For this assignment, you will be
crafting sentences according to specific grammatical
and structural requirements.
of this assignment is to give you and opportunity and space to focus on sentence craft. Although the content of any given written text is
important(obviously), the way the content is presented, the way it
is articulate, has significant impact on how it is received. Sentence craft
isn’t just about grammatical correctness; it’s about investing your writing
with rhetorical power.
Being conscious of how you want your
audience to react to your writing, and practicing
how to craft a variety of sentence types and structures, will strengthen your writing and thus your points, insights and arguments.
The criteria will be the basis for
- Each sentence contains the specific
requirements (see below)
- Sentences are grammatical, clear and
do not contain unnecessary words or phrases
- Sentences reflect creativity and
originality: it would be fairly simple to construct
sentences according to the specific requirements, but it is harder, and more useful, to strive to create sentences which
fulfill the requirements and reflect the author’s efforts to craft
interesting and rhetorically compelling sentences free of cliches, empty
phrasing and unspecific and vague diction.
Below is a list of the requirements
for each sentence. Number the sentences you craft,
fulfill the requirements, re-read, edit and revise with care.
Craft the following sentences:
1. Write a sentence using at least
three prepositions. One way to approach this is to describe something or
someone in motion, or to describe where an object is situated. Have
some fun with this.
2. “Write a long simple sentence with one subject and
numerous (three or more) accumulative verb”
3. Write three sentences in the
imperative mood without sounding condescending.
4. Write a simple sentence with three
infinitive phrases and which expresses a meaningful
insight, belief or experience, as in the following example:
“The purpose of life is to live it,
to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out, eagerly
and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)
5. “Do you agree that
everything flows; nothing remains? Using a parallel construction, write a
sentence parodying or agreeing (stating it in another way) or disagreeing with Heraclitus’s
Heraclitus’s: “Everything changes but change itself. Everything flows and
nothing remains the same... You cannot step twice into the same river, for
other waters and yet others go flowing ever on.”
6. Craft a triad freight train
sentence to describe a concept (perhaps from your
discipline), a place or an abstract experience or concept, such as love,desire, hate, jealousy, justice, friendship, knowledge,
7. Write a long, complex periodic
sentence. Use at least two dependent clauses; you may also
add phrases throughout. Create a sentence that spans at least three lines.
8. Using the same content, even the
same structures of clauses and phrases, re-write
your periodic sentence as a long, complex accumulative/loose sentence.Which version do you think has the most impact? Why?
9. Using anaphora, a rhetorical
device of repetition and an example of accumulation,
craft a series of clauses (independent and dependent), either as one long sentence or as a series of sentences. Choose your topic
carefully—unless you wish to write parody, remember that devices of
repetition are used to emphasize content. Anaphora can create a very dramatic
effect, so be sure the content is worth the emphasis.
For reference: http://www.virtualsalt.com/rhetoric.htm
10. “Describe a concept using an accumulation of single words” like the example from James Joyce. In this case, he describes his
concept of the artist:
“The artist, like the God of
creation, remains within or
behind or behind or beyond or above his
handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent,paring his finger nails.”
The words highlighted in bold each
describe the artist: the first four are prepositions
locating the artist; the last three describe him.