Reading for Thinking - Online Practice:
Recognizing Mixed Patterns

Copyright © 2005 Laraine Flemming.
General distribution outside the classroom and redistribution are strictly prohibited.

Directions: Click the appropriate buttons to identify the patterns organizing the paragraphs. Then click the "Submit" button.


Internet addicts use the Internet so compulsively that it interferes with some or all parts of their daily life, and there appear to be four different types of addiction. The first type is cybersexual addiction. This term refers to people obsessed with visiting adult chat rooms and pornographic web sites. Those afflicted with this form of the addiction can't stay away from sexually-oriented sites even while at work. The second type is cyber-relationship addiction. This addiction occurs when a computer user ignores real-life relationships with friends and relatives, investing time and energy only in online pals.Victims of net compulsion obsessively participate in online auctions. When they are not buying and selling on line, they use the Internet for game playing. The final and fourth type of Internet addiction is called information overload. This addiction is characterized by endless web surfing or information searches. (Source of information: Carol C. Kanar, The Confident Student, 5th ed., Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004, p. 179.)


a. definition, time order (process), cause and effect

b. classification, time order (dates and events), comparison and contrast

c. classification, definition, cause and effect


Carbonated waters are waters that have been injected with carbon dioxide. It's the carbon dioxide that gives them their "fizzy" or bubbly quality. Yet, the various carbonated waters differ from one another in terms of their ingredients. Beverages labeled "club soda" or "soda water," for example, contain sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. Carbonated waters called "seltzer" and "sparkling water," on the other hand, consist of only water and carbon dioxide. Some carbonated waters also contain sugar while others do not. "Tonic water" contains 2.6 to 2.9 grams of sugar per fluid ounce whereas club soda is sugar-free. Carbonated waters can also contain other kinds of ingredients. Tonic water, for instance, contains quinine, a bitter, colorless substance that is also found in medicines used to treat malaria, while club soda includes mineral salts such as citrate and phosphate.


a. definition, classification, time order (dates and events)

b. definition, comparison and contrast, cause and effect

c. time order (process) with cause and effect


Studies have revealed that, on average, about 8 minutes elapse between the collapse of someone suffering from cardiac arrest, or heartbeat cessation, and the first shock delivered by paramedics in order to return the heart to its normal rhythm. The time that elapses from a 911 telephone call to notification of the paramedic crew is about 0.6 minutes. It then takes an average of 4.2 minutes for the paramedics to arrive at the scene.The paramedics need 0.9 minutes to get to the patient's side. A heart analysis takes the next 1.6 minutes. The time between this analysis and the delivery of the first shock used to regulate the heartbeat is 0.3 minutes. This total of 7.6 minutes costs lives. The data shows that if a victim is shocked six or more minutes after collapsing, he or she almost always dies. If the victim is shocked within six minutes after having the heart attack, he or she almost always lives. (Source of information: Robert Davis, "Time is of the Essence," USA Today, August 12, 2004, p. 6D.)


a. time order (dates and events), definition, classification

b. time order (process) with cause and effect

c. time order (process) with classification


Since the nineteenth century, San Francisco Bay's Alcatraz Island has been home to a military fort, a military prison, a famous federal prison, and a national park. In the early 1850s, the U.S. Army constructed a fortress on the island to protect San Francisco Bay. By the late 1850s, the military began housing prisoners on the island, and in 1909, the Army tore down the fortress and built a new military prison on its foundation. This prison building, which was completed in 1911, became known as "The Rock." In 1933, the U.S. Department of Justice wanted to show the American public that it was serious about dealing with the crime wave that had swept the nation in the 1920s and 1930s. Therefore, it designated the island for use as a maximum-security, minimum-privilege U.S. Penitentiary for the most dangerous of federal prison inmates. For the next 29 years, several well-known criminals—including Al Capone and other notorious gangsters—did time on Alcatraz. During this period, there were fourteen separate escape attempts. Although none of them officially succeeded, five prisoners were never found and were presumed drowned. By the 1960s, the government concluded that building a new institution would be more cost-effective than keeping the expensive Alcatraz open. Consequently, on March 21, 1963, the Alcatraz penitentiary closed. The island was abandoned until 1972, when it became part of the National Park Service. Today, more than a million people visit the island each year. (Source of information: Federal Bureau of Prisons, "A Brief History of Alcatraz,"


a. definition and cause and effect

b. time order (dates and events) with cause and effect

c. comparison and contrast, definition, and classification


According to the National Hurricane Center, a hurricane is a tropical cyclone with several distinct characteristics. A hurricane is always born in tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean near the equator. It is cyclonic, which means that its winds swirl around a central eye, or low-pressure area. When these winds reach a sustained speed of at least 74 miles per hour, the storm is defined as a hurricane. Most hurricanes originate off the coast of Africa as thunderstorms that move out over the warm, tropical waters of the ocean. The thunderstorm begins to draw warm, humid ocean air into itself. Then, this moist air condenses, releasing heat in the process. As the heat moves from the surface into the atmosphere, winds begin to circulate around a center. The wind speeds continue to increase as high-pressure air in the atmosphere above the storm's center is sucked into the low-pressure center of the storm. The hurricane moves westward toward higher latitudes as it grows larger and stronger. (Source of information: Marshall Brain and Craig C. Freudenrich, "How Hurricanes Work,"


a. definition, time order (process), cause and effect

b. classification and cause and effect

c. comparison and contrast, time order (dates and events) and classification

Last change made to this page: 2/12/2008

RfT: Online practice