Questions 1-14. Read the following passage carefully before you choose your answers.
(The passage below is from a book by a nineteenth-century British writer.)
I suppose none of us will doubt that everything possible should be done to improve the quality of the mind of every human being.—If it is said that the female brain is incapable of studies of an abstract nature,—that is not true: for there are many instances of women who have been good mathematicians, and good classical scholars. The plea is indeed nonsense on the face of it; for the brain which will learn French will learn Greek; the brain which enjoys arithmetic is capable of mathematics.—If it is said that women are light-minded and superficial, the obvious answer is that their minds should be the more carefully sobered by grave studies, and the acquisition of exact knowledge.—If it is said that their vocation in life does not require these kinds of knowledge,—that is giving up the main plea for the pursuit of them by boys;—that it improves the quality of their minds. —If it is said that such studies unfit women for their proper occupations,—that again is untrue. Men do not attend the less to their professional business, their counting-house or their shop, for having their minds enlarged and enriched, and their faculties strengthened by sound and various knowledge; nor do women on that account neglect the work-basket, the market, the dairy and the kitchen. If it be true that women are made for these domestic occupations, then of course they will be fond of them. They will be so fond of what comes most naturally to them that no book-study (if really not congenial to their minds) will draw them off from their homely duties. For my part, I have no hesitation whatever in saying that the most ignorant women I have known have been the worst housekeepers; and that the most learned women I have known have been among the best,—wherever they have been early taught and trained to household business, as every woman ought to be. A woman of superior mind knows better than an ignorant one what to require of her servants, how to deal with tradespeople, and how to economise time: she is more clear-sighted about the best ways of doing things; has a richer mind with which to animate all about her, and to solace her own spirit in the midst of her labours. If nobody doubts the difference in pleasantness of having to do with a silly and narrow-minded woman and with one who is intelligent and enlightened, it must be clear that the more intelligence and enlightenment there is, the better. One of the best housekeepers I know,—a simple-minded, affectionate-hearted woman, whose table is always fit for a prince to sit down to, whose house is always neat and elegant, and whose small income yields the greatest amount of comfort, is one of the most learned women ever heard of. When she was a little girl, she was sitting sewing in the window-seat while her brother was receiving his first lesson in mathematics from his tutor. She listened, and was delighted with what she heard; and when both left the room, she seized upon the Euclid that lay on the table, ran up to her room, went over the lesson, and laid the volume where it was before. Every day after this, she sat stitching away and listening, in like manner, and going over the lesson afterwards, till one day she let out the secret. Her brother could not answer a question which was put to him two or three times; and, without thinking of anything else, she popped out the answer. The tutor was surprised, and after she had told the simple truth, she was permitted to make what she could of Euclid. Some time after, she spoke confidentially to a friend of the family,—a scientific professor,—asking him, with much hesitation and many blushes, whether he thought it was wrong for a woman to learn Latin. “Certainly not,” he said; “provided she does not neglect any duty for it.—But why do you want to learn Latin?” She wanted to study Newton’s Principia: and the professor thought this a very good reason. Before she was grown into a woman, she had mastered the Principia of Newton. And now, the great globe on which we live is to her a book in which she reads the choice secrets of nature; and to her the last known wonders of the sky are disclosed: and if there is a home more graced with accomplishments, and more filled with comforts, I do not know such an one. Will anybody say that this woman would have been in any way better without her learning?—while we may confidently say that she would have been much less happy.
1. Which of the following best describes a strategy the author uses to win the favor of her audience?
(A) Focusing on appeals to emotion rather than appeals based on logic or ethical imperatives
(B) Raising suspicions about the motives of those who disagree with her viewpoint
(C) Dramatizing the negative consequences of continuing with the current state of affairs
(D) Addressing readers from the outset as being reasonable people of goodwill
(E) Establishing authority by highlighting her own extensive education
2. The author’s rhetorical stance is characterized by a dynamic tension between her
(A) appeal for change and her insistence that such a change does not threaten the status quo
(B) celebration of women’s intellect and her apparent unwillingness to name examples of outstanding female thinkers
(C) sympathy for women writers and her desire not to appear too partial toward them
(D) efforts to valorize domestic labor and her obvious distaste for the drudgery of such work
(E) concern for the state of women’s education and her conviction that men’s education needs reform as well
3. The tone of lines 3-19 (“If it is said . . . is untrue”) is most accurately characterized as
(This question counts for one-third of the total essay section score.)
In today’s world, plastic bags are ubiquitous because of their convenience, low cost, and durability. It is increasingly difficult to go through the day without using a plastic bag. However, the use of plastic bags has contributed to substantial environmental problems. In response, some communities have decided to limit or discourage the use of plastic bags.
Carefully read the following six sources, including the introductory information for each source. Then, synthesize material from at least three of the sources and incorporate it into a coherent, well-developed essay that takes a position on the extent to which your community should limit plastic bags, if at all.
Your argument should be the focus of your essay. Use the sources to develop your argument and explain the reasoning for it. Avoid merely summarizing the sources. Indicate clearly which sources you are drawing from whether through direct quotation, paraphrase, or summary. You may cite the sources as Source A, Source B, etc., or by using the descriptions in parentheses.
Source A (Ritch)
Source B (Suzuki)
Source C (chart)
Source D (Gunther)
Source E (Rael)
Source F (McGrath)