Achieving Emphasis


EMPHASIS is achieved by managing the flow of ideas thusly:

1. Begin sentence by consistently organizing your subject/topics around
    a few central characters or concepts
2. Quickly close that subject with a precise verb expressing action.
3. By default important new information is at the end of the sentence.

A charge of gross violation of academic responsibility is required for a Board
of Trustees to dismiss a tenured faculty member for cause, and an elaborate 
hearing procedure with a prior statement of charges is provided for before a 
tenured faculty member may be dismissed for cause, in most States.

[The next two examples build a climatic rhythm.]

In most States, before a Board of Trustees may dismiss a tenured faculty
member for cause, it must charge him [!] with a gross violation of academic
responsibility and provide him [!] with a startment of charges and an
elaborate hearing.

In most States, established procedures restrict how a Board of Trustees 
may dismiss a tenured faculty member for gross violation of academic
responsibility.  That faculty member must be (1) provided with a
statement of charge and (2) judged in an elaborate procedure.

Putting emphasis at the end where the stess  is.

1. Trim the ending

Sociobiologists are making the provocative claim that our genes largely
determine our social behavior in the way we act in situations we find
around us every day.

Sociobiologists are making the provocative claim that our genes largely
determine our social behavior.

2. Shift less important information to the left.

No one can explain why the first primeval superatom exploded and thereby
created the universe in a few words.

No one can explain in a few words why that first primeval superatom
exploded and thereby created the universe.

3. Shift important information to the right.

Moving the important information to the end of the sentence is another
  way to manage the flow of ideas.
Another way you can manage the flow of ideas is to move the most
  important information to the end of the sentence.

A discovery that will change the very foundation of our understandings of 
  ourselves and our place in the scheme of things is imminent.
A discovery is imminent that will change the very foundation of our
  understandings of ourselves and our place in the scheme of things.


Devices -- which, if used sparingly, spice up your prose.

a. There.

A few grammatical patterns add weight to the end of the sentence.
*There* are a few grammatical patterns that add weight to the end of the
   sentence.

b. What.

This country needs a monetary policy that will end the violent
   fluctuations in the money supply, unemployment, and inflation.
*What* this country needs is a monetary policy that will end the violent
   fluctuations in the money supply, unemployment, and inflation.

c. It.

That domestic oil prices must eventually rise to the level set by OPEC
   once seemed inevitable.
*It* once seem inevitable that domestic oil prices must eventually rise
   to the level set by OPEC

In 1933 this country experienced a depression that almost wrecked our
   democratic system of government.
*It was in 1933 that this country experienced a depression that almost
   wrecked our democratic system of government.


Your comments and suggestions are appreciated.
[Handouts Home Page]
General Summary
Sentences
Paragraphs
Nominalization
Emphasis
active vs. passive voice
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Achieving Emphasis
<http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/writing/Handouts/emphasis.html>
[Friday, 15-Dec-2017 05:18:34 EST]

Edited by: wilkins@mps.ohio-state.edu on Friday, 07-Apr-2000 08:17:57 EDT