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Question of the Day

Monday through Friday leading up to the next SAT, Atlantic Cape SAT Prep shares a question of the day on our website. Check out what test questions look like and strategies for getting the right answers quickly. You can also register for an upcoming SAT Prep classes by going to: https://acsatprep.org/register/

Today’s Question of the Day — Reading #6

The notion that journalists should strive to remain objective has been challenged in recent years as new reporting styles have come into vogue. For instance, a novel style of journalism, known as “gonzo journalism,” emerged in the late 1970s. This form, which remains popular today, is characterized by  punchy style, rough and occasionally sarcastic language, and an apparent disregard for conventional journalistic writing customs. Unlike traditional journalists, gonzo journalists use the power of both emotions and personal experience to convey their messages. Rather than adhering to the objectivity prized in standard journalistic writing, they believe in presenting an unedited perspective on a story in “true gonzo” form.

The passage suggests that the writing of traditional journalists is typically:

A. controversial
B. neutral
C. superficial
D. subjective

Step 1: read the question and decide what helps you understand the context and the purpose of the question. In this case it is “traditional journalists” and “typically.” Here you are looking for how to describe traditional journalists and the answer should come directly from the text.

The passage suggests that the writing of traditional journalists is typically:

Step 2: identify what will help you describe a possible answer in the excerpt. In this passage traditional journalists are described in two ways: as being objective and being unlike or the opposite of gonzo journalists. See below for specific excerpts highlighted.

The notion that journalists should strive to remain objective has been challenged in recent years as new reporting styles have come into vogue. For instance, a novel style of journalism, known as “gonzo journalism,” emerged in the late 1970s. This form, which remain popular today, is characterized by punchy style, rough and occasionally sarcastic language, and an apparent disregard for conventional journalistic writing customs. Unlike traditional journalists, gonzo journalists use the power of both emotions and personal experience to convey their messages. Rather than adhering to the objectivity prized in standard journalistic writing, they believe in presenting an unedited perspective on a story in “true gonzo” form.

Step 3: develop an educated guess. You might say something to the effect:

Traditionally, journalists strove for objectivity and non personal descriptions. 

Step 4: process of elimination. Answer choice A, controversial, is designed to get readers who hear outside criticism of current journalists to choose this answer choice. It is not supported by the passage and is a reminder that everything you need to get the right answer should be in the context of the passage. Answer choice C is wrong because there is no suggestion that traditional or gonzo journalism has superficial elements. Answer choice D, subjective, is the opposite of the right answer and may confuse some readers because of the contrast between gonzo and traditional. Having a guess before looking at this wrong answer choice will prevent the reader from confusing the contrasting approaches.

Answer: Choice B, neutral is synonymous with the guess, objective and the correct answer choice.

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