Having trouble with PTE Academic Re-Order Paragraphs task? Need some practice? Try this practice example and see how it’s done!
What is Re-Order Paragraphs?
What do I do?
You are given 4-5 sections of a paragraph in the wrong order. The task is to put the sections in the correct order. This requires knowledge of how a paragraph is structured.
Let’s get started! Often the best way to explain the task is with an example. The following 4 sentences are out of order. Read them through and try put them in the correct order.
He noted that when his subjects engaged in tasks such as mathematical calculations the pulsations of the brain increased locally.
The actual physiological relationship between brain function and blood flow was first explored in 1890 by Charles Roy and Charles Sherrington.
Angelo Mosso, a prominent Italian physiologist of the 19th century, ingeniously monitored pulsations of the brain in adults through neurosurgically created bony defects in the skulls of patients.
Such observations led him to conclude that blood flow to the brain followed function.
There are a few different tricks to completing the Re-Order Paragraphs task. Here are a few to help you with this example.
Skim the text quickly to understand what the main idea is.
Identify a topic sentence – the sentence that explains the main idea of the paragraph. Furthermore, it can stand alone as a sentence. That is, it doesn’t have any words that refer back to a previous sentence.
Look for conjunctions. Words like: Firstly, secondly, but, however, then, as a consequence, therefore and many more. They link sentences together.
Look for linking clues. That is, words that link one sentence with a previous sentence, such as he, she, this, that, those etc.
Depending on the text, you may use different strategies from those above. For the example task we gave you, linking clues are very helpful. Let us show you why by going through the answer.
Angelo Mosso, a prominent Italian physiologist of the 19th century, ingeniously monitored pulsations of the brain in adults through neurosurgically created bony defects in the skulls of patients. The topic sentence. It explains the main topic of the paragraph – Angelo Mosso and his work with the brain – and can stand alone as a sentence (it doesn’t relate back to any other sentences). Another clue is that it also introduces Angelo Mosso and who he was. It is therefore an introductory sentence.
He noted that when his subjects engaged in tasks such as mathematical calculations the pulsations of the brain increased locally. “He”. One of the biggest clues of all! A personal pronoun. “He” never starts a topic sentence because it must refer back to someone already mentioned. Therefore, we can link this “He” to the man mentioned in the previous sentence – Angelo Mosso.
Such observations led him to conclude that blood flow to the brain followed function. The clue here? “Such observations”. In English, we can use the word “such” + NOUN as a way of referring back to something. In this case, we are referring back to the observations that Angelo Mosso made in the previous sentence (“He noted…” – means he observed).
The actual physiological relationship between brain function and blood flow was first explored in 1890 by Charles Roy and Charles Sherrington. This one is a bit tough but hopefully if you got the first three in order, this one makes sense. By saying “The actual…” this usually means we have talked about this topic in the paragraph already. Furthermore, the year, 1890, given near the end is another clue; remember in the topic sentence we had “the 19th century”. Usually paragraphs follow a chronological order, so as 1890 is at the end of the 19th century, this sentence would likely go last.
I hope that helped you understand the Re-Order Paragraphs task! Don’t worry if you didn’t get it all right – this is a partially scored task! So you get a point for every correct adjacent pair.
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