Sample Multiple Choice Categories and Question Stems

Please use the list below to acquaint yourself with common multiple choice question stems and strategies!

Content (including word meanings):

  1. The speaker’s view of _____ might best be described as…
  2. The speaker uses “________” as an example to illustrate the idea that…
  3. Which of the following best paraphrases lines _____? OR …summarizes the main point?
  4. The excerpt is chiefly concerned with…
  5. Which of the following is the primary meaning of the word _____ as it is used in the passage?
  6. In line _____, “_____” refers to … OR is best understood to mean…
  7. The antecedent of “it” in line ____ is…

Style (including structure and literary devices):

  1. The primary rhetorical function of lines _____ is…
  2. The type of argument employed by the speaker is best described as…The shift in point of view from _____ to _____ has the effect of…
  3. The second sentence is unified by the writer’s use of…
  4. The structure of this passage is primarily one of…
  5. In line _____, _____ most probably refer metaphorically to… OR is ironic chiefly because…
  6. In lines _____, the speaker makes use of all of the following EXCEPT:
  7. The syntax of the sentence in lines _____ serves to…

Tone (including inferences):

  1. The tone of the passage is best described as…
  2. Lines _____ most strongly convey the speaker’s attitude that…
  3. From the context, the reader can infer that _____ is…
  4. The speaker assumes that the audience’s attitude will be that of…
  5. From the passage, we can infer that all of the following would be true EXCEPT…

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