Two weird Paragrah improvement questions

<p>I have two weird SAT paragraph improvement questions from the Collegeboard Online course. Here is the passage:</p>

<p>(1) Not many children leave elementary school and they have not heard of Pocahontas’ heroic rescue of John Smith from her own people, the Powhatans. (2) Generations of Americans have learned the story of a courageous Indian princess who threw herself between the Virginia colonist and the clubs raised to end his life. (3) The captive himself reported the incident. (4) According to that report, Pocahontas held his head in her arms and laid her own upon his to save him from death.</p>

<p>(5) But can Smith’s account be trusted? (6) Probably it cannot, say several historians interested in dispelling myths about Pocahontas. (7) According to these experts, in his eagerness to find patrons for future expeditions, Smith changed the facts in order to enhance his image. (8) Portraying himself as the object of a royal princess’ devotion may have merely been a good public relations ploy. (9) Research into Powhatan culture suggests that what Smith described as an execution might have been merely a ritual display of strength. (10) Smith may have been a character in a drama in which even Pocahontas was playing a role.</p>

<p>(11) As ambassador from the Powhatans to the Jamestown settlers, Pocahontas headed off confrontations between mutually suspicious parties. (12) Later, after her marriage to colonist John Rolfe, Pocahontas traveled to England, where her diplomacy played a large part in gaining support for the Virginia Company.</p>

<p>1) Which of the following phrases is the best to insert at the beginning of sentence 10 to
link it to sentence 9?</p>

<p>(A) Far from being in mortal danger,
(B) If what he says is credible,
(C) What grade school history never told you is this:
(D) They were just performing a ritual, and
(E) But quite to the contrary,</p>

<p>Answer is (A), but I chose (D). The explanations didn't help that much:</p>

<p>Explanation for Correct Answer A :
Choice (A) is correct. It links sentence 10 to the rest of the paragraph by explaining the harmlessness of the "ritual display" mentioned in the previous sentence (and thus clarifies the contrast between Smith's account and the probable facts).</p>

<p>Explanation for Incorrect Answer D :
Choice (D) is unsatisfactory because the use of "and" implies that the "ritual" and the "drama" are two different events, whereas the "drama" actually refers to the "ritual display."</p>

<p>2) Which of the following would be the best to insert before sentence 11 to introduce the third paragraph?</p>

<p>(A) It is crucial to consider the political successes as well as the shortcomings of Pocahontas.
(B) The Pocahontas of legend is the most interesting, but the historical Pocahontas is more believable.
(C) If legend has overemphasized the bravery of Pocahontas, it has underplayed her political talents.
(D) To really know Pocahontas, we must get beyond myth and legend to the real facts about her private life.
(E) Perhaps we will never really know the real Pocahontas.</p>

<p>Answer is (C), but I chose (B). Here are the explanations:</p>

<p>Explanation for Correct Answer C :
Choice (C) is correct. The third paragraph gives two detailed examples of Pocahontas's political successes in later life.</p>

<p>Explanation for Incorrect Answer B :
Choice (B) is unsatisfactory because focusing on the believability of historical facts is odd and unnecessary.</p>

<p>From what I have understood, legend has never underplayed her political talents, so how can (C) be correct?</p>

<p>Please these explain these questions to me. Thanks in advance!</p>


<p>In answer 1, your answer, "They were just performing a ritual" is not adding any information to "merely a ritual display of strength" and is thus repetitive and not the best answer. Instead, the myth emphasizes that the mortal danger Pocahantas was in when "a courageous Indian princess who threw herself between the Virginia colonist and the clubs raised to end his life." </p>

<p>In answer 2, the first part of the selection was all about the overemphasis of her bravery while the last paragraph was all about her political talents and thus "If legend has overemphasized the bravery of Pocahontas, it has underplayed her political talents." is the correct answer.</p>

<p>I understood your first explanation, but don't seem to get the second one. Can you elucidate on this one please?</p>

<p>You need to understand the essay if you're going to answer number 2.</p>

<p>In the beginning, the essay shows how historical accounts of Pocahontas' love story were inaccurate and erroneous. It elaborates on this point in the first two paragraphs. Afterwards, the essay digresses from that point in the third paragraph, and seems to provide insight on Pocahontas' political ingenuity. What better way to link these paragraphs together other than state that "If legend has overemphasized the bravery of Pocahontas, it has underplayed her political talents." Underplayed means left out of the picture, or left unmentioned.</p>

<p>A : A is wrong because no shortcomings of Pocahantas as addressed.
B: I did not like B as an answer because most interesting and more believable are opinions, and I do believe that her diplomacy and life in England are very interesting. Besides, this weak sentence does not really introduce the subject matter of the last paragraph and that is what the question is asking for - an introduction to a paragraph about her being an ambassador and her use of diplomacy. IMHO, a weak sentence is rarely a good choice.
C: This is a very good transition between the story of her bravery in the first paragraph and the story of her political talents in the third. The makeup of the sentence even follows the timeline of the essay, with the beginning referring to her bravery and the end of the sentence referring to her political skills, leading directly to the two sentences describing those skills.
D: I would not choose D because no facts about her private life are included in the paragraph.
E: This does not strike me as an introductory sentence to a paragraph about her political skills, but as a weak conclusion sentence that would not be used as the start to any paragraph.</p>