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SAT (Fall 2023)

Course: SAT (Fall 2023) > Unit 11

Lesson 3: Writing: Grammar

Writing: Setting Up Ideas — Video Lesson

David works through a setups question on the SAT Writing and Language test. Created by David Rheinstrom.

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Video transcript

- [Instructor] Which phrase most effectively sets up the examples in the second part of the sentence? All right. Just from the phrase sets up, we can tell this is a setting up ideas question. There will be two to three of these on your SAT. Now the best, most effective set up is the one that best introduces a new idea. Those ideas usually take the form of examples, comparisons or quotes. Your job in a question like this is to pick the choice that best prepares the reader for what's coming. So let's go back to the question. All right, this is question three, and we want to know about the examples in the second half of the sentence, right, this sentence here. So what are those examples? Okay, they don't require physical storage space. They don't need to be photocopied and collated, and they are less likely to be physically misplaced. What's the they? It looks like electronic medical records. So for set ups questions, we recommend that you identify the purpose of the information that you're setting up. In other words, what's the point that the examples, comparisons or quotes are supporting? So, electronic medical records don't require physical storage space. They don't need to be photocopied and they're harder to lose than, I assume, paper medical records. These seem like good things, so I'm going to give a little positive by each one. They don't need that. They don't need to be photocopied and collated, and they're harder to lose. So I'm gonna go through the choices and see if they're broadly positive or negative. Anything that isn't positive, I can discard. So, okay, so choice A, no change, regrettably, well, that's negative right off the bat. Regrettably, electronic medical records require infrastructure that can be expensive to build. Okay, so yeah, that's a negative choice. I don't think this sets up our positive examples. Choice B, electronic health records provide many advantages over paper ones. That's positive. I bet this is our answer. Choice C, researchers have weighed the benefits and drawbacks of electronic health records. Well, that's both negative and positive at the same time. So that doesn't set up our list of positive examples, and finally, Choice D. Typically, electronic health records need a full-time staff to maintain them, and this doesn't seem to introduce a list, and the existence of a full-time staff is kind of neutral. Maybe a question mark or an equal sign. That's not a plus or negative, it just is. I feel confident that B is my answer. The examples are all positive and Choice B sets up a list of advantages. So there we go, B is our answer. Let's review strategy for questions like these. Once you've identified that you're looking at a setting up ideas question, first, identify what's being set up. Is it an example, a quote, a comparison? And then ask yourself, what's the point? The paragraph will be making a larger point, so if you can put that point in your own words, great. Finally, eliminate choices that don't match. Here, we matched positive examples to a positive set up, but this plus minus strategy may not always work. In other cases, you might be asked to provide a set up for some other type of information. For example, if you're asked to set up a quotation, you might need a set up that introduces the person whose being quoted. What's most important is that both the set up and the information that follows contain similar ideas and work together to say something that makes sense in the context of the passage. Figuring out what has been set up or what that set up is trying to do will lead you to the answer. Good luck out there. You've got this.