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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

Practice 1 | Incoherent Sentence in Paragraphs

Instructions

Based on this lesson, read the paragraphs below and do the following:

  1. Identify the main idea sentence (the sentence that has the topic and the controlling idea and
  2. identify the “bad sentence,” that is, the sentence that does not belong in the paragraph.

When you are finished, click “Answer.”

Note. Your answers will not be submitted. When you leave this page, they will be deleted.

Paragraph 1

1 Charles is not doing well in the course for several reasons. 2 He never arrives on time, and he often leaves before class is over. 3 He does not prepare himself for class, so he cannot participate in discussions. 4 He never asks any questions in class. 5 The work he does in class is always very good.

Main idea sentence:

Bad sentence:

Main idea sentence: Sentence 1.

Sentence 1 tells us the topic is Charles. The controlling idea is that he is not doing well in the course for several reasons, so the paragraph should present the reasons.

Bad sentence: Sentence 5.

Sentence 5 is not a reason Charles is not doing well. On the contrary, it is a good thing Charles is doing. This sentence does not belong in the paragraph.

Paragraph 2

1 The vitamins and minerals that you get from your food can prevent many common health problems. 2 Vitamin A in green vegetables protects your skin and helps your appetite. 3 Meat and fish are a source of zinc, which also helps your skin and nails. 4 Fish can be very expensive, but vegetables are inexpensive and easy to find everywhere. 5 Vitamin C, which you can from oranges, lemons, and tomatoes, is good for your heart and bones. 6 Vitamin C also protects you from cancer and other serious diseases.

Main idea:

Bad sentence:

Main idea sentence: Sentence 1.

Sentence 1 tells us that the topic is “vitamins and minerals that you get from your food.” The controlling idea is that they can prevent many common health problems.

Bad sentence: Sentence 4.

The price of fish and vegetables is not about how vitamins and minarals prevent health problems. It does not belong in the paragraph.

Paragraph 3

1We spend much of our time online; for that reason, we see hundreds of ads everyday. 2Online ads are everywhere. 3We see them when we read the news online. 4We see ads when we are chatting with friends on social media. 5Some online ads can be entertaining. 6We even see ads when we are already shopping online.

Main idea:

Bad sentence:

Main idea sentence: Sentence 2.

Sentence 1 is just an introduction to the topic, online ads. The controlling idea in Sentence 2 is that online ads are everywhere, so the paragraph should explain or give examples of that.

Bad sentence: Sentence 6. Online ads can be entertaining, but they do not support the idea that they are everywhere.

Paragraph 4

1 An invasive species is any animal or plant that is not native to an area or region. 2 Invasive species can cause great economic and environmental damage to the new area. 3 For example, Zebra mussels arrived in North America from Asia stuck to the bottom of ships and harmed native species. 4 European green crabs eat huge amounts of native shellfish and threaten commercial fishing in California. 5 The American government is working to educate people about the dangers bringing animals to the country illegally. 6 Coypu are large rodents from South America that are causing much damage to agriculture in Ireland and Japan.

Main idea:

Bad sentence:

Main idea: Sentence 2.

Sentence 2 tells us that the paragraph is about the economic and environmental damage that invasive species cause to a new area.

Bad sentence: Sentence 5.

Sentence 5 does not belong in this paragraph because it is not about the economic and environmental damage that invasive species cause.

(You could write a separate paragraph just for the idea that the government is educating people about invasive species.)

Paragraph 5

1 Multitasking is defined as doing more than one thing at the same time. 2 Many people believe that they can multitask, but research shows that multitasking is impossible. 3 The brain can only focus on one task at a time, so the idea of multitasking does not make much sense. 4 Companies want to hire people who can multitask because they believe people who can multitask are more productive. 5 When people think they are multitasking, in fact they are simply moving their attention between each task.

Main idea:

Bad sentence:

Main idea: Sentence 2.

Sentence 1 introduces the topic, multitasking, by defining it. Sentence 2 then gives us the controlling idea that multitasking is impossible. All other sentences in the paragraph should explain that.

Bad sentence: Sentence 4

Sentence 4 is about multitasking, but it does not say anything about why or how multitasking is impossible. It should not be in this paragraph.

Congratulations on completing this practice!

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