Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sentence Combining

I have long been a fan of sentence combining activities as a meaningful and effective way of improving students’ writing skills. Since the 1960’s, research studies have shown that sentence combining is an effective way to teach grammar to students in elementary through college levels and improves student writing. This is especially so for students who struggle with writing. The Writing Next report (2007)  based on Graham and Perin’s meta-analysis of writing instruction research, identified sentence combining as one of the eleven most effective instructional practices for improving the writing of students in grades 4-12   Sentence Combining 

How to Combine Sentences Effectively

Rules for Combining Sentences (includes grade levels) 

 Evaluating Sentence Combinations

After combining a set of sentences in a variety of ways, you should take the time to evaluate your work and decide which combinations you like and which ones you don't. You may do this evaluation on your own or in a group in which you will have a chance to compare your new sentences with those of others. In either case, read your sentences out loud as you evaluate them: how they sound to you can be just as revealing as for how they look.
Here are six basic qualities to consider when you evaluate your new sentences:
  1. Meaning. As far as you can determine, have you conveyed the idea intended by the original author?
  2. Clarity. Is the sentence clear? Can it be understood on the first reading?
  3. Coherence. Do the various parts of the sentence fit together logically and smoothly?
  4. Emphasis. Are keywords and phrases put in emphatic positions (usually at the very end or at the very beginning of the sentence)?
  5. Conciseness. Does the sentence clearly express an idea without wasting words?
  6. Rhythm. Does the sentence flow, or is it marked by awkward interruptions? Do the interruptions help to emphasize key points (an effective technique), or do they merely distract (an ineffective technique)?Introduction to Sentence Combining


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