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EMPHASIS AND VARIETY
Fauzia I. Adil
What is Emphasis?
Helps the writer to put in focus the relative
Importance of his ideas.
What is Variety?
Enables the writer to sustain his
reader’s interest in what he has to say.
Read the paragraphs below. Choose the
paragraph that is more effective.
1
I love living in the city. I have a wonderful view of the
entire city. I have an apartment. I can see the Golden
Gate Bridge. I can see many cargo ships pass under the
bridge each day. I like the restaurants in San Francisco. I
can find wonderful food from just about every country. I
don’t like the traffic in the city.
2
I love living in the city of San Francisco. I have a
wonderful view of the entire city from my apartment
window. In addition, I can see the Golden Gate Bridge
under which many cargo ships pass each day. I also like
San Francisco because I can find wonderful restaurants
with food from just about every country; however, I don’t
like the traffic in the city.
How do different sentence lengths create
variety and emphasis?
Today is one of those excellent January partly cloudy
in which light chooses an unexpected landscape to trick
out in guilt, and then shadow sweeps it away. You know
you’re alive. You take huge steps, trying to feel the
planet’s roundness arc between your feet.
- Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Note the sentence variety and emphasis of the
paragraph below.
The world of books is the most remarkable creation of
man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall;
nations perish; civilizations grow and old die out; and, after
an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world
of books are volumes that have made these happen again
and again, and yet live on, still as fresh as the day they were
written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men
centuries dead.
-Clarence Day
1
Place the word you want to stress either at the beginning or at the end
of the sentence.
Weak: There are many people who take up painting to raise their self-esteem.
Various Devices to make sentences
emphatic
Emphatic: Many people take up painting to raise their self-esteem.
2 Invert the normal sentence order.
Normal word order: Emery sits next to me in zoology laboratory.
Emphatic: Next to me in zoology laboratory sits Emery.
Note: Use the inverted order sparingly; its frequent use gives the effect of
artificiality.
3 Repeat important words.
Emphatic : I work for the grade and that’s all I get-the grade.
Various Devices to make sentences
emphatic
Emphatic: I pity the young who have grown up without it. I pity the old, the
masters and the mistresses of households, whom nobody dares
to contradict, who are never, never put into the corner or whipped
as they deserved.
.
4 Use the balanced sentence.
Emphatic: Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out.
Emphatic: The humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic;
the liberal, by calling it fascist; the conservative, by calling it
communistic.
Note: Excessive use of the balance construction gives a stilted effect.
5 Arrange a series of words varying in force in climactic order.
Emphatic : I came, I saw, I conquered.
Various Devices to make sentences
emphatic
Emphatic: The prince was object of admiration to his subjects, his allies, and
his enemies.
6 Put in the principal clause the part of the sentence to be emphasized.
Ineffective: Emily was walking down Escolta yesterday when she came upon
a crowd gathered around a lost three-year-old girl.
Emphatic: As Emily was walking down Escolta yesterday, she came upon a
crowd gathered around a lost three-year-old girl.
7
Place transitional words and parenthetical expressions within the
sentence.
Less emphatic : I should have been grateful for the financial help, I suppose.
Nevertheless, I resented the way she offered it.
Various Devices to make sentences
emphatic
Better: I should have been grateful, I suppose, for the financial help.
I resented, nevertheless, the way she offered it.
8
Whenever possible, use the periodic sentence instead of the loose
sentence.
Loose: The dead leaves lay deep in the bamboo thickets.
Periodic: In the bamboo thickets the dead leaves lay deep.
Note: The periodic sentence is one in which the reader’s attention is held until
the end.
9
Sentences ending with prepositions are frequently found in good
literature. A sentence with a preposition buried within it is stilted and
Is often less emphatic than one with the prepositions at the end.
Stilted: Is this the kind of thing in which you believe?
Various Devices to make sentences
emphatic
Emphatic: Is this the kind of thing you believe in?
Emphatic: Most travelers have the comforting knowledge that the culture they
have left behind will be there to return to.
1 Vary the length of your sentences.
Examples
a. College life is a series of shocks, some pleasant, some not, some clearly
defined, some vaguely sensed. But they are shocks nonetheless; nothing
in the experience of high school student has prepared him for life at college.
- James Feiblemean
Ways of securing Variety
b. Susie named the duck “Waddles,” and together that summer, in the high-
fenced back garden, they found a complete world of magic. To Ann, the
maid, and to me, it was amazing. The two chased butterflies, built castles in
the sandbox, and played hide-and-seek among the shrubs.
- Ella A. Duncan
2 Vary the type of sentences by changing the order of the elements.
Examples
a. Not for ourselves alone has God given us graces or talent or virtues.
b. The first to perish in a storm are the delicate flowers.
c. In vain di individuals hope for immortality.
d. Up the hill came the men.
Ways of securing Variety
3
Avoid the overuse of and, also, and but at the beginning of sentences.
For variety use other connectives and “bury” them within the sentence.
4
Avoid the monotonous use of so and then as connectives. Substitute
Other precise connectives such as therefore, since, thus, etc.
Review of USAGE
Use agree with a person; agree to an offer, opinion; agree about terms, prices.
A verb agrees with its subject in number and in person; for example,
the photograph does not agree with the original, the food does not agree with a
person’s constitution.
Apply to a person for a job, as “He applied to the principal for a teaching position.”
Alienate a man from his parents, friends, or things.
Behave. As a transitive verb, it is used reflexively, as behave yourself, behave
himself, behave myself, etc.
Hand in means to submit, to give, as “Hand in your test papers.”
Stand up to. This is an idiomatic expression which means to face bravely or to
confront fearlessly.
On time means at the appointed time, punctual, as “He came on time”,
In time means sufficiently early, before it is too late.
Revise the following sentences to
show emphasis.
1. “So-called ‘notification laws’ require businesses to notify customers
when certain unencrypted customer data is improperly accessed.”
2. Thus the question is not one of quality, but of quantity.
3. I suppose this was the moment when I was supposed to experience a
sensation of ‘being one with the universe,’ but I just wasn’t feeling it.
4. With a strident vigor that arrested the attention of all present, she shouted,
‘YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, DO YOU?
5. After seeing this movie, I just have one thing to say: ‘I want those two
hours of my life back!!!
Answer
1. “So-called notification laws require businesses to notify customers
when certain unencrypted customer data is improperly accessed.”
2. Thus the question is not one of quality, but of quantity.
3. I suppose this was the moment when I was supposed to experience a sensation
of Being One with the Universe, but I just wasn’t feeling it..
4. With a strident vigor that arrested the attention of all present, she shouted,
‘You just don’t get it, do you?
5. After seeing this movie, I just have one thing to say: ‘I want those two hours
of my life back.
Revise the paragraph using sentences
variety and emphasis.
It is a common unfairness in controversy to place what the
writer dislikes or opposes in a generally odious category. The
humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic, the
liberal, by calling it fascist, the conservative, by calling it
communistic. The terms tell the reader nothing. What is piety to
some will be bigotry to others. Non-Catholics would rather e
called Protestants than heretics.
- Robert Gorham Davis
Revise the paragraph using sentences
variety and emphasis.
Answer
It is a common unfairness in controversy to place what the
writer dislikes or opposes in a generally odious category. The
humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic; the
liberal, by calling it fascist; the conservative, by calling it
communistic. The terms tell the reader nothing. What is piety to
some will be bigotry to others. Non-Catholics would rather e
called Protestants than heretics.
- Robert Gorham Davis
“Words are the most powerful drug used by
mankind.”
- Rudyard Kipling

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Emphasis and Variety

  • 2. What is Emphasis? Helps the writer to put in focus the relative Importance of his ideas.
  • 3. What is Variety? Enables the writer to sustain his reader’s interest in what he has to say.
  • 4. Read the paragraphs below. Choose the paragraph that is more effective. 1 I love living in the city. I have a wonderful view of the entire city. I have an apartment. I can see the Golden Gate Bridge. I can see many cargo ships pass under the bridge each day. I like the restaurants in San Francisco. I can find wonderful food from just about every country. I don’t like the traffic in the city. 2 I love living in the city of San Francisco. I have a wonderful view of the entire city from my apartment window. In addition, I can see the Golden Gate Bridge under which many cargo ships pass each day. I also like San Francisco because I can find wonderful restaurants with food from just about every country; however, I don’t like the traffic in the city.
  • 5. How do different sentence lengths create variety and emphasis? Today is one of those excellent January partly cloudy in which light chooses an unexpected landscape to trick out in guilt, and then shadow sweeps it away. You know you’re alive. You take huge steps, trying to feel the planet’s roundness arc between your feet. - Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
  • 6. Note the sentence variety and emphasis of the paragraph below. The world of books is the most remarkable creation of man. Nothing else that he builds ever lasts. Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow and old die out; and, after an era of darkness, new races build others. But in the world of books are volumes that have made these happen again and again, and yet live on, still as fresh as the day they were written, still telling men’s hearts of the hearts of men centuries dead. -Clarence Day
  • 7. 1 Place the word you want to stress either at the beginning or at the end of the sentence. Weak: There are many people who take up painting to raise their self-esteem. Various Devices to make sentences emphatic Emphatic: Many people take up painting to raise their self-esteem. 2 Invert the normal sentence order. Normal word order: Emery sits next to me in zoology laboratory. Emphatic: Next to me in zoology laboratory sits Emery. Note: Use the inverted order sparingly; its frequent use gives the effect of artificiality.
  • 8. 3 Repeat important words. Emphatic : I work for the grade and that’s all I get-the grade. Various Devices to make sentences emphatic Emphatic: I pity the young who have grown up without it. I pity the old, the masters and the mistresses of households, whom nobody dares to contradict, who are never, never put into the corner or whipped as they deserved. . 4 Use the balanced sentence. Emphatic: Monuments fall; nations perish; civilizations grow old and die out. Emphatic: The humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic; the liberal, by calling it fascist; the conservative, by calling it communistic. Note: Excessive use of the balance construction gives a stilted effect.
  • 9. 5 Arrange a series of words varying in force in climactic order. Emphatic : I came, I saw, I conquered. Various Devices to make sentences emphatic Emphatic: The prince was object of admiration to his subjects, his allies, and his enemies. 6 Put in the principal clause the part of the sentence to be emphasized. Ineffective: Emily was walking down Escolta yesterday when she came upon a crowd gathered around a lost three-year-old girl. Emphatic: As Emily was walking down Escolta yesterday, she came upon a crowd gathered around a lost three-year-old girl.
  • 10. 7 Place transitional words and parenthetical expressions within the sentence. Less emphatic : I should have been grateful for the financial help, I suppose. Nevertheless, I resented the way she offered it. Various Devices to make sentences emphatic Better: I should have been grateful, I suppose, for the financial help. I resented, nevertheless, the way she offered it. 8 Whenever possible, use the periodic sentence instead of the loose sentence. Loose: The dead leaves lay deep in the bamboo thickets. Periodic: In the bamboo thickets the dead leaves lay deep. Note: The periodic sentence is one in which the reader’s attention is held until the end.
  • 11. 9 Sentences ending with prepositions are frequently found in good literature. A sentence with a preposition buried within it is stilted and Is often less emphatic than one with the prepositions at the end. Stilted: Is this the kind of thing in which you believe? Various Devices to make sentences emphatic Emphatic: Is this the kind of thing you believe in? Emphatic: Most travelers have the comforting knowledge that the culture they have left behind will be there to return to.
  • 12. 1 Vary the length of your sentences. Examples a. College life is a series of shocks, some pleasant, some not, some clearly defined, some vaguely sensed. But they are shocks nonetheless; nothing in the experience of high school student has prepared him for life at college. - James Feiblemean Ways of securing Variety b. Susie named the duck “Waddles,” and together that summer, in the high- fenced back garden, they found a complete world of magic. To Ann, the maid, and to me, it was amazing. The two chased butterflies, built castles in the sandbox, and played hide-and-seek among the shrubs. - Ella A. Duncan
  • 13. 2 Vary the type of sentences by changing the order of the elements. Examples a. Not for ourselves alone has God given us graces or talent or virtues. b. The first to perish in a storm are the delicate flowers. c. In vain di individuals hope for immortality. d. Up the hill came the men. Ways of securing Variety 3 Avoid the overuse of and, also, and but at the beginning of sentences. For variety use other connectives and “bury” them within the sentence. 4 Avoid the monotonous use of so and then as connectives. Substitute Other precise connectives such as therefore, since, thus, etc.
  • 14. Review of USAGE Use agree with a person; agree to an offer, opinion; agree about terms, prices. A verb agrees with its subject in number and in person; for example, the photograph does not agree with the original, the food does not agree with a person’s constitution. Apply to a person for a job, as “He applied to the principal for a teaching position.” Alienate a man from his parents, friends, or things. Behave. As a transitive verb, it is used reflexively, as behave yourself, behave himself, behave myself, etc. Hand in means to submit, to give, as “Hand in your test papers.” Stand up to. This is an idiomatic expression which means to face bravely or to confront fearlessly. On time means at the appointed time, punctual, as “He came on time”, In time means sufficiently early, before it is too late.
  • 15. Revise the following sentences to show emphasis. 1. “So-called ‘notification laws’ require businesses to notify customers when certain unencrypted customer data is improperly accessed.” 2. Thus the question is not one of quality, but of quantity. 3. I suppose this was the moment when I was supposed to experience a sensation of ‘being one with the universe,’ but I just wasn’t feeling it. 4. With a strident vigor that arrested the attention of all present, she shouted, ‘YOU JUST DON’T GET IT, DO YOU? 5. After seeing this movie, I just have one thing to say: ‘I want those two hours of my life back!!!
  • 16. Answer 1. “So-called notification laws require businesses to notify customers when certain unencrypted customer data is improperly accessed.” 2. Thus the question is not one of quality, but of quantity. 3. I suppose this was the moment when I was supposed to experience a sensation of Being One with the Universe, but I just wasn’t feeling it.. 4. With a strident vigor that arrested the attention of all present, she shouted, ‘You just don’t get it, do you? 5. After seeing this movie, I just have one thing to say: ‘I want those two hours of my life back.
  • 17. Revise the paragraph using sentences variety and emphasis. It is a common unfairness in controversy to place what the writer dislikes or opposes in a generally odious category. The humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic, the liberal, by calling it fascist, the conservative, by calling it communistic. The terms tell the reader nothing. What is piety to some will be bigotry to others. Non-Catholics would rather e called Protestants than heretics. - Robert Gorham Davis
  • 18. Revise the paragraph using sentences variety and emphasis. Answer It is a common unfairness in controversy to place what the writer dislikes or opposes in a generally odious category. The humanist dismisses what he dislikes by calling it romantic; the liberal, by calling it fascist; the conservative, by calling it communistic. The terms tell the reader nothing. What is piety to some will be bigotry to others. Non-Catholics would rather e called Protestants than heretics. - Robert Gorham Davis
  • 19. “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.” - Rudyard Kipling