Question 1 - High School English II: Writing Practice Test for the STAAR test

Read the attached passage, looking for any revisions that need to be made. Then answer this and the following four questions about the passage. (You will have access to the passage for all of the questions about it.)

What is the best way to combine sentences 16 and 17?

Lance has written this essay to convince the reader of the need to support and protect mountain gorillas. Read Lance’s essay and look for corrections he needs to make. When you finish reading, answer the questions that follow.

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Mountain Gorillas Need Our Voice and Our Support

(1) People are generally quick to come to the assistance of those in need. (2) We fundraise for families whose lives have been touched by tragedy, both natural and man-made. (3) We donate time and materials to organizations established to help people get back on their feet. (4) Some volunteer in soup kitchens or community pantries to make sure that citizens get enough to eat. (5) There is a group in extreme danger that needs more of our help: the mountain gorilla.

(6) While mountain gorillas live in far-away regions of Africa, they are closer to humans than most people realize and they deserve increased protection and support. (7) Due to poaching, disease, and destruction of their natural habitat, the mountain gorilla population is dwindling to dangerously low numbers that could result in the extinction of the entire species within the next 25 years. (8) More must be done to bring attention to their plight.

(9) Gorillas have 98% of our genetic code. (10) They are like distant cousins. (11) Like humans, they have unique fingerprints in five-fingered hands with opposable thumbs, just like humans. (12) They can suffer from the same diseases as humans, including pneumonia and sinus infections.

(13) Their community structure is very much like those of humans. (14) Organized in family units that remain bonded for life, mountain gorilla families defend and protect one another from danger and work together to raise their young. (15) They eat, sleep, and play together. (16) They communicate with one another through a complex system of sound patterns. (17) They use facial expressions and body language to also communicate with one another and express their emotions.

(18) Gorillas die naturally of disease and old age, but more often they die because of preventable human-related causes. (19) Poaching and encroachment into their natural habitats endanger these magnificent animals. (20) In the Congo Basin, mountain gorillas are being pushed higher up into the mountains and must stay their for longer periods as people are coming into their territory, seeking to exploit the land of its natural resources.

(21) As caring, compassionate people, it is the responsibility of humans to extend our desire to help others by helping these close relatives of ours. (22) Gorillas cannot speak up for themselves, they cannot get their own stories told, they cannot create legislation in their country to protect themselves. (23) But humans can. (24) Humans can spread the word about the value and worth of these creatures as living, breathing beings. (25) We can share their stories of habitat loss and tragic poaching attacks in an attempt to bring attention and change. (26) We can push for legislation that will help protect these distant cousins of ours and ensure that this generation of mountain gorillas won’t be the last.

Image retrieved from: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/50/Mountain_
Gorilla%2CBwindi%2C_Uganda_%2815135296098%29.jpg

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