ERIC Number: ED200989
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
What is Sentence Combining and Why Does It Work?
When the literature and the research results on sentence combining are analyzed, they seem to provide an expanded meaning of sentence combining and reasons for its effects on the writing of some students. Gains in syntactic maturity alone do not explain why sentence combining affects positively the writing of some students, nor does the fact that students learn to control syntax within rhetorical contexts. But the latter, together with knowledge of the classroom emphasis on close reading, does lead to a new way of looking at sentence combining--not simply as a program to expand single sentences devoid of context, but as a program of syntactic options for revising sentences in the context of paragraphs and larger units. It may be that sentence combining practice improves writing quality because in giving students control over syntax--as evidenced in part by greater T-unit length variation--it makes them aware of how to rewrite. More than a simple gain in syntactic skill, this awareness is a quantum leap in perception for most students. It affects their writing positively because it gives them control over syntax and the knowledge that writing, rather than being merely a process of setting down on paper a preconceived product, is a process of vision and revision, a way of seeing. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Revision (Written Composition)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).