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Writing: Narrative — How-to example

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- [Man] So we have a writing and language passage here. Dong Kingman: Painter of Cities. And what's neat about this is as we go through it, we'll have a chance to think about how we might edit this to make it maybe a little bit more grammatically correct or a little bit easier to read. A 1954 documentary about renowned watercolor painter Dong Kingman shows the artist sitting on a stool on Mott Street in New York City's Chinatown. A crowd of admiring spectators watches as Kingman squeezes dollops of paint from several tubes into a tin watercolor box, from just a few primary colors, Kingman creates dozens of beautiful hues as he layers the translucent paint onto the paper on his easel. So that sentence I just read, that felt like a lot. Even when I was reading it, it felt hard to take it all out in one breath. And where I paused here, at least when I was reading it, it felt like that could be a place where, instead of it just being a comma and keep going, that this is a good place to start a new sentence. But let me just make sure that the two parts of this long sentence right now can stand as their own as sentences. A crowd of admiring spectators watches as Kingman squeezes dollops of paint from several tubes into a tin watercolor box. Yeah, that's a sentence. And then after that, from just a few primary colors, Kingman creates dozens of beautiful hues as he layers the translucent paint onto his easel. Yeah, that's a sentence too, so I for sure would put a period after box here. And so when you see this one, this one with this gray box around it, that means we're in question one, and question one says do we want to rewrite this underlined part, and if we do, how do we do it? So we go to this, this is the question one right over here, and I want to change it. I want to put a period there to make this one big sentence into two cleaner sentences. And out of these choices, this is the only one that puts a period after the box. It makes it very clean, just the way I said. A period here, and then start a new sentence from just a few primary colors. This one over here actually just removes the comma, in some ways making what I think should be two sentences even more run-on. This one, they remove the comma back here, but that doesn't help the situation. I definitely don't want to just keep it as is. So I feel very confident about B. So let's keep going. So I finished with easel. Each stroke of the brush and dab of the sponge transforms thinly sketched outlines into buildings, shop signs, and streetlamps. The street scene Kingman begins composing in this short film is very much in keeping with the urban landscapes for which he is known best, or for which he is best known. Kingman, and when they have these numbers in brackets, this is now they're just numbering the sentences. Some of the questions, they might refer to these sentences in some way. So the numbers in these gray boxes, this is literally hey, how would you rewrite this underlined portion? And that's the question number. While this is they're referencing the actual sentences, so the first sentence is Kingman was keenly interested in landscape painting from an early age. In Hong Kong, where Kingman completed his schooling, teachers at that time customarily assigned students a formal school name, all right. His interest was so keen, in fact, that he was named after it. That felt a little awkward, he was named after what? After his school? Well, anyway, I'll just keep reading. The young boy who had been called Dong Moy Shu became Dong Kingman. The name Kingman was selected for its two parts, king and man, Cantonese for scenery and composition. So this is question two, how would we rewrite this? And they're saying the name Kingman was selected for its two parts, and then they give us a list, or they kind of give us clarification of those two parts. They say the two parts are king and man. So instead of a comma here, I'd probably go with a colon, hey, I gonna enumerate the two parts, I'm gonna say hey, the two parts, what were they? They were king and man, that's where a colon would make a lot of sense. And so let's see if the choices hopefully have that as an option. And out of all of these, it looks like this one actually does. It says two parts, king and man, and then they put a comma here because then we clarify that king and man, these are Cantonese for scenery and composition. So this one feels very good, I feel very confident about this one. This one is even worse, it kind of gets rid of that comma, this one gets a semi-colon right over here, two parts, king and man, semi-colon's kind of too strong, it's kind of making this a completely, we're kind of starting another somewhat independent clause over here. So I don't like that. I definitely like putting the colon here and then a comma here because Cantonese for scenery and composition is giving us more clarity where the king and the man is coming from. So I definitely like, but what really convinces me is putting the colon here because it enumerates the two parts, king and man. As Kingman developed as a painter, his works were often compared to paintings by Chinese landscape artists dating back to the Common Era 960, a time when a strong tradition of landscape painting emerged in Chinese art. Actually, for question three, this seems reasonable. I'm always suspicious of myself when I think that's something okay, but let me just double check. As Kingman developed as a painter, his works were often compared to paintings by Chinese landscape artists. Yeah, that's right, his works would be compared to paintings because his works are paintings. Landscape artists dating back to CE 960, a time when a strong tradition of landscape painting emerged in Chinese art. So for question three, I'm actually feeling no change, but let's look at the other choices. As Kingman developed as a painter, his works were often compared to Chinese landscape artists. No, you wouldn't compare his works, which are paintings, to other artists, you might compare Kingman to another artist, but his works wouldn't be compared to other artists, you're comparing an object, a painting, to people here. So this doesn't make sense. The second one, his works were often compared to painters of Chinese landscapes. Well no, that's the same thing, you're comparing the works to people. You might compare Kingman to painters, but this is comparing his works were often compared to, so it makes sense that his works would be compared to paintings, not to landscape artists or painters of Chinese landscapes, or compared to artists, and it looks like there's a little typo right over here, this D is probably, they said, hey, this is D, I'm using a prototype version of the interface, so there's probably gonna a little few bugs on the stuff that I'm making the videos on. But you wouldn't want to compare to the artists either. So let's keep going. I feel good about the no change. All right, let's keep going. So we are right here. Kingman, however, vacated from that tradition in a number of ways, most notably in that he chose to focus not on natural landscapes, such as mountains and rivers, but on cities. So vacated seems like a bit of an awkward word here. To vacate means to leave, so I guess, you know, I kinda get what they're saying, but it feels more like left from that tradition, or departed from that tradition might make more sense. But let's see what the choices are. So no change would be vacated, then you have evacuated from that tradition, that kind of, at least in my brain, imagines an emergency where he has to leave the tradition. Departed feels right, he departed from that tradition, he moved away from it in a number of ways. Retired from that tradition, yeah, that also doesn't feel quite right, so I would go with departed. Retired from that tradition in a number of ways, no, I think it's much more of like this, I imagine him splitting off from that tradition. Or even split, Kingman, however, split from that tradition in a number of ways would also be an interesting way to say it, but they didn't have that choice over here. So let's keep reading. Most notably in that he chose to focus not on natural landscapes, such as mountains and rivers, but on cities, and so now we have just question five here, I guess is probably referring to what we just read, so let's see what question five is. For the sake of cohesion of this paragraph, so that's the paragraph we just read, this one right over here. For the sake of cohesion of this paragraph, sentence three should be placed. So sentence three is this one right over here, that's sentence three right over here. Sentence three, and that's actually the one that tripped me up a little bit, 'cause I said his interest was so keen, in fact, he was named after it. And the sentence before it, they're talking about students assigned a formal school name. So was he named after his school in some way? So A is leaving it where it is now. B is before sentence one. So that means that this would be the first sentence in the paragraph. His interest was so keen, in fact, that he was named after it. Kingman was keenly interested in landscape painting from an early age, no, that doesn't, you know. This sentence is referring to something, so something else has to be written before. This would not be something that you would want to start the paragraph with. C, after sentence one, so let's see how that would read. Kingman was keenly interested in landscape painting from an early age. His interest was so keen, in fact, that he was named after it. In Hong Kong, where Kingman completed his schooling, teachers at that time customarily assigned students a formal school name. The young boy who had been called Dong Moy Shu became Dong Kingman. The name Kingman was selected for its two parts, king and man, Cantonese for scenery and composition. Yeah, I actually like this, after sentence one, because now actually, that thing that tripped me up when I said, hey, that he was named after and he was named after what? But now it's clear he was named after landscape painting. Kingman was keenly interested in landscape painting from an early age. His interest was so keen, in fact, that he was named after it. He was named after landscape painting, so it makes sense that sentence three comes right after sentence one, it's referring to what happened in sentence one. And it clarifies later on that he was named literally after landscape painting, king and man, Cantonese for scenery and composition, landscape painting. Now let's keep going. So this says question six of five, this I think is another bug out of the early prototype interface that I'm using, but the important thing is we do the questions. So it says which choice most, and so question six is referring I guess to this entire paragraph. Which choice most effectively establishes the main topic of the paragraph? So let's read this paragraph. His fine brushwork conveys detailed street-level activity: a peanut vendor pushing his cart on the sidewalk, a pigeon pecking for crumbs around a fire hydrant, an old man tending to a baby outside a doorway. His broader brushstrokes and sponge-painted shapes created majestic city skylines, with skyscrapers towering in the background, bridges connecting neighborhoods on either side of a river, and enormous ships maneuvering out of a busy harbor. To art critics and fans alike, these city scenes represented the innovative spirit of 20th-century urban Modernism. All right, so it's talking about all the different ways that he's able to paint and really convey what's happening in a city. So which choice most effectively establishes the main topic of the paragraph? Kingman is considered a pioneer of the California Style school, no, they're not even talking about the California Style. I didn't have to even finish reading that first one. Although cities were his main subject, Kingman did occasionally paint natural landscapes. No, this is really just talking about all the different ways that he really captured a city, they didn't say that he also occasionally did natural, this is really about how he captured cities. In his urban landscapes, Kingman captures the vibrancy of crowded cities. Yeah, I think that's pretty much it. That's what this paragraph is about. In 1929, Kingman moved to Oakland, California, where he attended the Fox Art School. No, that is not what this paragraph right here is about. And so let's go do question (laughs) seven out of five, so once again, this should say seven out of seven, but I think we get the point, let's answer this question. During his career, Kingman exhibited his work internationally. He garnered much acclaim. In 1936, a critic described, so that just felt a little bit robotic when I read that. Kingman exhibited his work internationally, period. He garnered much acclaim. In 1936, a critic described one of Kingman's solo exhibits as "20 of the freshest, most," and I'm just reading this just to finish the passage, if you're running out of time on the SAT, I would probably just try to answer this question and move on. But "20 of the freshest, most satisfying watercolors "that have ever been seen hereabouts in many a day." Since Kingman's death in 2000, museums across the United States and in China have continued to ensure that his now-iconic landscapes remain available for the public to enjoy. Well, let's go back to question seven. So, let's see the choices. So one is internationally, and Kingman also garnered. So Kingman exhibited his work internationally, and Kingman also garnered much acclaim. Now, that just seems, it's a little wordy, you're saying Kingman twice very close together, you don't need to, so I wouldn't do that one. Kingman exhibited his work internationally; from exhibiting, he garnered much acclaim. So much again, you're using exhibited up here, and you're using it again, it feels redundant. Kingman exhibited his work internationally, but garnered much acclaim. Well, but makes it seems like garnering acclaim is somehow something that you wouldn't expect for someone who's exhibiting internationally, but they kind of go together. Garnering acclaim should go along with it, it shouldn't be a but there, it shouldn't be contradicting it in some way, or going in another direction. So this would be Kingman exhibited his work internationally, garnering much acclaim. Yeah, just nice and simple. Exhibiting his work internationally, and in doing so, he's garnering much acclaim. Feels nice and clean, and gets to the point without being redundant or in some ways contradicting in a weird way. So yeah, feel good about these answers.