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    Reading Comprehension
  I: Introduction  
  II: The Challenge  
  III: The Five Steps  
  IV: Question Types  
  V: Tips  
  VI: Sample Essays  
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VI. Reading Comprehension Sample Questions- Easy Essay 7  
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Sample Essays


5 Questions/ 9 Minutes

Samuel L. Clemens (known to us as Mark Twain) died on April 21 at the age of seventy-four. A great career, characteristically American, was then closed. Literature, humor, and moral progress suffered a severe loss.

Since his death, many glowing tributes have been paid to Mark Twain by men and women of distinction, both in Europe and America. It is satisfying to know that in his rather sad old age, a period of loneliness, Mark Twain knew that he had the admiration of legions of readers. He had been honored by English literary bodies; he had won recognition as one of the most original and gifted men of letters in America.

Mark Twain’s humor, rich and delicious as it was, was always fundamentally serious. It was the humor of a deep thinker, a philosopher who loved mankind while seeing all its weaknesses. Mark Twain was racy and whimsical, but he was never guilty of deliberate coarseness, and as President Taft has remarked, “he never wrote a line that a father could not read to a daughter.” This is in spite of the fact that he wrote much about rough men, the taming of nature and the lower elements in man. He was candid, colloquial, “western”; but the civilization, ideas, and manners he expressed were essentially sound. Geniality, charity and unselfishness inspired every utterance.

Mark Twain wrote in several styles and contributed to several forms of literature. He is perhaps best known for his earliest works, and certainly his studies of bay nature are wonderfully acute and entertaining. But he also wrote excellent criticism and disguised philosophy. It was impossible for Mark Twain not to be humorous and stimulating, but even in his most exuberant and irrepressible moments, he was no boisterous jester.

The causes of political morality and democracy had in him a staunch defender. He took a deep interest in the social reforms of the day, and supported social settlements and similar welfare work. He was an enemy of snobbery, insincerity and corruption in public life.

1. According to the passage, Twain’s writing was all of the following EXCEPT

(A) fantastical
(B) frank
(C) risqué
(D) kind
(E) flippant

2. The quote from President Taft serves to highlight Twain’s

(A) soft-spoken style
(B) ability to be blunt without being offensive
(C) respect for decorum
(D) political tactfulness in his books
(E) support of family values

3. Which of the following exemplifies the kind of writing mentioned in Taft’s quote?

(A) a children’s book employing simplistic writing
(B) a TV comedy that is biting without being rude
(C) a patriotic song lauding American family values
(D) a criticism of the international political climate
(E) good old-fashioned family entertainment

4. according to the passage, in old age Twain was:
I. lonely
II. mournful
III. appreciated

(A) I only
(B) III only
(C) I and II only
(D) II and III only
(E) I, II, and III

5. Which of the following best summarizes the author’s main argument?

(A) Twain served his country as a great American writer.
(B) Twain’s humor was unparalleled among authors of his time.
(C) Twain was a prolific writer in many genres.
(D) Twain was a humanitarian and cared about many social and political issues.
(E) Twain’s death meant the loss of an extraordinary person.



Easy Essay 6

Medium Essay 1