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  • 1. Oxford Comma by Vampire Weekend
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    1
    Who gives a f**k about an Oxford comma? I've seen those English dramas too They're cruel So if there's any other way To spell the word It's fine with me, with me Why would you speak to me that way Especially when I always said that I Haven't got the words for you All your diction dripping with disdain Through the pain I always tell the truth
  • 2. Identify the Oxford comma:I went to see Zach, an officer and a gentleman.I went to see Zach,an officer, and a gentleman.
    2
  • 3. Use these seven techniques for structuring effective sentences:
    • Choose an appropriate level of formality
    • 4. Emphasize new and important information.
    • 5. Choose an appropriate sentence length.
    • 6. Focus on the “real” subject.
    • 7. Focus on the “real” verb.
    • 8. Use parallel structures.
    • 9. Use active and passive voice appropriately
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    3
  • 10. Meaning?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    4
  • 11. Oops….
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    5
  • 12. Informal writing can cause two problems:
    • It tends to be imprecise.
    • 13. It can be embarrassing.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    6
  • 14. Select an appropriate level of formality
    Use a level and tone appropriate for
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    7
  • 17. Find the Formality Score
    1. Do you know your target readers well and personally? 1-10
    2. Are they below you in "rank"? 1-10
    3. Is the subject of your communication good news? 1-10
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    8
  • 18. Subject: tomato festivalPurpose: Introduction
    What factors influence the level of formality in this picture?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    9
  • 19. Subject: ConferencePurpose: interview
    What factors influence the level of formality in this picture?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    10
  • 20. Subject: Older manPurpose: ask for an interview
    What factors influence the level of formality in this picture?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    11
  • 21. Subject: babypurpose: birthday
    What factors influence the level of formality in this picture?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    12
  • 22. Event: concertpurpose: autograph
    What factors influence the level of formality in this picture?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    13
  • 23. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    14
  • 24. Older woman—Abroad-directions
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    15
  • 25. Create parallel grammatical structures for emphasis
    I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    16
  • 26. Create a sentence about a current event topic using parallel grammatical structures:
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    17
  • 27. Use these seven techniques for writing clearly and specifically:
    • Use the active voice and the passive voice appropriately.
    • 28. Be specific.
    • 29. Avoid unnecessary jargon.
    • 30. Use positive constructions.
    • 31. Avoid long noun strings.
    • 32. Avoid clichés.
    • 33. Avoid euphemisms.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    18
  • 34. Identify the positive construction:
    I’m not happy!
    I am sad.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    19
  • 35. Revise for clarity:
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    20
    "She wore a dress the same color as her eyes her father bought her from San Francisco," writes Danielle Steele in Star.
  • 36. Use the active and passive voice appropriately
    Use the active voice unless
    the agent is clear from the context
    the agent is unknown
    the agent is less important than the action
    a reference to the agent is embarrassing, dangerous, or in some other way inappropriate
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    21
  • 37. Write two sentences based on the image below, one using the passive voice and one using an active voice:
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    22
  • 38. Revise the following passage, avoiding both the passive and the first person. Think about agent as subject.
    The woods in the morning seemed both peaceful and lively. Birds could be heard in the pines and oaks, staking out their territory. Squirrels could be seen scampering across the leaves that covered the forest floor, while in the branches above, the new leaves of the birches and maples were outlined by the sun’s rays. The leaves, too, could be heard, rustling to the rhythm of the wind.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    23
  • 39. Nominalization: When we rob verbs of their verbness, we turn them into nouns
    To make a discovery instead of to discover
    To conduct an investigation instead of to investigate
    To make an accusation instead of to accuse
    Nominalization has a rhetorical
    effect.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    24
  • 40. Write two sentences based on the image below, one with a nominalization and one transforming the nominalization into a verb
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    25
  • 41. TRUE or FALSE?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    26
    A nominalization is a verb that has been transformed into a noun, as when to install becomes to effect an installation, or to analyze becomes to conduct an analysis.
  • 42. Revise the following passages, paying special attention to ineffective passives, unnecessary nominalizations, and problems of agency.
    The measurement of the Earth’s fragile ozone layer was one of the important missions undertaken by the crew of the space shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle was launched in October of 1994. The mission lasted ten days. Humans are put at greater risk of skin cancer, cataracts, and other ailments because of overexposure to ultraviolet radiation. Crops can also be spoiled and underwater food sources devastated as a result of too much direct sunlight. A vast ozone hole over Antarctica from September to December every year is particularly worrisome to scientists.
    27
  • 43. TRUE or FALSE
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    28
    New and important information should come at the beginning of a sentence, where readers will be sure to notice it.
  • 44. The first few words and how you end your sentence determine how your reader will judge both the clarity and strength of your writing.
    If you consistently write sentences with short Subject/Topics that name a few central CHARACTERS and then join them to strong verbs, you’ll likely get the rest of the sentence right and in the process create a passage that seems both cohesive and coherent.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    29
  • 45. Which do you prefer?
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
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    A sociometric and actuarial analysis of Social Security revenues and disbursements for the last six decades to determine changes in projecting deficits is the subject of this study.
    In this study, we analyze Social Security’s revenues and disbursements for the last six decades, using sociometric and actuarial criteria to determine changes in projecting deficits.
  • 46. Use these three techniques for writing specifically:
    • Use precise words.
    • 47. Provide adequate detail.
    • 48. Avoid ambiguity.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    31
  • 49. How to End Your Sentence
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
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    Communicate two kinds of difficulty:
    Long and complex phrases and clauses
    New information, particularly unfamiliar technical terms.
  • 50. The Psychological Geography of Writing Sentences
    In the first few words, you announce your topic.
    The last few words receive stress and emphasis.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    33
  • 51. Managing Endings for Emphasis: Shift new information to the right
    • Questions about the
    ethics of withdrawing intravenous
    feeding are more difficult.
    • More difficult are questions
    about the ethics of
    withdrawing intravenous
    feeding.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    34
  • 52. The passage below violates which of the following basic principles of effective sentences?
    The site marks the beginning of a first-year riparian forest buffer. Monitoring equipment was located essentially where this stream joined Cook Creek at the end of the forest riparian buffer. Monitoring data indicated improved water quality within the tributary. It is our opinion that this could be the result of the riparian forest buffer being created.
    avoid euphemisms
    avoid pompous words
    avoid wordy phrases
    avoid filler
    Answer: C and D. avoid wordy phrases, and avoid filler
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
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  • 53. List of the worst science cliches:
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
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    Silver bullet
    Missing link
    Holy grail
    Paradigm shift
    Shedding light
  • 54. Euphemisms: name that list
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    37
    Baking a hot icicle
    Backing in the trailer
    Watching a dolphin splash
    Weasel nosing
    Wrestling a brown corn-belly snake
    Yodeling in the canyon
  • 55. Be concise
    • Avoid obvious statements.
    • 56. Avoid filler.
    • 57. Avoid unnecessary prepositional phrases.
    • 58. Avoid wordy phrases.
    • 59. Avoid pompous words.
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    38
  • 60. Revise: "She walked into my office on legs as long as one of those long-legged birds that you see in Florida - the pink ones, not the white ones - except that she was standing on both of them, not just one of them, like those birds, the pink ones, and she wasn't wearing pink, but I knew right away that she was trouble, which those birds usually aren't."
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    39
  • 61. The passage below exhibits which of the following flaws?
    Not many rescuers are trained to handle hazardous materials. Provide care only when safe to do so, establish a safe zone, and call for help. When a rescuer commences patient care, he should focus on basic life support and finalize his plan to decontaminate the patient.
    sexist language
    dangling modifier
    negative construction
    pompous words  
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    40
  • 62. Follow these six guidelines for avoiding sexist language:
    Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    41
    • Replace the male-gender words with non-gender-specific words.
    • 63. Switch to a different form of the verb.
    • 64. Switch to the plural.
    • 65. Switch to he or she, he/she, s/he, or his or her.
    • 66. Address the reader directly.
    • 67. Alternate he and she.
  • Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    42
    What are two techniques to avoid sexist language?
  • 68. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2010 by Bedford/St. Martin's
    43
    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
    - Jack Kerouac