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Kristin Fracchia

ACT Challenge Question 18: English Topic Sentences – Explanation

Magoosh ACT Challenge Question


On Monday, we shared a trickier ACT English rhetorical question on choosing the best topic sentence for a paragraph. Were you able to figure it out? If you missed it, here it is again, then scroll down for the answer and explanation.

ACT Challenge Question 18

Fallingwater, one of the most famous examples of organic architecture, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. The family had given him free reign to construct their house on any location on their extensive land. Wright made the bold decision to place the house over a waterfall on the site. He then designed a house with many horizontal stones the same color as the rocks found in the surrounding area. This design structure allowed the house to blend in with its surroundings, looking almost as if it were made by nature rather than a human.

Which of the following true statements would best introduce the paragraph?

  2. One of the most famous examples of organic architecture is Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, a house he built for a Pennsylvanian family.
  3. Fallingwater is a famous example of organic architecture built for a Pennsylvanian family.
  4. Frank Lloyd Wright designed one of the most famous examples of organic architecture in 1964.


Answer and Explanation:

The answer is (B).

Often on topic sentence questions on the ACT English test, you’ll find that the correct answer is simply the one that best summarizes the content of the entire paragraph. And typically, some wrong answer choices will be waaaaay obvious: either they will be too narrow or too broad or they will be completely off-topic. In this case, all four of our answer choices are on the same topic, so how do you decide? The key is noticing what information appears in the next sentence. The second sentence begins with a reference to “the family” and to “him,” which means that both of these details need to be clarified in the first sentence. The only answer choice that mentions both “him” (Frank Lloyd Wright) and “the family” (a Pennsylvanian family) is answer choice B.


About Kristin Fracchia

Kristin makes sure Magoosh's blogs are chock-full of awesome, free resources for students preparing for standardized tests. With a PhD from UC Irvine and degrees in Education and English, she’s been working in education since 2004 and has helped students prepare for standardized tests, as well as college and graduate school admissions, since 2007. She enjoys the agonizing bliss of marathon running, backpacking, hot yoga, and esoteric knowledge.

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