Routledge

PUTTING SENTENCES TOGETHER

 

If you have

·      prepared a good plan

·      broken that plan into sub-topics 

·      broken those sub-topics down too

you will have most, if not all, of the points you want to make.

 

You should have started to write sentences under each heading.

Some of these will include reasons or evidence for what you are saying.

This is part of being creative – composing what you want to say.

 

In Chapter 6 we gave you ideas on how to construct basic sentences. Now you need to find ways to expand some sentences and put others together. Before you start to write, say the sentence out loud. You may want to rephrase it.

 

Use a tape recorder.

 

Leave it running so that you can capture the various ways you express things – then write down the version you're happy with. Once you've written a paragraph or two, read it back to yourself aloud. Ask yourself if the grammar is correct?

 

If it sounds wrong, it may be that there is a grammatical error. We've recommended a couple of books on grammar in Appendix B.  We've also given some information on parts of speech in Chapter 6 and on this website: More parts of speech.

 

Getting writing to 'flow' naturally can be very difficult when you are having to think about all the conventions of transcribing ideas onto the page. Using a tape recorder can be a great help.

 

But even when you have finished your writing, it may still sound a little stilted and unnatural. Here are some possible reasons.

·      Are you using the same word too many times? Use a thesaurus or a synonym dictionary to find some alternative words. Make a note of these in your personal dictionary. You can also keep a note of phrases and sentences that you like, so that you can adapt them for your own use.

 

·      Are your sentences too long? A sentence should contain one point you want to make or, at the most, two closely related points. Use full stops more than you expect to!

'I encouraged pupils back on task by emphasising all the things that they had done right so far and how they could build on it because it is far more constructive to give some a target to meet than it is to tell them to get on with their work.'

 

·      There are too many ideas in this one sentence. It could be rewritten without changing the words too much:

'I encouraged pupils back on task by emphasising all the things that they had done right. They could then build on this and progress. It is far more constructive to give them a target to meet than it is  to tell them to get on with their work.'

 

·      Are you using the same construction in your sentences so that your writing sounds monotonous?

'By teaching this topic I now have a better idea about the differences in pupils. By marking work and asking questions while students did experiments I now have a much better understanding of how I can make it easier for students with particular needs.'

 

·      Both sentences are in the format: By………I can……… . This could be reworded so that both sentences are constructed differently and the text becomes more lively:

'Through teaching this subject I now have a better idea of the differences in pupils. Marking their work and asking questions while they did experiments has given me some ideas as to how to make things easier for students with particular needs.'

 

·      Are your sentences too short? Try joining linked ideas together with conjunctions.

 

Conjunctions are words that join two sentences or phrases, e.g. but, and etc.

Transitions are words or phrases that connect or link one phrase or sentence to another to make a point clearer.

 

For some examples go to More parts of speech.

 

When using conjunctions or transitions, the two parts of the new sentence must be related in some way.

 

 

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