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Improving sentence fluency

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by

Jennifer Hester

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Improving sentence fluency

Sentence Fluency
Strategy 1
STRATEGY 1: VARYING BEGINNINGS

Try not to have too many sentences start the same way. It becomes choppy and boring to read.
Strategy 3
Variety of sentence lengths
Sprinkle in some short sentences that pack a punch with your longer, compound and complex sentences.
Improving sentence fluency
1) Vary sentence beginnings.
2) Combine sentences.
3) Use a variety of sentence lengths
For example, read this repetitive sentence construction
I
woke up feeling awful. I was groggy and I felt like I had swallowed gravel, my throat was so sore. I felt a dull ache all over my whole body. I heard my mom call, but I really didn't want to crawl out of bed and face the day.
When I woke up, a dull ache wracked my whole body and I felt quite groggy. My throat was so sore, it felt like I had swallowed gravel. I heard my mom call, but crawling out of bed and facing the day was more than I could handle.
REVISED VERSION THAT VARIES SENTENCE BEGINNINGS
Sentence Beginnings
SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT- common
for Example:

Sandra + swam + in the polluted water.
Danny + thought + today would be different.


However, you don't always have to start with your subject.
Begin with ADJECTIVES:

-ed Frazzled and worried, the mother searched for her missing child.

-en Frozen for thousands of years, the corpse was barely recognizable.
PREPOSITIONS: show relations between items
Begin with a PREPOSITIONAL PHRASE:

In my backyard, many squirrels linger.
At the mall yesterday, we found the best deals.
GERUNDS:
action verbs acting as a noun, acting as subject, ending in "ing"
Begin with a GERUND:
-ing


Living
in the desert has always intrigued me.

Skating
is a dangerous sport.
Strategy 1: Varying
INFINITIVE PHRASE
(to + verb)
Begin with: An INFINITIVE PHRASE:

To have friends, you must be a friend.
Begin with: CONJUNCTIONS
Because of the unusual circumstances, the court dismissed the case.

Although I can't attend, I do appreciate the invitation.

After the parade, the club will stay to pick up trash.


Subordinating Conjunctions examples:
after
although
as
because
before
how
if
once
since
that
while
subordinating conjunctions:
although because when
after before unless
as even if until
as if even though
as long as though
Strategy 2
STRATEGY 2: COMBINING SENTENCES

Improve the flow of a piece by finding logical and creative ways to link sentences.
Simple sentences are fine, but too many in a row become choppy to read.

Create
compound
and
complex
sentences to help show how ideas relate to one another.
2 simple sentences (independent clauses) joined by COMMA and COORDINATING CONJUNCTION (fanboys)
COMPOUND SENTENCE
I
"
I VOW TO LOVE YOU,
AND
I PROMISE TO
LOVE YOU UNCONDITIONALLY
."
-Channing Tatum
A sentence that contains an independent clause and at least
one dependent clause
As we drifted apart,
I was
becoming more desperate
to save what we once had
shared...
More tips
Short & Choppy
= BORING
COMPLEX SENTENCE
As soon as “The Screamer” took off, I knew I had made a mistake in letting my sister talk me into stepping on the yanking and writhing monster seemingly designed by Satan himself. Every move the roller coaster made terrified me; its violent, headache-inducing bumps, gut-twisting lurches, and gravity-yanking drops, and for this reason the ride seemed as if it would last for eternity. But it didn’t. Just as I felt able to draw my last breath, the cars swooped into the loading area in order to expel us and lure more victims. Suddenly, inexplicably, I yearned for more. I turned to my sister with eager eyes. “Let’s go again!”
As soon as “The Screamer” took off, I knew I had made a mistake in letting my sister talk me into stepping on the yanking and writhing monster seemingly designed by Satan himself.
(33 words)
Every move the roller coaster made terrified me; its violent, headache-inducing bumps, gut-twisting lurches, and gravity-yanking drops, and for this reason the ride seemed as if it would last for eternity.
(34 words
) But it didn’t.
(3 words)
Just as I felt able to draw my last breath, the cars swooped into the loading area in order to expel us and lure more victims. Suddenly, inexplicably, I yearned for more.
(6 words)
I turned to my sister with eager eyes. “Let’s go again!”
(3 words)
Notice the Variety?
At 7:05 a.m., five minutes past the time I was supposed to be in the school parking lot to meet with the Excursion Club for a climb up Guagua Mountain, the local volcano, I was on the phone trying to call a taxi.
(43 words)
The line was busy.
(4 words)
I brushed my teeth and tried again.
(7 words)
Still busy.
(2 words)
I threw my hiking gear and extra clothes into my backpack, put on my boots and called again.
(18 words)
. Busy.
(1 word)
I woke up feeling awful. I was groggy and I felt like I had swallowed gravel, my throat was so sore. I felt a dull ache all over my whole body. I heard my mom call, but I really didn't want to crawl out of bed and face the day.
Let's practice
Write a sentence in the chat box that begins with the adjective "shivering."
Begin a sentence with "in the darkness." Type in the chat box.
More practice:
Can you type an example of a gerund in the chat box?
Gilbert, Arizona used to be mainly an agricultural town. It has recently attracted more business.

One of the lounge chairs was not packed properly. It was damaged during the move.
What is sentence fluency?
SENTENCE FLUENCY is the readability of the sentences that make up the writing. The sentences should flow smoothly from one to the next and ultimately have a rhythm that matches the content of the piece. The sentences should have different beginnings, varied lengths, and alternating structures for sentence fluency.
Now you try! revise the following sentences.
Keisha was not prepared for her early morning flight. She did not pack the night before. She missed her flight.
Go!
I studied a lot. I made a good grade on the test.
Use a subordinating conjunction to revise the following sentences.
GO!
Always read your writing out loud!
Have someone else read out loud while you listen
More practice
revise the following sentences
If you are watching the recorded session, you should complete all of the practice activities and send your revisions to me in a message for credit.
Strategy 3
Vary sentence length
Full transcript