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ERIC Number: EJ846675
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-15
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Diagram This Headline in One Minute, if You Can
Landecker, Heidi
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n36 pA10 May 2009
Say "sentence diagramming" to people of a certain age, and one gets different reactions. Say it to most college students, and one gets a blank look. But not from the 24 students in Lucy Ferriss's "Constructing Thought," a half-credit course in the English department at Trinity College. They know how to diagram a sentence--and they are passionate about it. This article describes the course's main event, a sentence-diagramming "slam." Two teams will compete to see which one can, in 45 minutes, best diagram a 100-word sentence crafted by the other. Their lessons have been building toward the slam all semester. A tall woman with a commanding voice, Ms. Ferriss, 55, is the reason these 19- to 21-year-olds are so excited about diagramming, a method of teaching English grammar that fell out of favor when she was still in middle school. Her boundless enthusiasm for the structure of sentences, along with her high standards, has infected her students with a zeal to get it right. When completed, the phrases and clauses assembled by her students will form intricate, branching diagrams along each blackboard, like a delta or a graceful, fallen larch.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut