In the third part of our three part series, ACT tutor Terri of Prepped and Polished shows you on the whiteboard order of sentences in a paragraph on the ACT English test.

Today, I’m going to cover part three of a three-part series on how to avoid three pitfalls of rhetorical skills questions on the ACT English test. Remember that the ACT English test has two types of questions, usage and mechanics, and rhetorical skills questions. Usage and mechanics cover punctuation, grammar, word usage and sentence structure, while rhetorical skills questions test style, organization, and strategy. Most of my students dread rhetorical skills questions. They find them very difficult and time-consuming. So, let’s tackle order of sentences, a common rhetorical skills question.

Seven steps to tackle order of sentences in a paragraph

  • Step one, pay attention to bracketed numbers at the beginning of each sentence in a paragraph. That’s going to be a red flag, that there’s going to be a question about sentence order.
  • Step two, sentence order’s determined by a clear logical flow. There has to be a flow from one sentence to the next.
  • Step three, the topic of one sentence must connect to the topic of the previous sentence and the sentence that follows. So, there’s really three sentences that have to work together.
  • Step four, try this sentence in different places to find the only place where that sentence will connect to what came before and what comes after, and we’ll see that on the example. There’s only one place where the sentence in question will work.
  • Step five, look for a sudden shift in the action. That’s a good sign that the sentences are out of order.
  • Step six, look for transition words that indicate an introduction conclusion, or that a pair of sentences should go back to back
  • Step seven, definitely use process of elimination.

If you have any questions or you want more in-depth tutoring, either online or in person, simply email, and we’ll be glad to help you.

Good luck.

What was your biggest takeaway from this video tutorial about Order of Sentences in a Paragraph? Do you have any questions for Terri and Alexis Avila?

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