Critical Reasoning- Good Writing

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Critical Reasoning- Good Writing

In an attempt to encourage “livelier” writing, some teachers want children to stop using words like ‘said’, which doesn’t have any emotion. The assumption here is that emotion is a desirable quality in every word of a sentence, and that a rich word is always more appropriate than a plain one. You don’t have to invoke Hemingway, who made a fetish of plain words, to recognize that successful writing modulates the lavishness of its diction for effect, rather than cranking the dial all the way to maximum floridity and leaving it there.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?

  1. Successful writers use only plain, unemotional words.
  2. Emotion is not a desirable quality in every sentence.
  3. Avoiding words like “said” helps children improve their writing.
  4. Good writers use rich words in moderation, for effect.
  5.  

    • Correct Answer
      Choice D

    Detailed Solution

    The paragraph clearly disagrees with teachers who want children to stop using words like ‘said’, citing the reason that the word does not convey any emotion. It argues that emotion is not a desirable quality in every word in a sentence, and that a “rich” word is not necessarily better than a plain one. The paragraph goes on to say that even without taking the example of Hemingway, who was known for his use of plain words, one can easily see that successful writing is not about use of excessively florid or flamboyant language, but about the prudent use of rich words for effect.

    Now, let us have a look at the options one-by-one to see which one conveys the main idea of the paragraph:

    Option A. Successful writers use only plain, unemotional words.

    The paragraph does say that successful writers use plain words. But of course this does not mean they use only plain, unemotional words. They moderate the lavishness of language for effect. So option A is not the right choice.

    Option B. Emotion is not a desirable quality in every sentence.

    The paragraph does question the idea that emotion is a desirable quality in every word of a sentence. But it does not outrightly reject emotion as something that is not desirable in every sentence. So option B is not the correct choice.

    Option C. Avoiding words like “said” helps children improve their writing.

    Clearly, this statement runs contrary to the main idea of the paragraph.

    Option D. Good writers use rich words in moderation, for effect.

    This option sums up the main idea of the paragraph well. Successful writing does not involve squeezing in as many emotional and flowery words as the writer can use in the write-up, but use of rich words in moderation, to create an effect.

    Correct Answer: Choice (d)



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