Organization: Evaluating Paragraph Unity (Exercise B)


     Each of the following paragraphs contains sentences that are
irrelevant or unnecessary to the main point of the paragraph. The
sentences do not support the opening point, and so the paragraphs
are not unified. In the interest of paragraph unity, such
sentences must be omitted.
     Cross out the irrelevant sentences and put the numbers of
those in the spaces provided. The number of spaces will tell you
the number of irrelevant sentences in each paragraph.

1.                   How to Prevent Cheating

     (1) Teachers should take steps to prevent students from
cheating on exams. (2) To begin with, teachers should stop
reusing old tests. (3) Even a test that has been used once is
soon known on the student grapevine. (4) Students will check with
their friends to find out, for example, what was on Dr.
Thompson's biology final last term. (5) They may even manage to
turn up a copy of the test itself, "accidentally" not turned in
by a former student of Dr. Thompson's. (6) Teachers should also
take some common sense precautions at test time. (7) They should
make students separate themselves--by at least one seat--during
an exam, and they should watch the class closely. (8) The best
place for the teacher to sit is in the rear of the room, so that
a student is never sure if the teacher is looking at him or her.
(9) Last of all, teachers must make it clear to students that
there will be stiff penalties for cheating. (10) One of the
problems with our school systems is a lack of discipline. (11)
Teachers never used to give in to students' demands or put up
with bad behavior, as they so today. (12) Anyone caught cheating
should immediately receive a zero for the exam. (13) A person
even suspected of cheating should be forced to take an
alternative exam in the teacher's office. (14) Because cheating
is unfair to honest students, it should not be tolerated.

The numbers of the irrelevant sentences are   ___      ___  

2.                      A Dangerous Cook

     (1) When my friend Tom sets to work in the kitchen, disaster
often results. (2) Once he tried to make toasted cheese
sandwiches for us by putting slices of cheese in the toaster
along with the bread; he ruined the toaster. (3) Unfortunately,
the toaster was a fairly new one that I had just bought for him
three weeks before, on his birthday. (4) On another occasion, he
had cut up some fresh beans and put them in a pot to steam. (5) I
was really looking forward to the beans, for I eat nothing but
canned vegetables in my dormitory. (6) I, frankly, am not much of
a cook either. (7) The water in the Teflon pan steamed away while
Tom was on the telephone, and both the beans and the Teflon
coating in the pan were ruined. (8) Finally, another time Tom
made spaghetti for us, and the noodles stuck so tightly together
that we had to cut off slices with a knife and fork. (9) In
addition, The meatballs were burned on the outside but almost raw
on the inside. (10) The tomato sauce, on the other hand, turned
out well. (11) For some reason, Tom is very good at making meat
and vegetables sauces. (12) Because of Tom's kitchen mishaps, I
never eat at his place without an Alka-Seltzer in my pocket, or
without money in case we have to go out to eat. 

The numbers of the irrelevant sentences are ___ ___ ___ ___ ___

3.              Why Adults Visit Amusement Parks 

     (1) Adults visit amusement parks for several reasons. (2)
For one thing, an amusement park is a place where it is
acceptable to "pig-out" on junk food. (3) At the park, everyone
is drinking soda and eating popcorn, ice-cream, or hot dogs. (4)
No one seems to be on a diet, and so buying all the junk food you
can eat is a guilt-free experience. (5) Parks should provide
stands where healthier food, such as salads or cold chicken,
would be sold. (6) Another reason people visit amusement parks is
to prove themselves. (7) They want to visit the park that has the
newest, scariest ride in order to say that they went on the
Parachute Drop, the seven-story Elevator, the Water Chute, or the
Death Slide. (8) Going on a scary ride is a way to feel
courageous and adventurous without taking much of a risk. (9)
Some rides, however, can be dangerous. (10) Rides that are not
properly inspected or maintained have killed people all over the
country. (11) A final reason people visit amusement parks is to
escape from everyday pressures. (12) When people are poised at
the top of a gigantic roller coaster, they are not thinking of
bills, work, or personal problems. (13) A scary ride empties the
mind of all worries--except making it to the bottom alive. (14)
Adults at an amusement park may claim they have come for their
children, but they are there for themselves as well.

The numbers of the irrelevant sentences are  ___ ___ ___ 

4.                    My Color Television    

     (1) My color television has given me nothing but heartburn.
(2) I was able to buy it a little over a year ago because I had
my relatives give me money for my birthday instead of clothes
that wouldn't fit. (3) My first dose of stomach acid came when I
bought the set. (4) I let a salesclerk fool me into buying a
discontinued model . (5) I realized this a day later when I saw
newspaper advertisements for the set at seventy-five dollars less
than I had paid. (6) The set worked so beautifully when I got it
home that I would keep it on until stations signed off for the
night. (7) Fortunately, I didn't get any channels showing all-
night movies, or I would never have gotten to bed. (8) Then I
started developing a problem with the set that involved static
noise. (9) For some reason, when certain shows switched into a
commercial, a loud buzz would sound for a few seconds. (10)
Gradually, this sound began to appear during a show, and to get
rid of it, I had to click the dial to another channel and click
it back. (11) Sometimes this technique would not work, and I had
to pick up the set and shake it to remove the buzzing sound. (12)
I actually began to build up my arm muscles shaking my set; I
could feel the new muscles working whenever I shot a basketball.
(13) When neither of these methods removed the static noise, I
would sit popping Tums and wait for the sound to go away. (14)
Eventually I wound up slamming the set with my hand again, and it
stopped working altogether. (15) My trip to the repair shop cost
me $62. (16) The set is working well now, but I keep expecting
more trouble.

The numbers of the irrelevant sentences are ___ ___ ___ ___
Back to on-line resource file
Back to RWC home

Last updated Thursday, 05-August-99 08:55:00 EDT.
All pages Copyright © 1998 Hunter College Reading/Writing Center.
Please contact WebMaster with any questions or comments.