This ACT test prep video is from my ACT Questions Explained series. This installment is a walk-through of ACT Practice Test 1, Reading Question 4, from the ACT Red Book (the only book that has *real* ACT questions/tests).
This question appears on page 181.
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This question asks us to find the main point of Paragraph 1. In general, how do we find main points of paragraphs. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. However, here are three places to start:
1) The first sentence of a paragraph is often (not always) a topic sentence that clearly states the paragraph’s main idea/point.
2) The last sentence of a paragraph will sometimes (not always) reiterate the paragraph’s main idea.
3) A paragraph’s main point is often (not always) repeated in the paragraph. Look for ideas in the paragraph that are restated/paraphrased/elaborated upon/etc.
*Answer Choice F: The OPR (On-Point Restatement, i.e., the correct answer). Fran says in the first sentence of the paragraph that she knew “she” (Linda Rose) was a homing pigeon. By line 6, she has repeated this idea twice more (“U-Turn” and “human boomerang”). Thus, in Line 6, she states she was not surprised…to receive the letter from Linda Rose.
*Answer Choice G: Restates part of Paragraph 1, but the wrong part. Fran’s *mother* thought of Linda Rose as a “wild little bird.” However, Fran says her mother was wrong because she knew Linda Rose would eventually come back. So, the “wild little bird” reference in the first paragraph actually contradicts Fran’s opinion of Linda Rose – and it’s this opinion that’s the main point!
*Answer Choice H: Contradicted by the passage. In Line 6, Fran explicitly states that she was *not* surprised by Linda Rose’s letter.
*Answer Choice J: Restates part of Paragraph 1, but the wrong part. The fact that the writing reminds Fran of her own is simply a supporting detail – not the main point. It gives us a clue that whoever wrote the letter (which, at this point in the passage, is still a mystery) is related to Fran. But the main point is the idea that shows up in the topic sentence and is repeated throughout the paragraph: Fran knew that “she” (the writer of the letter, who turns out to be her daughter, Linda Rose) would eventually reconnect with her.