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   Student Writing
    (February 10,2001

Here are some samples of students' writing using short, medium, and long sentences. Teacher comments are in italics. Three teacher sentences are at the bottom of this page.


The Short Ones

An apple, that sounds good! (five words)

This sentence has a conversational or musical style, which makes it attractive.

My favourite fruit is apple because apples have iron. (9 words) 
My favourite fruit is an apple because of its iron. (10 words)

Orange, yummy! (2 words)

This is not technically a sentence, since it lacks a verb. But, it communicates a clear meaning in an effective way. All good writers use “non” sentences frequently.

Apple, how beautiful it is!

The Medium Ones

Because apples taste refreshing, I usually have them whenever I feel thirsty just after physical exercise. (17 words)

Use “because” in first position rarely, and never more than one time in a piece of writing. In fact, vary your structures and the kinds of words you use throughout your writing.

Oranges are my favourite fruit, which are produced in California and are orange, seedless, and sweet.

Lists are good ways to increase sentences from short to medium, but not particularly good for increasing from short to long. The comma before “and” in a list is, in my and most editor’s opinion a necessary comma to avoid confusion.

The Long Ones

There is a famous saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” so I have chosen the red, tasty and juicy apple as my favourite fruit.

Never underestimate the power of the simple conjunction! And, never forget using the acronym “FANBOYS!” (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

An orange is a round reddish-yellow fruit, which comes from a medium-sized tree harvested in the winter, and contains Vitamin C, essential for the vitality of human blood.

If you use two adjectives meant to be taken together in meaning, use a hyphen to join them. Feel free to make your own, new adjectives in this way.

Teacher Samples:

When opened, naval oranges give off a delicious, tangy aroma. (10 words)

Use smell. It’s a powerful sense.

Although the orange season is short, it is filled with many varieties to savour, enjoy, and best of all, devour. (20 words)

Break your list as I have with “and best of all” in order to get more emphasis on the last in the list.

I love all kinds of oranges: the Satsuma, for its ease of opening; the naval, for its tangy sweetness; the tangerine, for its exotic flavours, and the blood, for its intense colour. (32 words)

Use parallel structure to help pull your sentence together, especially when writing longer ones.


More Student Writing:

The Mosquitoes on Campus
Couch writes an amusing story of meeting the new, much smarter, urban mosquito!  November 28

Nothing Came to My Mind
Tina has written an intriguing narrative paragraph about finding quiet contemplation time in her car on an autumn day. November 9

A Smart Pig
Annie's amusing paragraph contemplates what it would be like to be a pig, but only for one day! 

Hanging Up the Clothes
Short paragraph with lots of detailed description. 

How to Reduce Stress
    Short essay in five paragraph standard style.

Smells of the Sun
Short paragraph demonstrating the use of the senses in writing.

Advice to New Students of the PALC
Lucky gives some straightforward and useful advice to new students. 

The PALC for Improving Your English
Ciprian has some good advice on how the PALC can help you with your English skills.




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