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Essay Organization Questions

This resource was written by Jaclyn Wells.
Last edited by Jaclyn Wells on August 11, 2009 .

Summary:
This resource will help you with organizing your GED essays.

Organization questions make up about 15% of the test. These questions will ask you to “restructure paragraphs or ideas within paragraphs, identify topic sentences, create unity and coherence in the document .” The following practice questions are all organization questions. Try all of them. When you are finished, check your answers, read the explanations, and look at the suggested resources.

Questions 1 through 6 refer to the following paragraphs.

Learning How to Cook

(A)

(1) Have you ever thought about learning how to cook? (2) Cooking is one of the most useful skills a person can learn. (3) Knowing how to cook can save you money because you won’t have to eat out as much. (4) Cooking can also be a really fun hobby that you can do for the rest of your life. (5) Cooking good food can also save you money because you will actually want to eat your leftovers. (6) A good first step to learning how to cook is look at a lot of different recipes to see what you may be interested in cooking.

(B)

(7) Cookbooks are really valuable tools for new cooks and you will be able to find lots of great recipes by looking at just a few of them. (8) In your library’s section on cooking, you will find many different types of cookbooks. (9) Lasagna is one of the most complicated dishes to learn how to make. (10) If you find a cookbook at the library you really like, you might even buy it from your local bookstore. (11) The Internet is another great place to find many recipes quickly.

(C)

(12) Talking to people about cooking can help you understand the insider tricks to cooking that you may not find in recipes. (13) You could even ask a friend or family member if you can watch them cook a few times so that you see how they do it. (14) You can also add to your collection of recipes by asking these folks to share a few of their personal favorites. 

(D)

(15) Finally, after looking at different recipes and talking to people about cooking, you are ready to try making something. (16) Pick out a recipe you like and that you think you can handle. (17) Tuna noodle casserole for example is fairly simple to make. (18) Go to the store to get all the ingredients and tools you need. (19) Follow the recipe carefully, take your time, and remember to have fun!


1.    Which revision would improve the effectiveness of the article?

Begin a new paragraph with

(1)    sentence 3
(2)    sentence 4
(3)    sentence 5
(4)    sentence 6
(5)    sentence 9

2.    Which revision would improve the effectiveness of paragraph A?

(1)    remove sentence 1
(2)    move sentence 5 to follow sentence 3
(3)    remove sentence 2
(4)    move sentence 3 to follow sentence 5
(5)    remove sentence 2

3.    Which revision would improve the effectiveness of paragraph B?

(1)    move sentence 10 to follow sentence 12
(2)    remove sentence 10
(3)    move sentence 10 to follow sentence 8
(4)    remove sentence 8
(5)    remove sentence 9

4.    Which sentence would be most effective if inserted at the beginning of paragraph C?

(1)    Cooking is a social activity.
(2)    Once you find recipes, you are on your way to learning how to cook.
(3)    A good second step in learning how to cook is to talk to friends or family members who are really good at cooking.
(4)    Your friends and family will love it if you learn to cook.
(5)    The Internet will help you find recipes at your skill level.

5.    Sentence 15: Finally, after looking at different recipes and talking to people about cooking, you are ready to try making something.

Which revision should be made to the placement of sentence 16?

(1)    move sentence 15 to the beginning of paragraph C
(2)    move sentence 15 to follow sentence 16
(3)    move sentence 15 to follow sentence 17
(4)    move sentence 15 to the beginning of paragraph B
(5)    no revision is necessary

6.    Sentence 17: Tuna noodle casserole for example is fairly simple to make.

Which is the best way to write the underlined portion of this sentence? If the original is the best way, choose option (1).

(1)    casserole for example is
(2)    casserole, for example, is
(3)    casserole for example, is
(4)    casserole, for example is
(5)    casserole. For example is

Answers to Organization Practice Questions

1.    Answer (4) sentence 6 is the best choice. This is the best answer because sentence 6 begins a new topic (that a good first step for new cooks is to look at recipes). For more information on this subject, look at the CWEST resource about Topic Sentences.

2.    Answer (2) move sentence 5 to follow sentence 3 is the best choice. This is the best answer because these two sentences relate directly to one another. In other words, they are about the same topic (why learning to cook can save you money). For more information on this, look at the CWEST resource about Order of Ideas.

3.    Answer (5) remove sentence 9 is the best choice. This is the best answer because the topic of sentence 9 (that lasagna is a hard recipe) does not directly relate to the rest of the paragraph. In other words, it is irrelevant. For more information about this topic, see the CWEST resource about Relevance of Ideas

4.    Answer (3) A good second step in learning how to cook is to talk to friends or family members who are really good at cooking is the best choice. This is the best answer because this sentence states the main idea of the paragraph (that talking to friends and family who can cook is a good second step when learning to cook). For more information about this subject, see the CWEST resource about Topic Sentences.

5.    Answer (5) No revision is necessary is the best choice. This is the best answer because sentence 15 transitions well from paragraph C and effectively previews paragraph D. For more information on these topics, see the CWEST resources about Topic Sentences and Transitions.

6.    Answer (2) casserole, for example, is is the best choice. This is the best answer because “for example” is a transition word that helps to connect sentence 18 with sentence 17. You need the commas because “for example” is not essential to the meaning of the sentence. Another way to look at this is that “for example” interrupts the sentence—if you read this sentence out loud, you’ll probably pause a little when you get to “for example.” For more information on these topics, see the CWEST resources on Transitions and Commas.

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