Making Your Writing Flow<br />A Writing Center On-Line Short Course<br />By John Tiedemann<br />University Writing Program...
What is “flow”?<br />
What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />
What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />
What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />Organization<br />
What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />Organization<br />Sentence-level compositio...
Grammar and Style<br />
Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />
Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />Style is about choices.<br />
Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />Style is about choices.<br />What follows are some principles for maki...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />WORDINESS: When there are words in your sentences that don’t add anything to the sentences’ m...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />WORDINESS: When there are words in your sentences that don’t add anything to the sentences’ m...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The dogs who were barking outside in the alley next to my house kept me up and awake a...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The dogs who were barking outside in the alley next to my house kept me up and awake a...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: My sister is a nice, kind person who cannot understand or comprehend how other people ...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: My sister is a nice, kind person who cannot understand or comprehend how other people ...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The struggle for liberty and freedom is a struggle that has gone on for a very long ti...
1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The struggle for liberty and freedom is a struggle that has gone on for a very long ti...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract no...
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A...
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A...
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A...
2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A...
3. Match subjects and agents.<br />When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb de...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />VERB: A word that des...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who ...
End of Part I lecture<br />Complete the exercises you were emailed, and email the results back to me:<br />John.Tiedemann@...
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Making your Writing Flow, Part I

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Making your Writing Flow, Part I

  1. 1. Making Your Writing Flow<br />A Writing Center On-Line Short Course<br />By John Tiedemann<br />University Writing Program<br />University of Denver<br />Part I<br />
  2. 2. What is “flow”?<br />
  3. 3. What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />
  4. 4. What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />
  5. 5. What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />Organization<br />
  6. 6. What is “flow”?<br />“Flow” refers to a combination of things.<br />Logic<br />Organization<br />Sentence-level composition: grammar and style<br />
  7. 7. Grammar and Style<br />
  8. 8. Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />
  9. 9. Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />Style is about choices.<br />
  10. 10. Grammar and Style<br />Grammar is about rules.<br />Style is about choices.<br />What follows are some principles for making good choices.<br />
  11. 11. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />WORDINESS: When there are words in your sentences that don’t add anything to the sentences’ meaning. <br />
  12. 12. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />WORDINESS: When there are words in your sentences that don’t add anything to the sentences’ meaning. <br />“Wordy” is the opposite of “concise.”<br />
  13. 13. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The dogs who were barking outside in the alley next to my house kept me up and awake all night long.<br />
  14. 14. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The dogs who were barking outside in the alley next to my house kept me up and awake all night long.<br /> <br />Concise: The barking dogs in the alley kept me up all night.<br />
  15. 15. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: My sister is a nice, kind person who cannot understand or comprehend how other people in our town can be so mean and cruel to people.<br />
  16. 16. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: My sister is a nice, kind person who cannot understand or comprehend how other people in our town can be so mean and cruel to people.<br /> <br />Concise:My sister is a nice person who cannot understand how others can be so mean. <br />
  17. 17. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The struggle for liberty and freedom is a struggle that has gone on for a very long time indeed.<br />
  18. 18. 1. Eliminate wordiness.<br />Wordy: The struggle for liberty and freedom is a struggle that has gone on for a very long time indeed.<br /> <br />Concise: The struggle for liberty has gone on for a long time.<br />
  19. 19. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />
  20. 20. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions . . . <br />
  21. 21. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions . . . <br />
  22. 22. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions . . . <br />
  23. 23. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions . . . <br />
  24. 24. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions AS WELL AS non-physical actions.<br />
  25. 25. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions AS WELL AS non-physical actions.<br />BELIEVING<br />
  26. 26. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions AS WELL AS non-physical actions.<br />BELIEVING CARING<br />
  27. 27. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term ACTION here includes physicalactions AS WELL AS non-physical actions.<br />BELIEVING CARING ANALYZING<br />
  28. 28. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term CONDITION refers to a “state of being.” <br />
  29. 29. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term CONDITION refers to a “state of being.” <br />The sun is larger than the moon.<br />
  30. 30. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term CONDITION refers to a “state of being.” <br />The sun is larger than the moon.<br />Tom is angry.<br />
  31. 31. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />The term CONDITION refers to a “state of being.” <br />The sun is larger than the moon.<br />Tom is angry.<br />Calculus is a challenging subject.<br />
  32. 32. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />ABSTRACT NOUNS are verbs turned into nouns.<br />
  33. 33. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />ABSTRACT NOUNS are verbs turned into nouns.<br />“investment”  “to invest” <br />
  34. 34. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />ABSTRACT NOUNS are verbs turned into nouns.<br />“investment”  “to invest” <br />“interpretation” “to interpret” <br />
  35. 35. 2. Be concrete.<br />To express actions and conditions, use specific verbs, adverbs, or adjectives rather than abstract nouns.<br />ABSTRACT NOUNS are verbs turned into nouns.<br />“investment”  “to invest” <br />“interpretation”  “to interpret” <br />“sight” “to see”<br />
  36. 36. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />
  37. 37. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />
  38. 38. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A review was done of the relevant regulations.<br />
  39. 39. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A review was done of the relevant regulations.<br />Concrete:The team reviewed the relevant regulations.<br />
  40. 40. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A review was done of the relevant regulations.<br />Concrete:The team reviewed the relevant regulations.<br />Abstract: The intention of the committee is the improvement of the company morale.<br />
  41. 41. 2. Be concrete.<br />Abstract: We had a discussion of the matter. <br />Concrete:We discussed the matter.<br />Abstract: A review was done of the relevant regulations.<br />Concrete:The team reviewed the relevant regulations.<br />Abstract: The intention of the committee is the improvement of the company morale.<br />Concrete:The committee intends to improve company morale.<br />
  42. 42. 3. Match subjects and agents.<br />When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />
  43. 43. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />VERB: A word that describes an action or condition: “walking,” “raining,” “believing,” “analyzing,” “is [x],” “is [y].” . . . <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  44. 44. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  45. 45. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />Ellen walked to class today.<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  46. 46. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />Ellen walked to class today.<br />“Ellen”  “walked”<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  47. 47. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />When she was a child, Jennifer believed in the tooth fairy.<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  48. 48. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />When she was a child, Jennifer believed in the tooth fairy.<br />“she”  “was” “Jennifer”  “believed”<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  49. 49. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />Martin is the funniest guy I know.<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  50. 50. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />SUBJECT: The word or phrase in the sentence that names who or what is doing/being what the verb describes.<br />Martin is the funniest guy I know.<br />“Martin”  “is” “I”  “know”<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  51. 51. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />In 1956, Elvis recorded the song “Blue Suede Shoes.”<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  52. 52. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />In 1956, Elvis recorded the song “Blue Suede Shoes.”<br />Subject = the word “Elvis” <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  53. 53. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />In 1956, Elvis recorded the song “Blue Suede Shoes.”<br />Subject = the word “Elvis” Agent = <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  54. 54. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />“Blue Suede Shoes” was recorded by Elvis in 1956.<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  55. 55. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />“Blue Suede Shoes” was recorded by Elvis in 1956.<br /> Agent = <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  56. 56. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />“Blue Suede Shoes” was recorded by Elvis in 1956.<br />Subject = the word “Elvis” Agent = <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  57. 57. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />The relationship between art and politics is always changing. <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  58. 58. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />The relationship between art and politics is always changing. <br />Subject = The phrase “the relationship between art and politics”<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  59. 59. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />The relationship between art and politics is always changing. <br />Subject = The phrase “the relationship between art and politics”<br />Agent =<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />the idea of the relationship between two other ideas, art and politics<br />
  60. 60. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />It’s hard to define the relationship between art and politics. <br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />
  61. 61. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />It’s hard to define the relationship between art and politics. <br />Agent =<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />the idea of the relationship between two other ideas, art and politics<br />
  62. 62. When it is appropriate, make the subjectof your verb the agentof the action the verb describes.<br />AGENT:The actual who or what is performing the action or in the condition that the verb describes. <br />It’s hard to define the relationship between art and politics. <br />Subject = “It.”<br />Agent =<br />3. Match subjects and agents.<br />the idea of the relationship between two other ideas, art and politics<br />
  63. 63. End of Part I lecture<br />Complete the exercises you were emailed, and email the results back to me:<br />John.Tiedemann@du.edu<br />Key points are available as a PDF on Blackboard, in the Course Documents folder.<br />
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