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ERIC Number: ED247526
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Lexical Cohesion of Combined and Decombined Sentences.
Addison, James C., Jr.
In order to account for the ways in which combined and decombined sentences work, and to determine why some texts are perceived as being well-written and others are perceived as poor and ineffective, 11 texts were selected for distribution to students for ranking, all on the same topic--the Civil War. Overall, students ranked Bruce Catton's "Grant and Lee at Appomattox" as the best and it became the experimental text. The sentences in this piece were decombined--to reduce the fluidity of the writing--and then submitted to students, who ranked the text near the middle of the 11 sample texts. Next, students read and rewrote the decombined text, taking into account instructor recommendations regarding substitution, conjunction, and subordination. These student-recombined texts were then given to another group of students, who ranked the ones that were most like the Catton original the highest. Analysis of original and recombined texts, to discover patterns that related to the arrangement of lexical sets to good writing, was inconclusive. A survey of students to determine features that accounted for the quality of the text indicated that the words "it" and "and" are significant. It seems that the small words provide the key link between the meaning and wording systems of a languge. (CRH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A