Unit 50: Sentence Insertion and Removal

This question type comes in two flavors.  In the first, the sentence is included in the paragraph already.  In the second, you are asked if you should add the sentence to the paragraph.  The approach is the same in either case.

  1. This is a sentence about something. [Then there is a sentence in the middle that we have to decide to keep or delete.] Now the paragraph continues.
  2. This is a sentence about something.  Now the paragraph continues, and the question gives us a sentence to potentially insert prior to this one.

Strategy:

  1. Read the designated part of the paragraph without the sentence in question. Does it make sense without something in between? Do the two sentences naturally belong next to each other?
  2. Re-read this part of the paragraph with the sentence in question. Does it make more sense with it added?
  3. Now that you’ve decided if it should be added/kept or not, read the answer choices to determine which reason makes the most sense. Always be sure to read all of the answer choices. 

The next example will make this more clear.

At this point, the writer is considering adding the following sentence. 

Should the writer make this addition here?

A) Yes, because it helps to explain the momentous achievement of the Tremont Street Line. 
B) Yes, because it shows that Boston built its tracks ahead of New York City’s but behind London’s. 
C) No, because it strays from the paragraph’s exclusive focus on the United States. 
D) No, because it digresses from the paragraph’s discussion of mass transit in Boston. 

We first read the paragraph without the sentence in question.  The first sentence talks about the subway line becoming the first rapid-transit in the U.S.; the second sentence draws the contrast that most of the new transit was not underground.  This seems like a fairly logical transition.

We then re-read it with the sentence inserted.  We go from talk about the subway line becoming the first rapid-transit in the U.S., to a comparison with London, and then to most new transit in Boston was not underground.  Inserting this sentence makes things more confusing.

Now we must choose between the two “No” answers.  

Answer C) says “Exclusive focus on the United States”.  Upon re-reading the paragraph, this is clearly wrong.  There is no discussion at all of the United States, only a limited discussion of Boston.  We have no idea what else was going on in the U.S. at the time in regards to transit outside of Boston.

This leaves us with D) as the only plausible answer.