In the lesson, our professor Rebekah Hendershot goes through an introduction on the multiple choice walkthrough, part 1. She discusses where to find the questions, reading the passages, and then goes over the big-picture questions and detail questions for passage 2 and 3 of the sample.
The questions begin on page 23 of the PDF (it says page 17 in the lower right corner, but it’s really page 23).
The first passage was covered in the Multiple Choice Practice lesson.
Reading the Passages
Read for the big picture!
Try to get the main ideas
Look for the overall structure
Pay attention to the author’s goal, tone, and point of view.
There are twelve questions associated with this passage.
Question 11: big picture
Questions 12-17: details
Question 18: big picture
Questions 19-20: details
Questions 21-22: big picture
Question 11: How might you describe the speaker?
Choice A is promising; nothing in the passage conflicts with it.
You can eliminate Choices B and C; the speaker never admits to any musical ability or interest.
Eliminate D; the author identifies with the jazz musicians’ motivations.
Eliminate E; the speaker never mentions such despair.
Question 18: What is the speaker’s attitude?
Choice A sounds promising, but it’s an extreme answer. Does the speaker really worship the musicians?
Choice B is a less extreme version of Choice A. It may be a better option.
Eliminate Choice C; there is nothing feigned about the speaker’s attitude.
Eliminate D and E; the speaker never seems to qualify his or her statements, and there is little appeal to reason.
Question 21: What do these three figures have in common?
Choice A is extreme, and unlikely; artists can usually identify with others to some extent.
Choice B is promising; this passage is all about intense focus.
Eliminate C and D; they’re more or less off-topic.
Eliminate E; these people don’t seem overly concerned with popular approval.
Question 22: What is the style of the passage?
Eliminate A; this passage is anything but abstract.
Eliminate B; this passage flows too well to be “disjointed” and the speaker is hardly “effusive,” or enthusiastic, about his noisy neighbors.
C is promising; the passage is certainly very descriptive, and while it’s a little formal for today’s language, it fits right in with the mid-twentieth century.
Eliminate D and E; this passage is neither pedantic nor terse.
Question 12: How is the situation ironic?
Remember the definition of irony—what is said or what occurs is the opposite of what might be expected.
Choice A looks good, but it’s questionable; do we know the drunk acted deliberately?
Eliminate B and C; they’re off-topic.
Eliminate D; there’s no irony there.
Choice E is both accurate and ironic.
Question 13: How were the speaker and the drunk both “victims” in the same way?
Eliminate Choice A; there’s no evidence the speaker has lost control.
Eliminate Choices B through D; neither friends’ support nor failure nor an inability to feel guilt are mentioned in the passage.
Choice E is promising, as it might describe the singer.
Question 14: What does this word mean in context?
Go back and read the context! Don’t be fooled by the simple definition!
Eliminate Choices A and B; these are positive descriptions of a negative influence
Choice C is promising; it certainly describes the singer.
Eliminate Choices D and E; once again, these descriptions do not match the character of the singer.
Question 15: What do the examples do?.
Eliminate Choices A and B; there are no references in the passage to violent scenes or to annoying audiences.
Similarly, Choice C is out; there is no reference to the caliber of their performances.
Choice D is promising—the works are used as examples of unforgettable things.
Choice E is also promising, but it’s so general as to be almost meaningless.
Question 16: How does the description contribute to the passage?
Go back and read the context!
Choice A has merit; certainly the jazz musicians and the neighborhood are portrayed as sharp contrasts.
Eliminate B and C; the description of the jazz musicians contrasts sharply with either the singer or the drunk.
Choice D has possibilities, but it describes the musicians’ goal rather than the objective nature of reality.
Eliminate E; there is no indication of satire.
Question 17: What don’t the jazz musicians do?
Read the description of the musicians. Your job is to eliminate any choices that they’re described as performing.
Eliminate Choices A and C; the writer describes their technical mastery at great length.
Choices D and E both merit long meditations as well.
Choice B sounds like something the musicians did, but there is no mention of what specific musical forms they adapted into jazz.
Question 19: What do the jazz musicians do?
Your answer to the previous question may give you a clue here.
Eliminate A and B; they’re far off-topic.
Eliminate C; there’s no mention of irony.
D is promising; these musicians seem much concerned with extracting order from chaos.
E sounds good, but these musicians are too concerned with beauty for truth to trump it entirely.
Question 20: What technique does the speaker not use?
Go back and read the sentence!
Eliminate A; the speaker uses plenty of concrete diction.
Eliminate B and C; much of the sentence consists of parallel similes.
D is promising; the speaker is not prone to understatement here.
Eliminate E; there’s plenty of onomatopoeia in this sentence
There are eleven questions associated with this passage.
Question 23: big picture
Questions 24-32: details
Question 33: big picture
Question 23: What is the principal contrast of the passage?
Eliminate Choice A; this passage is all about the past.
Eliminate B; the author makes no judgment about whether the Chinese and European attitudes were wise or foolish.
C is a strong candidate; the passage does compare Imperial China and Europe.
D is promising, but the contrast between civilization and barbarism is the Chinese perspective—not necessarily the author’s perspective.
Eliminate E; it’s off-topic.
Question 33: What is the tone of the passage?
Eliminate A and B; they’re two extreme answers (at opposite ends of the spectrum), and this is not an extreme passage.
C holds some promise; the author might be described as cynical, but perhaps not acerbic (which means acid-tempered or bitterly sarcastic).
D is very promising; the author does seem serious about the topic, but there is a faint tone of something in the description of people’s attitudes—it could be condescension.
Eliminate E; it’s extreme, and the passage is not irate.
Question 24: What rhetorical device is used?
Now might be a good time for a mental review of your rhetorical modes.
Eliminate Choice A; there is no reference to authority.
B is promising; there are certainly a lot of facts here.
Eliminate C and D; this is not an abstract passage, and the tone of the descriptions is objective, not impressionistic.
Choice E is inaccurate; there is an anecdote in the paragraph, but it’s not the primary rhetorical device.
Question 25: What is the rhetorical function of these lines?
Choice A is promising; these lines could certainly support the original thesis.
Eliminate Choices B and C; there isn’t a strong contrast or challenge to the ideas in this passage.
Eliminate D; this section is very detailed, so it’s not a generalization.
Eliminate E; there are no objections raised.
Question 26: What rhetorical device is used in these lines?
Eliminate A; there isn’t much of a metaphor here.
Choice B has merit; this long list of facts is written in parallel.
Eliminate Choices C and D; there is more than one sentence here, and each has only a single subject.
Eliminate E; there are no subordinate clauses.
Question 27: Which word is parallel in function to “inventor”?
Look at “inventor.” It’s a noun, the subject of a prepositional phrase, and the start of a list.
Eliminate A; it’s the object of a preposition.
B has promise, but it’s a pronoun, not a noun.
C has a lot going for it—it’s even a similar word.
Eliminate D; it’s in the wrong part of the sentence.
Eliminate E; it’s a possessive noun, and therefore doing the job of an adjective.
Question 28: What word does “bearing” modify?
Bearing is a verb, so it can be said to modify either its subject or its object—in this case, probably the subject. (Remember, you can replace “bearing” with adjectives here, which would only modify the subject.)
Of all the choices, only the subject— “strangers”– appears as an option. It is choice B. Therefore, you can eliminate all other choices.
Question 29: What point of view do these lines express?
Reread the lines in question. Note the language strongly biased against Europeans. Who might have such a bias?
Eliminate Choices A and B; the author appears to be trying to stay neutral, and it’s bad form for modern historians to express such a bias.
Choice C makes no sense; why would the British be prejudiced against themselves?
Choice D is promising; we know the 18th-century Chinese had a low opinion of Europeans.
Choice E is off-topic; modern Chinese don’t come into this passage.
Question 30: What word reinforces “importunate”?
You might know what “importunate” means, but even if you don’t, the context suggests it means something like “rude.”
Eliminate A and B; they have nothing to do with rudeness.
C is promising; certainly knocking loudly on a door can be considered rude.
D is overly courteous; eliminate it.
E is a result of rudeness, not a symptom of it. Eliminate it.
Question 31: How would you describe this sentence?
A is promising; the sentence does seem to describe the author’s interpretive stance.
Eliminate B; this sentence is not about Europe’s point of view.
Eliminate C through E; this sentence isn’t really in dialogue with any other part of the passage.
Question 32: What characteristics are emphasized in paragraph 4?
Eliminate A; if Britain were adaptable, its representatives would kowtow.
B is promising; “aloof and insular” is a good phrase to describe the Chinese attitude of the time.
Eliminate C; the author says nothing about the wisdom of China’s actions.
Eliminate D; we know the British wanted trade with China, but there’s no evidence they were desperate.
E is off-topic; eliminate it.
Multiple Choice Walkthrough, Part 1
Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.
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