ERIC Number: ED247583
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Oct
Reference Count: 0
Sentence Combining as a Practical Diagnostic Tool.
Brown, Earl B., Jr.; Brown, Margaret C.
Writing samples as diagnostic measurement tools have many variables that the instructor must control--time is a factor, and often the instructor needs more than one sample to fairly evaluate student writing ability. One method for better predicting the exact nature of students' writing problems is sentence combining. For sentence combining to be considered a direct measure of writing, it must be open (unsignaled)--which is thought by some theorists to mimic the writing process--and whole-discourse so that students have a concept around which to fit the given kernels as well as a context in which to understand each kernel. Their revision of the open, whole-discourse excercise demonstrates their understanding of the writing process since they must rely on composing (augmenting the given idea), revising, (including transforming, embedding, chaining, and deleting), and editing (including copying skills and the solving of usage problems encountered in the revising stage). Other advantages include lower student apprehension because content is provided and they base their revision choices on attempts to create consciousness in the audience, to reveal empathy, to establish distance between writer and audience, and to place complex material at the end of a sentence. Overall, sentence combining gives students a fair chance to demonstrate their skills, while the limitation of possible choices makes evaluation easy for the instructor. (CRH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English (Arlington, VA, October 7-9, 1983).