Topic Sentence Exercise.

The tiger pounced on the deer and managed to rip its jugular. After: We knew we didn’t have to outrun the bear**, but** we did have to outrun Terrance. Her serpentine sentences, held loosely together with dashes and commas, catch the butterfly restiveness of the human mind, and the evanescence of human life, as they come up against the more solid surfaces of the world. The number of howevers and moreovers has been falling since the 1840s. Your opening sentence is the most important part of your personal statement; use it to frame the meaning of every sentence that follows.

“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity,” he wrote. The first and last words of a sentence are the most memorable. A poet writes in sentences, and so does the unsung author who came up with “Items trapped in doors cause delays”. It is often the paragraph’s very first sentence. You don’t have to be a natural at this.

So 25 sentences in a 5 paragraph essay would be the least you should do. It is a living line of words where logic and lyric meet – a piece of both sense and sound, albeit the sound is only heard in the reader’s head. “Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness.” (Steady on.). That’s what you want for your writing – to be effortless to read. There were few young men at the fireman’s bachelor party. The tiger ripped the deer’s jugular. During the 1990s, I really enjoyed watching Friends on television every Thursday night. To attack, to overcome, to transform are strong verbs. A lot of contemporary writing treats its sentences as lonely places, and then joins them together through evocative juxtaposition – the convergence of their collective solitude, if you like. “We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine gun.” (We didn’t.)  In the span of just a sentence or two, you must convince readers that your story is worth their time. You may need to download version 2.0 now from the Chrome Web Store. I really wanted Rachel’s haircut—I think every girl wanted Rachel’s haircut back then! A complete sentence requires a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought—also known as an independent clause. John Donne’s sermons are full of sentences that are ever-alert and open to the world: “And into that gate they shall enter, and in that house they shall dwell, where there shall be no Cloud nor Sun, no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light … ”. Don’t saturate your sentences with drawn out phrases. A detail from Charles Dickens’ handwritten manuscript of Nicholas Nickleby, published as a serial from 1838-39. Picture an English window in 1946, when Orwell wrote that sentence. Skinny, usually an adjective, is here turned into an abstract noun, paired with another abstract noun, nothing. The rule of thumb in writing powerful sentences is that less is more. After: Looking on in dismay as the bear ripped out Terrance’s guts, we awoke from our startled state and ran.

Use a subordinating conjunction to combine sentences: Change a statement to a question in quotes: Add a present participial phrase (that’s a phrase beginning with a word that ends in ‘ing’). If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices. Giving them suspense propels them to the next sentence without too much effort on their part.

George Orwell gave this piece of advice its epigram: “Good prose is like a windowpane.” A reader should notice the words no more than someone looking through glass notices the glass. A sentence can begin in one place and end in another galaxy, without breaking a single syntactic rule. A memorable sentence makes immediate sense but sounds just slightly odd. He claimed that this was the best sentence he ever wrote: walked out the door. Vs. But the building block of your writing is the sentence. A good lesson for any writer: make each sentence worth reading, and something in it will lead the reader into the next one.

His sentences puzzle out their purposes in allusive phrases that hold the attention briefly before the next phrase takes to the floor. And for that, you need to write powerful sentences that spark curiosity and drive them to continue reading. All rights reserved. For powerful sentences, you want to forge new terrain. Even fiction writers who are allowed a certain license to ramble can fall victim to this one. A gourmet meal doesn’t include filler and good sentences don’t include fluff. Finally, they would be writing effective sentences in their essays.But when they turned in their assignments, my joy turned to horror as I read the same drivel that had haunted my existence for years. Replace your passive voice with action verbs and see what happens: The deer’s jugular was ripped by the tiger. It will also improve your writing skills in general. There was no reason for John’s dismissal. Those written a few hundred years ago typically began with a whereof or a howsobeit, to resume an unfinished thought. "Brian" is the actor. Sentence Structure Worksheets. Behind Orwell’s windowpane theory of prose lies a puritan pride, a sense that the writer will be purified by a clean, sinewy style as by an early morning run and a cold shower. Use the active voice. This lesson addresses organization. Say it plain and clear or don’t say it at all. All Rights Reserved. More ethical demand than useful advice, it forces writers back to their own reserves of wisdom and authenticity. Each sentence is like a tidal island that looks cut off until, at low tide, a causeway to the mainland appears. Before: My friend and I thought about abandoning our friend as the bear attacked. After: I yelled, “Terrance, there’s a grizzly bear outside the tent! It’s a deliberate creation of the stylist combined with serendipitous discovery while engaged in the creative process. Rookie sentence-writers are often too busy worrying about the something they are trying to say and don’t worry enough about how that something looks and sounds. ‘The great enemy of clear language is insincerity’ ... George Orwell. I skipped my workout to make my daughter’s soccer game.

It was as if John were trying to fish for some sort of compliment about the quality of his report. Just be sure not to weaken them by putting them in passive voice (see above). Strong sentences have strong verbs. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Like every skilled writer, though, Woolf starkly varies sentence length. Answer: Generally, if you are trying to write just the minimum, you would expect to write five sentences for each paragraph. • Joe Moran’s First You Write a Sentence: The Elements of Reading, Writing … and Life is published by Viking (£14.99). Bad ideas were the bedfellows of bad prose. But as you build a story, you can use good sentences as tools to help build suspense. . This element of sentence structure can stand on its own, expressing an idea without the need for additional information. A year into the second world war, she wrote this defiant sentence in her diary: “Thinking is my fighting.” Even if that doesn’t have what style guides tend to like – a concrete subject and a strong verb – it has a low rumble of energy running through it.

But much of the time he didn’t even follow his own advice. Sentences have become less shackled to each other. A topic sentence usually comes at the beginning of a paragraph and lets your reader know what to expect from each paragraph. Make sure that your sentences are there for a reason. We had to run a little bit faster than Terrance. This is an example: Brian met with the managers and told them about the merger. very writer, of school age and older, is in the sentences game. For example, if I added this sentence to the above paragraph: As the sentence ends with the snap of a stressed syllable, our perspective has been altered in a way that feels true, even if we don’t share the sentiment. Just as cinemagoers have learned to see the implied continuity of time across the quick cuts of a film, without needing a caption that says “meanwhile, back at the ranch”, so have readers learned to make a little cognitive jump between sentences. Perhaps he should have written: “If you can cut a word, do.”, Orwell’s prose, as well as ignoring his own rules when it suits, is really a beautiful contrivance. Here’s what I came up with: Improve those monotonous essays with these techniques: Before: All I wanted to do was improve my score in timed writing and getting those improved scores became very important to me. © 2020, Must-Dos For Improving Your Essay Writing Skills. A sentence like…: Ex.2 After: Sadly, we looked at Terrance’s mangled body. Donne’s prose, just like his poetry, is a sort of heartfelt thinking. For James Baldwin, the only goal was “to write a sentence as clean as a bone”. It can be taught. I had work to do. Topics included in this resource are as follows: topic sentences, relevance of ideas, order of ideas, and transitions. A paragraph’s topic sentence must be general enough to express the paragraph’s overall subject. Don’t saturate your sentences with drawn out phrases. Are they moving the story forward?

Step 1: Write a thesis statement. The sentence is the Ur-unit, the core material, the granular element that must be got right or nothing will be right. Seconds before peppering the class with double-edged sharpened pencils, I had an idea: maybe I should come up with a lesson on writing strong sentences and teach them how to actually do it instead of just telling them how important it is. Writing a good thesis statement is the subject of much instruction and training, as it's the driver of your research and the subject of your paper. Strong winds caused several electrical shortages and a big fire. It tells a story, creates an image and evokes emotion and has zero fat to trim.

Write strong sentences. This doesn’t mean that you have to do the old sentence diagramming technique every time you write, and it doesn’t mean that you have to be able to name every kind of sentence that you write. That’s why they have none. The supporting details in the paragraph (the sentences other than the topic sentence) will develop or explain the topic sentence.

Be direct and get to the point.

Topic sentences aren’t the first or the last thing you write—you’ll develop them throughout the writing process. A common piece of writing advice is to make your sentences plain, unadorned and invisible. I put the pencil sharpener away, called my wife, and told her I’d be home late. Why? What you’ll learn to do: learn how to write strong, effective sentences. •

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