3.      Repeating Key Words and Using Synonyms

3. s

One effective way to create coherence within a paragraph is to repeat key words throughout the paragraph. This helps make the focus of the paragraph clear to the reader. You can use synonyms, or words that have a similar meaning, to avoid using key words too much.

Directions: Read the passage below and then answer the questions that follow.

Version A

Repeating the Story of the Titanic
¹The sinking of the world’s most famous ship in 1912 generated three waves of Titanic mania. ²The first wave happened immediately after the disaster, with newsreels, books, poems, and songs telling stories of suffering and bravery. ³The mid-1950s, in the midst of the cold war, is generally considered to represent the second wave of Titanic fever, when a mist of nostalgia hung over the disaster—a longing for a society in which people behaved according to a strict set of rules. ?Thirty years later, in 1985, oceanographer Robert Ballard and French explorer Jean-Louis Michel discovered the wreckage of the Titanic lying roughly two and a half miles below the ocean’s surface. ?The world went into a Titanic frenzy again, with the third wave becoming even more intense than those before. ?This was followed in 1997 by the release of James Cameron’s blockbuster film, Titanic, starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio as two lovers from vastly different backgrounds who meet on board the doomed ship, which has made over $2 billion worldwide and is one of the most successful movies of all time. ?Indeed, the disaster has become such a widely recognized story that the event almost seems to repeat itself on a never-ending loop.
Source: Wilson, Andrew. “Why the Titanic Still Fascinates Us.” Smithsonian.com, www.smithsonianmag.com/history/why-the-titanic-still-fascinates-us.

What is the most important key word in this paragraph?

Which sentences in the paragraph repeat the key word to create coherence? Check all that apply.

Which of the following does the paragraph use as a synonym for the key word “mania”?

Version B

The Power of Music
¹Many people think of music as a source of entertainment, while others feel it’s just a tune playing in the background. ²However, active listening of anything from a Mozart symphony to a Beatles song has an enormous, positive effect on the brain. ³Engagement with music can improve memory and focus, especially in children, by stimulating the brain. ?It also engages parts of the brain that control our emotions. ?When you listen to music, the brain releases dopamine, prolactin, and serotonin, which are chemicals that boost your mood. ?As a result, people tend to feel an increase in energy and a decrease in stress levels. ?Finally, tuning out and turning on your tunes can shift your brain waves from beta to more relaxed alpha and theta states.
Source: ”Music and Health: 11 Ways Playing and Listening to Music Help Both Body and Mind.” Huffington Post. Huffington Post, 11 April 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2012.

What is the most important key word in this paragraph?

Which sentences in the paragraph repeat the key word to create coherence? Check all that apply.

Which of the following does the paragraph use as a synonym for the key word “music”?

Version C

Has Gender Equality Been Achieved?
¹For many Americans, equality between the genders is a shared, if not given, value. ²Nevertheless, the statistics show that Americans differ on whether enough has been done to achieve balanced opportunities between men and women. ³A greater number of women than men believe that equality has not been achieved, and the data suggest women are right. ?Equality has not been achieved in the workplace, where a women makes 77 cents for every dollar a man makes according to the Department of Labor statistics. ?Also, the median annual earning for full-time, year-round women workers in 2010 was $36,931 compared with men’s $47,715. ?In addition to the workplace, women also have less of a voice in government. ?Women constitute about 51% of the population, but they hold only 17% of the seats in Congress, which suggests that balance has not yet been achieved in this sphere either.
Source: Shannon, Victoria. “Equal Rights for Women? Survey Says: Yes, but…” The New York Times, 1 July 2010, www.nytimes.com/2010/07/01/world/01iht-poll.html?_r=0.

What is the most important key word in this paragraph?

Which sentences in the paragraph repeat the key word to create coherence? Check all that apply.

Which of the following does the paragraph use as a synonym for the key word “equality”?

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