ACT english practice test 29

DIRECTIONS: In the passages that follow, certain words and phrases are underlined and numbered. In the right-hand column, you will find alternatives for the underlined part. In most cases, you are to choose the one that best expresses the idea, makes the statement appropriate for standard written English, or is worded most consistently with the style and tone of the passage as a whole. If you think the original version is best, choose “NO CHANGE.” In some cases, you will find in the right-hand column a question about the underlined part. You are to choose the best answer to the question.

You will also find questions about a section of the passage, or about the passage as a whole. These questions do not refer to an underlined portion of the passage, but rather are identified by a number or numbers in a box.

For each question, choose the alternative you consider best and fill in the corresponding oval on your answer document. Read each passage through once before you begin to answer the questions that accompany it. For many of the questions, you must read several sentences beyond the question to determine the answer. Be sure that you have read far enough ahead each time you choose an alternative.

The following paragraphs may or may not be in the most logical order. Each paragraph is numbered in brackets, and question 59 will ask you to choose where Paragraph 2 should most logically be placed.

Sherwood Anderson the Pioneer


Sherwood Anderson saw his first novel, Windy McPherson's Son, published in 1916, but it was not until 1919 with the publication of his masterpiece Winesburg, Ohio that Anderson was pushed to the forefront of it46 in American literature. The latter book, something between a short-story collection and a novel, helping47 to inaugurate an age of a truly homespun American Modernism.


As other writers began to supplant him in the popular imagination, Anderson tireless48 continued his literary experimentation until his death in 1941. In the contemporary popular imagination, Anderson's influence often appears to be49 diminishing. But it takes only a few pages of Winesburg, Ohio or many of his other short stories, articles, and novels to see that Anderson is still very much with us today and that much of what we understand about ourselves as Americans was made clear to us only by the pen of the advertising man from Ohio.


Sherwood Anderson would be seen by a new generation of American writers as the first author to take a real step until50 creating a type of literature that was in tune with something previously only associated with Europe. Anderson was able to fuse51 his sense of the passing of the Industrial Age in America with a type of uniquely American expression that sought to replace previous literary conventions with more local expressions of fragmentation and alienation.


With Winesburg, Ohio, Anderson inspired52 a younger group of writers, among whose ranks were Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner, to embrace their American experiences and to express them in ways separate from those being expressed by European writers or American expatriates, as American writers living abroad were known.53 When Winesburg, Ohio finally appeared in 1919, its general reception was positive, but limited54 to those who were able to find copies of the book. Anderson's later books, such as Dark Laughter, would go on to sell many more copies.55


In the 1920s, Anderson wrote some direct responses to the more explicit examples of literary Modernism in Europe. In the 1930s, Anderson wrote Beyond Desire But Anderson's most important contributions in the 1920s and 1930s are best felt indirectly through the works of the various writers57 he inspired. Anderson was among the first to explore the troubled relationship between the city and the rural town, the direct style to which we so often apply the name, "American,"58 and the idea that deeply intellectual concerns can be relevant to everyday people as much as they can to academics. Even today, Anderson's initial treatment of these themes remains an important starting point for anyone interested in American culture.


G. this
H. a new movement
J. a thing


B. which helped
C. helped
D. was helped

48. The best placement for the underlined word would be:

F. where it is now.
G. before the word death.
H. after the word experimentation.
J. before the word literary.

49. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would NOT be acceptable?

A. can seem to be
B. appeared to be
C. seems to be
D. can appear to be


G. at
H. toward
J. DELETE the underlined portion.


B. fuse;
C. fuse:
D. fuse,

52. Which of the following alternatives to the underlined portion would be LEAST acceptable?

F. encouraged
G. motivated
H. forced
J. emboldened


B. expatriates, as American writers living abroad, were known.
C. expatriates as American writers living abroad were known.
D. expatriates as American writers living abroad, were known.


G. positive but limited,
H. positive; but limited
J. positive but limited

55. Given that all the choices are true, which one best supports the point that although Anderson's book was difficult to find, those who read it were very impressed?

B. Many critics still preferred the older European models of writing.
C. Winesburg, Ohio remains one of Anderson's best-loved books.
D. Those who did secure a copy of Winesburg, Ohio felt that it inaugurated a new age in American literature.

56. Given that all the following are true, which one, if added here, would provide the clearest and most effective indication that Anderson was doing things that had not been done before in American literature?

F. , which addressed social questions that only social scientists and propagandists dared touch.
G. , which was heavily influenced by the literature of the Southern Populist movement.
H. , which has been named by many literary critics as a highlight from Anderson's later work.
J. , which was not as highly revered as Winesburg, Ohio.

57. The best placement for the underlined phrase would be:

A. where it is now.
B. after the word contributions.
C. after the word 1930s.
D. after the word inspired (ending the sentence with a period).


G. name "American,"
H. name "American"
J. name, "American"

59. This question ask about the preceding passage as a whole.

For the sake of the logic and coherence of this essay, Paragraph 2 should be placed:

A. where it is now.
B. after Paragraph 3.
C. after Paragraph 4.
D. after Paragraph 5.

60. This question ask about the preceding passage as a whole.

Suppose the writer's goal was to draft an essay that would show the influence of one American author on the work of future authors. Does this essay successfully accomplish this goal?

F. Yes, because it describes an interesting group of authors and focuses on the literature of a particular country.
G. Yes, because it gives a brief description of Sherwood Anderson's writing career and discusses his influence on writers whom his work inspired.
H. No, because it limits the focus to the contrasts between American writing and European writing.
J. No, because it refers only to events that took place in the twenties and thirties.