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June 2007, Passage 1, Question 6


Question six. So question six is a purpose of a detail question. It says, in the context of the passage, the author's primary purpose in mentioning. So when they ask you about some specific thing that they mentioned, they say why did they do it.

That's a purpose of a detail question. Here the detail that we need to know the purpose of, is mentioning Dove's experience in Germany. Generally speaking, you should have the answer to these kinds of questions in your notes, because when you're writing notes about a reading comp passage, you should really be focusing on the function of specific words.

Why did they say this? How does this relate to other parts of the passage? So in our notes, this was just an example of one of Rita Dove's opinions about the division between poetry and fiction, and how it's not a very good division. It's just an example use to prove her thoughts or to illustrate her thoughts. So that's what we're gonna be looking for in the answer choices.

So answer choice A, suggesting that the habit of separating these two things is characteristic of English-speaking societies but not others. Now, while the US does speak English and Germany speaks German, Rita Dove never said that this was something that English nations do versus German-speaking nations. Answer choice A, is not in the passage. Answer choice B, point to an experience that reinforced Dove's conviction that poetry and fiction should not be rigidly separated.

That works, we said it was an example of one of her opinions. So this is pointing to an experience that reinforced her conviction, her opinion. So yeah, B works, that's our answer. Let's see why the others aren't our answer. Answer choice C, indicate that Dove's strength as a writer derive in large part from the international character of her academic background.

The author never said this. The author said that Dove's strengths come from mixing these two genres, not from being an international or sort. Answer choice D, present an illuminating biographical detail in an effort to enhance the human interest appeal. All that may be the sort of thing you would do in an article you were writing for a magazine or something, it would be a completely subjective claim to say that, that was happening here.

I don't know that this enhances human interest appeal, it's here to give us an example of her views, not to make us more interested. D is not our answer. And then E, indicate what Dove believes to be the origin of our opposition. So this is closed, but they didn't say she learned it in Germany. It's just that Germany provides a good example of the sort of thing she believes.

So it's not the origin, so it's not answer choice E.

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