Expression of Ideas
On the SAT Writing and Language Test, You will encounter a variety of questions that will ask you to revise and edit passages in different ways. Expression of Ideas questions ask you to improve the effectiveness of a text by revising with an eye to topic development, accuracy, logic, cohesion, and rhetorically effective language use.A note on the images in this article: all Writing and Language Test questions will be associated with a passage, but the full passages are not included here, only excerpts. Each question pictured is just one example of how questions in that category can look.
Some sub-topics within Expression of Ideas:
Development — These questions will ask you to focus on revising text in relation to rhetorical purpose.
- Proposition: Questions will ask you to add, revise, or retain central ideas, main claims, counterclaims, and topic sentences to structure text and convey arguments, information, and ideas clearly and effectively.
- Support: Questions will ask you to add, revise, or retain information and ideas (e.g., details, facts, statistics) intended to support claims or points in a text.
- Focus: Questions will ask you to add, revise, retain, or delete information and ideas in text for the sake of relevance to topic and purpose.
- Quantitative Information: Questions will ask you to relate information presented quantitatively in such forms as graphs, charts, and tables to information presented in text.
Organization — These questions focus on revision of text to improve the logic and cohesion of text at the sentence, paragraph, and whole-text levels.
- Logical Sequence: Questions will ask you to revise text as needed to ensure that information and ideas are presented in the most logical order.
- Introductions, Conclusions, and Transitions: Questions will ask you to revise text as needed to improve the beginning or ending of a text or paragraph to ensure that transition words, phrases, or sentences are used effectively to connect information and ideas.
Effective Language Use — These questions will ask you to identify stated central themes or determine themes that are implied in the text.
- Precision: Questions will ask you to revise text as needed to improve the exactness or content appropriateness of word choice.
- Concision: Questions will ask you to revise text as needed to eliminate wordiness and redundancy).
- Style and Tone: Questions will ask you to revise text as necessary to ensure consistency of style and tone within a text or to improve the match of style and tone to purpose.
- Syntax: Questions will ask you to use various sentence structures to accomplish needed rhetorical purposes.
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