DIRECTIONS Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For som...
Each passage below is accompanied by a number of questions. For some questions, you will consider how the passage might be revised to improve the expression of ideas. For other questions, you will consider how the passage might be edited to correct errors in sentence structure, usage, or punctuation. A passage or a question may be accompanied by one or more graphics (such as a table or graph) that you will consider as you make revising and editing decisions.
Some questions will direct you to an underlined portion of a passage. Other questions will direct you to a location in a passage or ask you to think about the passage as a whole. After reading each passage, choose the answer to each question that most effectively improves the quality of writing in the passage or that makes the passage conform to the conventions of standard written English. Many questions include a “NO CHANGE” option. Choose that option if you think the best choice is to leave the relevant portion of the passage as it is.
A total of 11 questions are based on the following passage.
Thomas Nast, the Crusading Cartoonist
“Stop them pictures!” Legend has it that the corrupt politician William “Boss” Tweed once used those words when ordering someone to offer a bribe to Thomas Nast, an artist who had become famous for cartoons that called for reforms to end corruption. [Q1] As a result, Tweed’s attempt to silence the artist failed, and Nast’s cartoons, published in magazines like Harper’s Weekly, actually played a key role in bringing Boss Tweed and his cronies to justice.
[Q2] There were powerful political organizations in the 1860s and the 1870s. The organizations were known as “political machines” and started taking control of city governments. These political machines were able to pack legislatures and courts with hand-picked supporters by purchasing [Q3] votes, a form of election fraud involving the exchange of money or favors for votes. Once a political machine had control of enough important positions, its members were able to use public funds to enrich themselves and their friends. Boss Tweed’s Tammany Hall group, which controlled New York [Q4] City in the 1860s—stole more than $30 million, the equivalent of more than $365 million today.
[Q5] Tweed had been elected to a single two-year term in Congress in 1852. Tammany Hall was so powerful and [Q6] corrupt that, the New York Times, commented “There is absolutely nothing . . . in the city which is beyond the reach of the insatiable gang.”
Given the extent of Tweed’s power, it is remarkable that a single cartoonist could have played such a significant role in bringing about his downfall. Nast’s cartoons depicted Tweed as a great big bloated thief. One of the artist’s most [Q7] famous images showed Tweed with a bag of money in place of his [Q8] head. Another featured Tweed leaning against a ballot box with the caption “As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?” These cartoons were so effective in part because many of the citizens who supported Tweed were illiterate and thus could not read the newspaper accounts of his criminal activities. Nast’s cartoons, though, widely exposed the public to the injustice of Tweed’s political machine.
Nast’s campaign to bring down Tweed and the Tammany Hall gang was ultimately successful. In the elections of 1871, the public voted against most of the Tammany Hall candidates, greatly weakening Tweed’s power. Eventually, Tweed and his gang were [Q9] persecuted for a number of charges, including fraud and larceny, and many of them were sent to jail. In 1875 Tweed escaped from jail and fled to Spain and unwittingly [Q10] brought about one final [Q11] pinnacle for the power of political cartoons: A Spanish police officer recognized Tweed from one of Nast’s cartoons. Consequently, Tweed was sent back to jail, and Nast was hailed as the man who toppled the great Tammany Hall machine.
What will be the most pertinent answer to Q4?
The correct answer is B.
Choice B is the best answer because the comma after “1860s” is used correctly with the comma after “group” to set off the inessential (nonrestrictive) clause “which controlled New York City in the 1860s.”
Choice A is incorrect because a dash cannot be used in conjunction with a comma to set off a nonessential clause. Either two commas or two dashes may be used, but not one of each. Choice C is incorrect because a comma is not needed after “City.” Choice D is incorrect because a comma is necessary to separate the nonessential clause from the rest of the sentence.
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