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 KelseyWoods
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#73625
Complete Question Explanation

The correct answer choice is (E).

Identifying the main point of the passage often relies on having a thorough understanding of the structure of the passage and the author's viewpoint. In this passage, the author begins in the 1st paragraph by describing the longstanding rift between poetry and fiction in the U.S. and suggesting that this separation of the two is unnecessary. The 2nd paragraph introduces Rita Dove as an example of a writer who works in both poetry and fiction, part of a trend that is diminishing the longstanding bias described in the 1st paragraph. The 3rd paragraph continues from the 2nd, further describing how Dove not only works within both genres, but also blends poetry and fiction together within individual works. Throughout the passage, the author seems to support the idea that poetry and fiction don't need to be completely separated as they traditionally have been in the U.S. So a good prephrase of the main point based on the author's viewpoint and structure would be something like "Though traditionally the genres of poetry and fiction have been kept separated in the U.S., there is a recent trend toward blurring the boundaries between genres, as exemplified by Rita Dove, an author who successfully blends both poetry and fiction in her work."

Answer choice (A): Rita Dove does introduce lyrical elements into her fiction, but the main point of the passage is not that this is the main reason that her work has been widely acclaimed. Also, the main point is not about Rita Dove as an individual; she is an example of a broader trend.

Answer choice (B): Again, this answer choice is too specific to Rita Dove and does not describe the broader ideas about reducing the separation between poetry and fiction more generally that the author of the passage is trying to illustrate.

Answer choice (C): This answer choice starts off well and, unlike the previous two answer choices, it describes Rita Dove as an example of a broader trend. But describing that trend as showing that "the lyrical use of language can effectively enhance narrative fiction" is too specific. The author is not simply arguing that poetry enhances fiction in one specific way or that fiction enhances poetry in one specific way. Instead, the author argues that these two genres need not be separated and can be combined in various ways to great effect.

Answer choice (D): The main point is not simply that Rita Dove differs from her contemporaries--again, she is part of a trend. Also, Dove's contribution is not that she does not rely on the traditional techniques, but rather that she combines the traditional techniques.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. It best matches our prephrase, taking into account the author's viewpoint as well as the structure of the passage. It describes Dove as an example of a broader trend away from the rigid separation of poetry and fiction that has been traditional in the U.S. and describes how she successfully blends the two genres.
 HIsleim2001
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#95280
Hi so for this question I put C. I understand why E is correct but I wanted to know if the word 'bias' in answer C could also give away that it's wrong?
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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#95291
The word "bias" in answer choice (C) is a fair term, HIsleim2001. In the first paragraph, the passage describes US culture as "suspicious" of those with talents in multiple domains, and that supports the idea of bias. The real problem with answer choice (C) was described above. The passage wasn't specifically about lyrical use of language in narrative fiction, or narrative structure in poetry. It was about crossing genres in both directions. The first part of answer choice (C) was pretty good, but it fell apart when it got to the specificity.
 cgleeson
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#98094
Hi,
I think the thing for me on this question was being able to get rid of A. Rita Dove was widely acclaimed poet and fiction writer (I believe that was line 26). I was left with E.
 Rachael Wilkenfeld
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#98523
Hi Chris,

I'd say answer choice (A) only covers part of the passage. Rita Dove was acclaimed both for her lyrical fiction and her narrative poetry. It's not just one or the other---it's both. Additionally, the main point should address why her success is different and unique. How was her work different than the work that came before? Answer choice (E) encompasses both the historical discussion as well as both ways that Rita Dove combined the different genres.

Great work here.

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