Sunday, April 16, 2006

Style #8

Style #8: Shape

In this lesson, Williams talks about sentences and how to make them clear. He writes about how we are usually told that we shouldn’t write long sentences but that sometimes long sentences are needed when writing about complex ideas. In reading a piece of writing out loud one can usually figure out what sentences are too long and need to be rewritten. An interesting way that he said to figure out if sentences were too long is to put slash marks in place of end punctuation and then read those sentences that are longer than two lines out loud. If you run out of breath before reaching the slash then the sentence needs to be revised. He says to avoid long introductory phrases and long subjects as well as interrupting subject verb connection. He also says to avoid sentence sprawling which is when a series of subordinate clauses are placed after the verbs and objects in a sentence. He gives three methods to reshape the body: 1. Cut excessive clauses or reduce them into phrases, 2. Use modifiers to replace clauses, and 3. Use coordination to go from simple to complex. Lastly, it is important to use correct punctuation in order to make everything flow together nicely.


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