ERIC Number: ED202032
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Using Sentence Combining in Technical Writing Classes.
Rosner, Mary; Paul, Terri
In spite of the growth in popularity of sentence combining over the last 20 years, few teachers use it in technical writing classes, either because the exercises are inappropriate or because teachers fear that sentence combining will teach students to write longer rather than better sentences. Sentence combining can, however, teach technical writing students basic sentence structure, sentence editing and punctuation, paragraph development and organization, and rhetorical stance. It allows students to practice choosing material appropriate for different audiences and purposes. One sentence combining exercise requires students to combine sets of sentences in imitation of a particular structure. A series of "decombining" exercises can help students see why a particular sentence is unfocused and how it can be improved. In a similar exercise for paragraphs, students choose a focus for the paragraph from a list of base sentences, select appropriate details from the list, and organize them for emphasis. In a final exercise, teachers can present a series of base sentences, then ask students to choose different kinds of details for different, previously defined audiences. After choosing the details, students adjust word choice and emphasis for each audience. The exercises show that sentence combining, with its emphasis on flexibility and choice, allows for the variations that exist in technical writing. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Audience Awareness
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (32nd, Dallas, TX, March 26-28, 1981).