nature in all classrooms. (18) Be active in helping your community schools become internet accessible.
1. What is the best way to rewrite sentences 2 and 3?
Wiring schools to the internet is an enormous, expensive task, but it is an enormous task that will benefit students in the knowledge they gain when they explore the world through the internet.
The enormous task of wiring schools to the internet is expensive; therefore, students will benefit from the knowledge they gain by exploring the world through the internet.
Although the enormous task of wiring schools to the internet is expensive, students will benefit from the knowledge they gain by exploring the world through the internet.
Some people believe that the task of wiring schools to the internet will be expensive because they will benefit from the knowledge they gain by exploring the world through the internet.
2. Ashley would like to improve the topic sentence in the paragraph 2 (sentence 5-9) . What is the best way to revise sentence 5 to include more effective transitions?
The state and federal government helping will help achieve success.
One way to get help from the state and federal government is to achieve success.
First, in order to achieve success, help from the state and federal government is a must.
First of all, the state and federal government needs to help when they achieve success.
3. Ashley would like to combine the ideas in sentences 7 and 8. What is the best way to combine these sentences to improve clarity?
Some older schools had to be completely rewired in order to receive technology, so the government was able to help them move forward.
In order to receive technology, the government was able to step in to help schools that needed to be completely rewired move forward.
Having to be completely rewired in order to receive technology, the government was able to help older schools move forward.
When some older schools had to be completely rewired in order to receive technology, the government was able to help them move forward
4. To improve diction, which word would best replace the word help in sentence 10?
5. Which of the following would best replace the word it in sentence 17?
a secondary student
6. Ashley wants to add the following statement as a refutation for the counter arguments presented. Where would be the best place to insert the following sentences?
To remedy this, the Internet Protection Act and the Safe Schools Internet Act were established. These acts and other security measures taken by the school have helped. After sentence 2
After sentence 9
After sentence 14
After sentence 16
Answer Key Revising Practice 8
Counter argument refutation
Revision Practice #9
In response to a history assignment, Elizabeth wrote this paper about a person she greatly admires. She would like you to read her paper. As you read, think about the corrections and improvements she should make. Then answer the questions that follow.
(1) It would have been frightening to live in Poland in the early 1940s. (2) The Nazis, under the dictatorship of Adolf Hitler, had taken over the country and absorbed it into the German Third Reich. (3) Jewish people were being driven from their homes, and they were being taken to labor camps, and they were being forced into death camps. (4) Many non-Jewish people, afraid to get involved, looked the other way as these horrors fell upon their neighbors. (5) But some took a risk and stood up for what they believed was right. (6) Oskar Schindler was one of these people. (7) He saved the life of more than 1,300 Jews during World War II.
(8) Schindler was born into a wealthy family that lost its fortune in the depression of the 1930s. (9) Schindler was looking for a new opportunity. (10) He joined the Nazi Party.
(11) During this time it would have been hard to imagine that he would ever become anyone’s hero. (12) He was described as a womanizer and a heavy drinker. (13) He met many important people while he was in the Nazi Party.
(14) When the Nazis invaded Poland, Schindler gained control of a factory near a Jewish ghetto in Kraków. (15) He began hiring Jews to work in the factory, primarily because they offered the cheapest source of labor. (16) As time passed, he began to see his factory workers as real people—mothers, fathers, children, and friends.
(17) Schindler decided to risk everything to save those he had the power to protect.
(18) He had many connections and was a master at bribing the proper people. (19) When a ghetto near his factory was evacuated and all its Jewish occupants were assigned to a work camp, Schindler arranged for his employees who lived in the ghetto to be moved to a nearby sub-camp. (20) Conditions at this sub-camp were much better, and food and medicine could be smuggled in.
(21) Schindler himself spent every night in his office, ready to intervene if the gestapo, a Nazi police agency, came to take away one of the Schindlerjuden, or “Schindler’s Jews.” (22) Eventually the sub-camp near his factory was shut down, and all its workers were assigned to Auschwitz, an infamous death camp. (23) Again Schindler came through, and the Jews on his employee list were delivered from that horrible fate.
(24) In May 1945 the Russians liberated Poland, and the Jews in that country were finally free from the terrors of the Nazi Party. (25) The descendants of those saved by Oskar Schindler honor and remember him even today. (26) His story proves that one person can take a stand and a difference made.
1. To avoid wordiness and be concise with language, what is the most effective way to revise sentence 3?
Jewish people were being driven from their homes because they were being taken to labor camps and forced into death camps.
Jewish people were being driven from their homes and taken to labor camps. They were driven from their homes to be forced into death camps.
Jewish people were being driven from their homes, taken to labor camps, and forced into death camps.
They, the Jewish people, were being driven from their homes, only to be taken to labor camps although some were driven from their homes and into death camps.
2. What is the most effective way to combine sentences 9 and 10?
Besides looking for a new opportunity, Schindler joined the Nazi Party.
Looking for a new opportunity, Schindler joined the Nazi Party.
Schindler was looking for a new opportunity because he joined the Nazi Party.