The exercise on the next page is a sample exercise. Its purpose is to demonstrate how the information you have studied in Parts One and Two is put to use in reading.

A second purpose of the sample exercise is to preview the 30 exercises which appear in Part Four. Reading the sample paragraph and answering the sample questions will help you get off to a good start.

The answers to the questions are fully explained. Reasons are given showing why the correct answers are the best answers and where the wrong answers are faulty.

Complete the sample exercise carefully and thoughtfully. Do not go on to Part Four until you are certain you understand what a conclusion is and how a correct conclusion is drawn.

Sample Exercise

Picture yourself, if you will, having to deal with this problem. You're a scuba diver, diving in the Pacific off the California coast. You've been swimming for an hour among thick graceful strands of an undersea kelp forest. Every so often, you check your air supply. All too soon, it's time to surface. As you go up, a huge wave surges past overhead and rolls on toward the shore. At the same time, you feel yourself jerked backward. The wave has loosened the line anchoring your surface marker buoy, tangling it around your air regulator like a lasso. Your air supply is cut off. Unless something happens, and quickly, you'll be the victim of an underwater hanging.

1. A scuba diver should

  1. keep track of his air supply.
  2. avoid diving in a kelp forest.
  3. always dive in shallow water.
  4. never use a surface marker.

2. Which of the following conclusions can be drawn from the paragraph?

  1. A scuba diver requires great strength.
  2. A scuba diver requires military experience.
  3. A scuba diver requires special training.
  4. A scuba diver requires financial independence.

3. The reader may conclude that scuba equipment

  1. is dangerous.
  2. permits underwater freedom.
  3. is poorly designed.
  4. causes breathing problems.

4. Underline the sentence which supports the conclusion that a scuba diver should never dive alone.

Answers and Explanations

1. The best answer to the first question is a: A scuba diver should keep track of his air supply. The paragraph supports this conclusion. It states that the diver checked his air supply periodically and started to surface when it was time to do so. In other words, it is important that a scuba diver keep track of his air supply so as not to run out before reaching the surface.

Answers b, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:

Answer b: The paragraph states that the diver swam for an hour in the kelp forest and suggests that it offers beauty and interest.

Answers c and d: No mention is made of water depth; however, the paragraph suggests that the surface marker buoy is there for reasons of safety.

2. The best answer to question 2 is c: A scuba diver needs special training. This is a reasonable conclusion. It seems that special training is necessary to use scuba gear and to deal with the problems of this underwater sport.

Answers a, b, and d are wrong for these reasons:

Answer a: Military experience might be useful, but it is certainly not necessary to a person who wants to enjoy scuba diving.

Answer b: To conclude, from the paragraph, that great strength is necessary for scuba diving is obviously false.

Answer d: Most probably scuba equipment is not inexpensive, but it is not so expensive that a person must be financially independent to purchase it and enjoy the sport.

3. The best answer to question 3 is b: scuba equipment permits underwater freedom. It can be concluded from the paragraph that a scuba diver carries his own air supply with him and can swim freely underwater for a long time.

Answers a, c, and d are wrong for these reasons:

Answer a: It can be concluded from the paragraph that there are risks attached to using scuba gear, but it would be an over-exaggeration to conclude that scuba equipment is dangerous.

Answers c and d: Equipment which is sold to the public and allows underwater exploration is most probably well designed and should not cause breathing problems if it is well used and properly serviced.

4. The best answer to question 4 is the last sentence: Unless something happens, and quickly, you'll be the victim of an underwater hanging. This sentence reinforces the conclusion that a person should never dive alone.

If you had difficulty answering these questions correctly, review the paragraph and questions. If, after that, you still do not understand the answers and explanations, check with your instructor before going on.