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Paragraph Unity Key
Circle the letters of the supporting details that do not support the following topic sentences.
(Answers in bold.)
1. TS: Abraham Lincoln’s young son Tad could be a terror during the years he spent in the White
a. Once when Lincoln was playing chess with a judge, Tad kicked the chess board,
scattering pieces across the floor. Lincoln calmly took Tad’s hand and went off to
dinner with him.
b. He broke a large mirror with his ball and ruined a marble table top by running his inkcovered fingers over the top of it.
c. Tad begged his father to spare the life of their Thanksgiving turkey and turned it
into a pet, leading it around the White House grounds on a string.
d. Tad took tubes of paint from an artist who had come to paint Lincoln’s portrait and
smeared the paint all over the walls while his father looked on smiling.
e. Tad once drove a team of goats through the East Room of the White House.
f. Tad loved money, but he could not understand the difference between the size of
a coin and its value. He preferred larger coins over small gold coins that were
2. TS: Color can have an impact on both our mental and physical states.
a. Perhaps because blue food is so rare, the color blue can cause people to lose their
b. Red, however, is a popular food color, and restaurants often use a red color scheme
because it stimulates people’s appetites.
c. In China, red symbolizes luck, so it is used in wedding ceremonies.
d. Green is a calming color, which might be why many hospitals use green color schemes,
and even surgeons wear green scrubs when operating.
e. White is a popular color in fashion because it is neutral and can be worn with
f. Pink has a calming, almost tranquilizing effect, so some sports teams have painted the
opposing team’s locker room pink.
4. TS: Polar bears are particularly suited for life in the cold arctic regions.
a. Because ice sheets are melting due to global warming, polar bears are not able to
travel as far in their search for food.
b. The polar bear’s white coat makes it almost invisible as its stalks its prey.
c. A single polar bear needs to eat between 50 and 75 seals per year to survive.
d. Polar bears have black skin, which absorbs heat, and beneath their skin a layer of
blubber keeps the bears well-insulated against the bitter cold.
e. Soft bumps on the pads of their feet give polar bears the traction they need on slick ice.
f. Polar bears have two layers of fur: an outer coat of long fur sticks together when wet to
form a waterproof barrier, keeping the thick undercoat of fur dry.
4. TS: Wild animals can use tools in clever and innovative ways.
a. Jane Goodall observed chimpanzees pick and trim long blades of grass, which they
then poked into termite mounds to retrieve the tasty insects.
b. Jane Goodall is considered the world’s expert on chimpanzee behavior.
c. Scientists have seen young animals learn to use tools by watching adults.
d. Because the tasty ostrich egg has a shell too tough for them to peck open, Egyptian
vultures have learned to throw rocks at the egg to crack it open.
e. Green herons will drop a small object on the surface of water as “bait” and then snatch
the fish that rises to the surface.
f. Orangutans braid vines together to make a stronger rope.
5. TS: Wearing the number 13 has not been lucky for professional athletes.
a. Pitcher Billy Wagner of the Houston Astros was hit on the side of the head by a line
drive and later missed most of a season because of ligament surgery.
b. Mats Sundin, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, was hit in the face by a
puck, and needed fifteen stitches to close the gash between his eyes and forehead.
c. Wilt Chamberlain is the only basketball player to have scored 100 points in a
game and was named to 13 All-Star teams.
d. Wearing the number 13 during the 1999 baseball season, pitcher Jeff Fassero compiled
the worst single season ERA since 1937.
e. Quarterback Dan Marino entered the Hall of Fame holding all-time records in
passing touchdowns and passing yards.
f. In addition to wearing the unlucky number, Brooklyn Dodger Pitcher Ralph Branca
posed with a black cat before the 1951 play-offs where he would become famous for
throwing the pitch that led to Bobby Thomson’s famous home-run, “a shot heard around
6. In 1905, Diamond Jim Brady, who had earned millions selling railroad equipment, gave an
unforgettable party to honor his racehorse, Gold Heels.
a. For seventeen hours, fifty guests consumed over $40,000 in food
b. Another New York millionaire gave a dinner honoring his dog, which wore a
$15,000 collar to the bash.
c. Guests drank more than 500 bottles of champagne with their food.
d. Although he was a voracious eater, Diamond Jim did not drink alcohol.
e. For “party favors,” ladies received diamond brooches, and men received diamondstudded watches.
f. The entire affair, held at the Hoffman House in New York City, cost more than