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Sentence Correction: Subject Verb Agreement - A Complex Subject/Long Distance between Subject and Verb

Characterizing the various eras of the comic book industry is quite a complicated thing to do and involves identifying the dominant trends in each era, such as naturalistic stories in the Silver Age.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject Characterizing does not agree with the plural verbs are, involve.

Remember that a subject in the form of Verb+ing is considered a singular subject.

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Excellent!

While the original sentence is grammatically correct, this answer choice improves on it by discarding the redundant phrase "thing to do". The presence of the phrase, while grammatically correct, is not necessary - the sentence works quite well without it (Characterizing...is complicated).

In a choice between two answer choices which are grammatically and logically correct, the one with the better style wins. The more concise manner of expressing the same idea is considered better style.

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject Characterizing does not agree with the plural verb are.

[[snippet]]

This answer choice is grammatically incorrect. The singular subject Characterizing does not agree with the plural verb involve.

Remember that a subject in the form of Verb+ing is considered a singular subject.

[[snippet]]

While this answer choice is grammatically correct, it is not the best of the five answer choices. There is another grammatically correct answer choice which is stylistically better than this one.

Did you read the other answer choices?

Good! That's what you should have done. It's a shame you didn't see that one of them was stylistically better than this answer choice. Better luck next time (which is when you click Try again). 

This is a mistake. In Sentence Correction, we do not choose a correct answer choice but rather eliminate four incorrect ones and choose the last one standing.

This means that you need to go over all answer choices and find a reason to eliminate four of them. Only then can you choose the remaining answer choice.

GMAT mistakes are not only grammatical mistakes, which are mistakes that can be identified when reading the original sentence. There are also stylistic mistakes such as redundancy, which often can only be identified when you see an answer choice which is more concise than the original sentence (major hint).

That's why if you don't find a mistake in the original sentence, you cannot be sure whether it's because there really is no mistake or because there is a mistake, but it is subtle and you missed it. In order to determine which if the two scenarios is correct, you need to go over all other four answer choices and compare them to answer choice (A). 

is quite a complicated thing to do and involves 
is quite a complicated thing to do and involve 
are quite a complicated thing to do and involve 
are quite a complicated thing to do and involves 
is quite complicated and involves 
Yes, I went over all of them
I went over some of the answer choices
No, I didn't. I didn't find a mistake in the original sentence, so I didn't think I needed to.