How to Answer Paragraph Organization Tests Part 1

Paragraph Organization or arranging separate sentences into a coherent paragraph composition is probably one of the most difficult types of test in the Civil Service Examination. In this series, I am going to show that it is actually not that hard.

In this post, I am going to show you how to analyze in details a Paragraph Organization sample question. The task is to arrange the five sentences below in correct order. Please read the sentences thoroughly before you continue.

paragraph organization 2 Locating the First Sentence

Knowing the first sentence is very crucial in Paragraph Organizaiton questions.  Always remember that the first sentence is a topic introduction. From the sentences above, B, C, and E cannot be topic introductions because they begin with “in fact,” “indeed” and “not only that.” These are clauses that refer to ‘something’ that has already been introduced.  Therefore, we are only left with A and C as possible topic introduction.

It looks like A and C are both good candidates for introduction, but notice that all of the sentences talk about action figures which is obviously the topic.  In A, the subject of the sentence is “small children, adult, and adults” which is not the topic. In C on the other hand, the sentence talks about collecting action figures. Therefore, the first sentence is C.

Locating the Second Sentence

The second sentence usually elaborates the first sentence. Looking from the paragraph, A and B are the only candidates (Why?). However, notice that in the first sentence, we are talking about many Filipinos. Now, who is ‘closer’ to “many Filipinos”? The author’s father, or the children, teenagers, and adults? In addition, observe below that it is a bit “strange” if we place B as the second sentence. Further, if we place B as the second sentence, we would not find any place for A later. Therefore, the correct answer is A.

Correct

Collecting action figures has become a popular hobby for many Filipinos nowadays. Small children, teenagers, and even adults would spend money just to get ahold of their favorite action heroes.

Incorrect

Collecting action figures has become a popular hobby for many Filipinos nowadays. In fact, even my father who is already 40 years old has a big Transformer robot.

Third Sentence

In the third sentence, the author may talk about his father (B) or his neighbor (E). This is logical because we talked about many Filipinos, then children, teenager adults. Notice that we are talking about a topic from general to specific.

Now, B and E may be interchangeable, but looking at the beginning of the sentences, the word “in fact” is more appropriate as the third sentence. The phrase “not only that” if put on the third sentence would reinforce the idea of “small children, teenagers, and adults” which is not connected to “neighbor.” Read the paragraphs below and you will see that putting E on the third sentence makes the flow of the paragraph disconnected. Therefore, the correct answer is B.

Correct

Collecting action figures has become a popular hobby for many Filipinos nowadays. Small children, teenagers, and even adults would spend money just to get ahold of their favorite action heroes. In fact, even my father who is already 40 years old has a big Transformer robot.

Incorrect

Collecting action figures has become a popular hobby for many Filipinos nowadays. Small children, teenagers, and even adults would spend money just to get ahold of their favorite action heroes. Not only that, our rich neighbor who is already in his late 50’s just came back from Japan, bought a life-size statue of Vegeta.

Fourth and Fifth Sentences

It is clear after we have chosen the third sentence that D is the conclusion of the paragraph. You will also see that the phrase “not only that” in E reinforces the idea of old people (ages 40 and 50’s) collecting action figures.

Collecting action figures has become a popular hobby for many Filipinos nowadays. Small children, teenagers, and even adults would spend money just to get ahold of their favorite action heroes. In fact, even my father who is already 40 years old has a big Transformer robot.  Not only that, our rich neighbor who is already in his late 50’s just came back from Japan, bought a life-size statue of Vegeta.

Therefore, the correct order of the above question is C-A-B-E-D.

This is probably what you are thinking now:

What the heck, you said it is not that hard. This is so freaking hard!

In the next part of this series, I will tell you why Paragraph Organization questions are easier to answer than other question types.

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3 thoughts on “How to Answer Paragraph Organization Tests Part 1

  1. Pingback: How to Answer Paragraph Organization Tests Part 2PH Civil Service Exam Reviewer

  2. Pingback: How to Answer Paragraph Organization Tests Part 3PH Civil Service Exam Reviewer

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