Testing Sentence Elements

Analyze the subject/character and verb/action patterns.

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Nominalization
Find nominalization examples in these sentences with similar meaning.

Do you prefer one over the other? Why?

Contrast the first sentence with second using nominalizations from the first.

Which sentence is more effective? Why? Might one work better than other in different circumstances?

Which better explains the possible negative effect of nominalization?

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Consistent topic strings to control paragraph.
Read these two versions and attempt to decide how and why the topic strings better control the flow and hence effectiveness of paragraph.

Vegetation covers the earth, except in those areas continuously covered with ice or utterly scorched by continual heat. Richly fertilized plains and river valleys are places where plants grow most richly, but also at the edge of perpetual snow in high mountains. The ocean and its edges as well as in and around lakes and swamps. are densely vegetated. The cracks of busy city sidewalks have plants in them as well as in seemingly barren cliffs. Before humans existed, the earth was covered with vegetation, and the earth will have vegetation long after evolutionary history swallows us up.

Except for those areas covered with ice or scorched by continual heat, the earth is covered by vegetation. Plants grow more richly in fertilized plains and river valleys, but they also grow at the edge of perpetual snow in high mountains. Dense vegetation grows in the ocean and around the edges as well as in and around lakes and swamps. Plants grow in the cracks of busy city sidewalks as well as on seemingly barren cliffs. Vegetation will cover the earth long after we have been swallowed up by evolutionary history. return

Managing emphasis.
Which version most effectively manages emphasis? How?

Consider these two paragraphs on the same complex subject, using largely the same language, even passive verbs. (Sentences have been separated for easy examination.) Which is more effective? Why?

The administration has blurred an issue central to arms control, the issue of verification The issue of verification -- so central to arms control -- has been blurred by the administration.
Irresponsible charges, innuendo and leaks have submerged serious problems with Country X compliance. Serious problems with Country X's compliance have been submerged in irresponsible charges, innuendo, and leaks.
The objective, instead, should be not to exploit these concerns in order to further poison our relations, repudiate existing agreements, or, worse still, terminate arms control altogether, but to insist on compliance and clarify reasonable behavior. The objective, instead, should be to clarify questionable behavior and insist on compliance -- not to exploit these concerns in order to further poison our relations, repudiate existing agreements, or worse still, terminate arms control altogether.
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Managing endings and beginnings to achieve desired emphasis. Discuss the effectiveness of these sentence pairs. Concentrate on identifying what the sentence meant to stress.

  • The are limited opportunities for faculty to work with individual students in large American colleges and universities.
  • In large American universities, the opportunities for faculty to work with individual students are limited (extensive, ...).
  • College students commonly complain about teachers who assign a long final term paper and then give a grade but no comments.
  • The teacher who makes an assignment of a long final term paper at the end of semester and who then gives only a grade at the end of the semester and nothing else such as critical comment is commonly the object of complaint among students at the college level. return
    To cite this page:
    Testing Sentence Elements
    <http://www.physics.ohio-state.edu/~wilkins/writing/Handouts/vgs/sent-quiz.html>
    [Thursday, 14-Dec-2017 10:01:08 EST]
    Edited by: wilkins@mps.ohio-state.edu on Friday, 03-Apr-2009 12:42:31 EDT