Pearson Adult Learning Centre

Brad's Advanced Composition  May 25 Assignment

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Advanced Composition: The Long and Short of It
May 25, 2000

Sometimes, writing is mechanically correct, grammatically perfect, and still is difficult or tedious to read. Why is this? Often, the fault is poor sentence rhythm. Note that this introduction has used a variety of sentence lengths and types. Draw a quick diagram of the sentence lengths using lines for each one, and marking the commas with a / and the periods with a |.

For example the first two sentences:

___________________________________| __________|.

Improving Sentence Rhythm

bulletUse short sentences once or perhaps twice in a paragraph. These are sentences with 5 or fewer words. 
bulletWhen you use a longer sentences, such as one with a subordinate clause, follow it with a shorter or medium sentence length. 
bulletRead you work back to yourself. Does it sound natural? Do you stop because the words don't come out the right way? Try changing to a different sentence length (join two sentences into one; break one sentence into two) and see what happens.


Write about a favourite piece of music. Explain why you like it, and what you think about as you listen. Diagram your sentences and try to use a pleasing rhythm.

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