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Lively Art of Writing Essay

LAW Chap 1 What is an Essay?

Pick a subject, examine everything you know about it, arrive at an honest opinion. That probably sounds easy. It isn’t. But it represents at least half the work involved in writing an essay. And most of it you can do without touching a pencil. The first axiom of the essayist could hardly be made clearer:

Think before you write.

In other words, never sit down to write until you have thought long enough and hard enough about one subject to have an opinion about it—an opinion that you believe in and want to share, one that you can defend logically and honestly. Most writing skills are relatively easy to learn, but it is pointless to learn them—in fact, you will find it almost impossible to learn them—unless you have learned the first rule, the unbreakable rule, of essay writing:

Opinions always come first.

And of course it comes first because, as soon as you have an opinion, you have something to say. That’s the important thing: have something to say. Then you can learn how to say it. The skills come easily when you have a purpose for learning them. Have something to say—and if you really want to be heard, nothing can stop you from learning how to say it well.


1) To help formulate an opinion, ask how, why, and what questions. 2) Force yourself to question your position by carefully considering everything that can be said in FAVOR of an exactly OPPOSITE opinion. This might cause you to change your mind, but that is fine. You may have a STRONGER opinion AND you will have viewed BOTH sides of an argument. You will be more aware of the strengths and weaknesses of your own opinion. 3) You should always check your easy topic against these two questions: a) Can a valid argument be made against it?

b) Can I defend it logically against this argument?
4) Believe what you say!

LAW Chap 1 What is an Essay?

1. What is the difference between opinion and fact? A belief not based on absolute certainty or positive knowledge, but on what seems true, valid, or probable to one’s mind; what one thinks; judgment. 2. How important are facts in an essay? Facts provide a framework or foundation. To convert the facts to an opinion, one must make a judgment about the facts. 3. Is one opinion as good as another? Explain your answer. Not all opinions are equally good. The best opinions usually have the most opposition. Value judgments (this is better than that) almost always have a clear-cut opposition.

4. Assuming that the writer has an adequate background in his subject, would American foreign policy be a good general subject for an essay? Why or why not? American foreign policy would be a good subject in general as long as you pick a specific topic for an argument. This is NOT a subject that most agree upon, therefore it would be interesting to many. 5. The titles below are grouped around particular subjects. Which title in each group would make the best essay topic? Why? a) Sewing as a Hobby

b) Clothes You Make Yourself
c) Sewing is Suddenly “In”
d) How to Make a Pleated Skirt
Letter “c” because you could have an opinion as to why sewing is suddenly popular. e) Cars for Teen-Agers

f) Driver-Training Programs Cost Too Much
g) Twin Carburetors
h) Styling on the Latest Sports Models
Letter “f” because you could argue why the programs cost so much. i) Moby Dick
j) The Symbolism in Moby Dick
k) The Character of Ahab in Moby Dick
l) Moby Dick, America’s Greatest Novel
Letter “l” because you have to argue why you think this is the best novel; others would disagree. m) Why Should Students Study Literature?
n) High Points in American Literature
o) Literature in Relation to History
p) Most Students Can’t Read Letter “p” because this would be controversial. However, one could make an argument about the level of reading today’s student have mastered. q) The Student Council is Outmoded

r) Student Councils and Student Government
s) The President of the Student Council
t) Your Student Council Letter “q” is the only one that states an opinion.

6. What is the chief difference between a typical term paper and an essay? Most term papers just give facts, where an easy communicates your opinion. 7. What is the weakness in each of the following essay topics? u) Edison Invented the Electric-Light Bulb

This not an opinion, but a fact.
v) Teachers Should Explain Things Clearly
This would be a universally accepted fact.
w) Science Has Influenced Modern Life
Again, this is a fact. A better topic would to be to make a value judgment (for or bad) about this statement. x) Safe Driving Should Be Encouraged
It would be ridiculous to try to argue against this statement. y) The Responsibilities of Students A paper written from this statement would just give information. No opinion is stated.

LAW Chap 1 What is an Essay?

1. Write a one-sentence opinion based on each of the subjects below: laughter Only truly happy people laugh a lot.
art Art is a frivolous study for those who pursue the sciences. fear Even the most courageous people have a sense of fear. apples Apples should be a part of every child’s school lunch. grades Grade and test scores alone should not be used to gain college admission. fashions Todays fashions promote increased promiscuity among teenagers. drag racing Drag racing promotes safety among car enthusiasts. popularity Teenagers are more concerned about popularity than their academics. shoes Closed-toe shoes should be required in all schools.

2. Choose one of your opinions, and list at least three facts that will support it. Grades a) Grades and test scores do not fully depict an applicant’s academic ability. b) An applicant’s outside activities can help a college to understand an applicant’s passion. c) Applicants from disadvantaged groups might be discriminated against by the strict use of test scores.

3. Write a one-sentence opinion that is exactly the opposite to yours, and list three facts that will support it. (You may not agree with the opinion, but you must use convincing facts.) Colleges should base admission on grades and test scores alone to create a fair and unbiased admission process. a) Grades and test scores determine a person’s academic ability. b) This is the only way for colleges to compare different applicants, c) Test scores are objective and do not allow for bias.

d) Write at least two paragraphs using all the material you have written for #2 and #3 (the two opinions and both sets of facts.) You must reword the material to suit your purpose, but be sure to use all of it in some way, relating the paragraphs clearly so that the reader will understand why you favor one opinion instead of the other.

Grades and test scores alone should not be the determining factor in college admissions. The difficulty and rigor of classes across different high schools vary greatly. Additionally, course content is not consistent from school to school. Consequently, some students have access to a top notch education that will prepare them to score very well on standardized tests. This puts those in poorer quality schools at a distinct disadvantage. Furthermore, applicants from disadvantaged groups frequently come from poorer schools and have not had the same opportunity to take advanced honors or AP courses. These advanced courses not only boost grade point average but also help the applicant to perform well on standardized tests.

Those who advocate admission by grades and test scores alone propose that this is the only unbiased way to compare applicants from many different backgrounds. However, those students from under-performing high schools have not been given the opportunity to demonstrate their true academic ability. They have been hindered by poor instruction or lack of funds that would have allowed them to perform well on standardized tests. Accepting applicants on grades and test scores alone would create a bias toward those from affluent schools and would make attaining a higher education nearly impossible for those in depressed areas.

LAW Chap 1 What is an Essay?

1. Look up the following words in a dictionary. Find a synonym and an antonym for each word. WordSynonymAntonym

adequatesufficient, acceptable inferior, insufficient
altercationdispute, embroilmentagreement, harmony
antagonismanimosity, enmity agreement, understanding
apathyindifference, lassitudesympathy, concern
platitudecommonplace, verbiagecoinage, nuance
validlegitimate, trueunacceptable, wrong
2. In your opinion, what is the meaning of the term “value judgment”? Use a specific example to illustrate. A value judgment is when a person uses facts to formulate an opinion about a subject. An example of this would be one’s opinion about the death penalty. A person could use facts about the death penalty in order to make an argument for or against this punishment. 3. In the chapter you have just read, the following two phrases appear: “the odor of mendacity” and “Scylla of dullness and the Charybdis of mendacity.” Look up the meanings of mendacity, Scylla and Charybdis. Find the text sentences containing these phrases and copy the complete sentences.

Then, in your own words, explain exactly what the sentences mean. “the odor of mendacity” An easy based on a dishonest opinion will always carry with it Big Daddy’s “odor of mendacity”, and nothing can disguise that particular smell. Mendacity- untruthfulness. Big Daddy was a character in the play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” and this line refers to the lies being told by his family. In an easy, dishonesty will be detected. “the Scylla of dullness and the Charybdis of mendacity” But once you have done this, you can be secure in your belief, and it will help guide you between the Scylla of dullness and the Charybdis of mendacity. In Homer’s Odyssey, the Scylla was a six headed monster on one side of a straight in the sea, and the Charybdis was a deadly whirlpool. The above sentence demonstrates the dangers of an essay- untruthfulness or dullness. Examining both side of an argument will help you to avoid the above dangers.

LAW Chap 2 From Opinion to Thesis

Every essay is an opinion, but not every opinion is a good essay topic. It is a good topic only if it can be boiled down to one arguable statement about one major point. This statement is called a thesis, and you arrive at it by a process of thinking that has five steps: first, by taking inventory of your information; second, by asking yourself general questions, or “wondering” about your material; third, by relating it to your general information and experience; fourth, by asking the yes-or-no question; fifth, by qualifying your answer to this question.

That qualified answer is your thesis. You know now precisely what it is you want to say—and that is the first long step in the path toward better writing.

LAW Chap 2 From Opinion to Thesis

1. What is the difference between opinion and thesis? A thesis is your opinion boiled down to one arguable statement. 2. What is the five-step process for narrowing a general subject to a thesis? 1. Take inventory-what do you know about the subject? 2. Ask questions

3. Look for relationships
4. Ask the yes-or-no question
5. Quality-what degree (always, never, many, most
3. What is the value of the yes-or-no question? It allows you to decide if your position is defendable. If you cannot answer “yes” or “no”, then you need to add a qualification. 4. Why is qualification of a thesis important? Qualifications allow you to indicate the degree of truth in your thesis.

LAW Chap 2 From Opinion to Thesis

At the top of a sheet of paper, write the name of some subject in which you are now enrolled. Then do the following:

1. Write at least five statements of fact about it. 
2. Write at least two yes-or-no questions that occur to you in relation to these facts.  3. Write a thesis based on one of the questions. 
4. Write an antithesis. (If your antithesis is not valid, write a new thesis. Keep trying until you are sure that both thesis and antithesis can be defended.)  5. Give at least one reason (or one piece of evidence) supporting your antithesis.  6. Give at least two reasons (or pieces of evidence) supporting your thesis.  7. Write a paragraph based on your thesis (#3). Include in this paragraph the point supporting the antithesis (#5) and both the points supporting you thesis (#6). Bear in mind that your purpose is to persuade a reader to agree with your thesis. Organize your paragraph in the way that seems to be best for this purpose. 

LAW Chap 2 From Opinion to Thesis

1. Find a synonym to use in place of each of the italicized words in the sentences below. Rewrite the sentences if necessary.

a) Everything he had to say on the subject was the antithesis of all I believed. Everything he had to say on the subject was contrary to all I believed, b) He is so arbitrary in his judgments that it is impossible to reason with him. He is so random in his judgements that it is impossible to reason with him. c) Nobody believes that point is arguable.

Nobody believes that point is defendable.
d) He was a small, meek-looking man, but he was a formidable opponent in a debate. He was a small, meek-looking man, but he was a dangerous opponent in a debate. e) His impassioned plea fell on deaf ears.

His fervent plea fell on deaf ears.
f) He was an indulgent grandfather.
He was a charitable grandfather.
g) Nobody ever had a more unpromising start in business. Nobody ever had a more disheartening start in a business.
2. The words “principle” and “principal” are often confused because they sound alike although they are spelled differently and have different meanings. Sometimes the only way to master such words is to invent some private trick—a rhyme, a joke, any kind of nonsense that will help you remember their difference. It doesn’t matter how silly it seems, if it works.

One student, for example, wrote “I can remember that “principle” means rule because it ends like disciple” which reminds me of the Golden Rule.” It worked for him. What works for you? Write two or three sentences explaining how you keep these words and their spelling (and meaning) clear in your own mind. If you don’t already have a trick of your own, make one up.

A “principal” could be your “pal” if you behave. A “principle” is a rule.

3. Write a sentence or two defining “status symbol” and giving a specific example of some kind of status symbol that a student might use. (Don’t use an automobile as your example. Make it a status symbol that the student could wear or carry with him.)

A status symbol is an activity or possession that allows one’s social status to be displayed. A “DS” or an I pod touch are status symbols among today’s kids.

LAW Chap 3 The Full and Final Thesis

The full and final thesis is the thesis plus a list of the points that can be made against it and a longer list of the points in its favor. These con and pro points, listed separately for easy reference under the thesis, provide an organization chart for your entire essay. You should keep your full thesis statement on a separate card that is in full view all the time that you are writing. Use it, not as a rigid outline, but as a guide and a reminder. It will check your tendency to wander off course and will keep you constantly aware of the points you need to make.

The full thesis is a most remarkable and valuable device. Prepare it carefully, refer to it ofter, use it wisely. It will serve you well as you go more deeply into the structure of essays.

LAW Chap 3 The Full and Final Thesis

1. What are the three elements of a full thesis?
A full thesis consists of the thesis, points that can be made against your thesis, and points in favor of your thesis. 2. Explain the relationship of the full thesis to the psychology of argument. The psychology of an argument is a reasonable, logical argument that incorporates the same elements as the full thesis. 3. Why should the full thesis statement be kept in view when you are writing an essay?

A full thesis statement kept in view will keep you from wandering off topic and will be a guide as you write your essay. 4. How strictly should you follow the full thesis when you write your essay? A full thesis statement should serve as a guide and reminder. If you happen to think of a better point when writing, you should feel free to use it as long as it strengthens your argument.

LAW Chap 3 The Full and Final Thesis

1. Below are several thesis statements. Write a full thesis for each, using the form on page 37. a) The search for popularity generally leads to self-improvement.  b) The search for popularity can limit a student’s personal growth.  c) All girls are slightly crazy. 

d) All boys are slightly crazy. 
e) Competition for grades is a healthy influence on students.  f) Competition for grades is an unhealthy influence on students.  2. Using your full thesis statement as a guide, write an essay of at least five paragraphs on one of the topics above. You must work into you essay all the material suggested by your full thesis. Develop and arrange your paragraphs in any way that seems effective, bearing in mind that your purpose is to persuade the reader to agree with your thesis.  NOTE: Hold on to this assignment. You will use it again later.

LAW Chap 3 The Full and Final Thesis
Form of the Full Thesis (from page 37)
drag racing used as an example

Thesis A: Today’s drag-racing teen-ager is primarily an automotive engineer.

Dangers of drag racingDrivers become expert mechanics
Drivers irresponsible, Pride in workmanship
merely attracted by the dangerRespect for the rules at drag strips
Destructiveness (tire burning, etc.)Most criticism uninformed
Noisy, dirtySafety important

Thesis B: Today’s drag-racing teen-ager is usually an irresponsible show-off.

Drivers are good mechanicsWasteful, dirty, noisy
Pride in workmanshipReckless love of danger
Respect for drag strip rulesEmphasis on mechanical skill rather
than on responsibility
Racing instinct encouraged

LAW Chap 3 The Full and Final Thesis

1. Find synonyms for each of the following words:
adolescent juvenile, puerile, youthfulanalogy comparison, relationship belligerent aggressive, antagonisticconcede accept, surrender, yield flourish (n.)blossom, thrive, succeedgrovelingbeseech, implore, beg incoherentdisjointed, confused, irrelevancydeparture, deviation, modifyadapt, adjust, revise, convertpreambleprologue, discussion propoundassert, suggest, proposerelevancepertinence, germaneness

2. Use each of the synonyms you have found for the listed words in a complete sentence. Each sentence must relate in some way to the problems of essay writing. Be as informal as you please—complain if you feel like it. But use the synonym, and be sure that your sentence bears some relation to essay writing. For example, you might write something like this, using “youthful” (the synonym for one of the words above):

It is a cruel and inhuman thing to curb my youthful spirit by forcing me to use logic in order to find a thesis.

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LAW Chap 4 Structure

Think of your essay as a structure, as something that you actually build according to a definite architectural pattern. You will find it far easier to say what you want to say when you have a sense of structure, for it imposes on your thoughts the discipline of logic, which in turn develops your ability to organize and to make relationships.

Every essay has three major parts: an introduction that states the thesis and that can be seen structurally as a triangle resting on one point; a middle section, structurally a large block made up of several smaller blocks or argument; and a conclusion, another triangle resting on a broad-based generalization related to the rest of the essay. Whether an essay is long or short it will have this structure, and you can learn specific techniques for writing each of the three major structural parts and relating them to one another.

Once you have mastered this structure you are ready for the really exciting part of writing: the study of style. That begins in the next chapter. Most of the writing you have done so far has simply familiarized you with your instrument. Soon you will discover what kind of music it can make. But be sure you know your instrument first. Stay with structure until you
understand it thoroughly.

LAW Chap 4 Structure (part 1, pg 47)

1. What is the function of the introductory paragraph? The function of the introductory paragraph is to introduce the subject and come to the point. 2. “The introductory paragraph can be described as a triangle resting on one point.” Explain. The introduction moves from general to specific. It introduces the subject in a general way, and then comes to the point. 3. What is the psychological principle behind the practice of opening an introductory paragraph with a broad, noncontroversial statement? When a person is reading an essay, they do not want an opinion forced on them right away. You do not want the person reading the essay to feel bombarded by your opinion at the start. 4. What is the rule of thumb for writing the first sentence of the introduction? To begin thinking about an opening statement, start with one major element in your thesis (usually a noun) and make an observation about it in any way that the reader will find acceptable.

5. Explain the meaning of the statement that “the sequential logic—from buggy race to hotrod race—is obvious.” We can all understand that racing has always been a part of the human experience. The logic is that this is an activity that has been occurring for a long time, now, however, the machine has changed. 6. Why do students tend to use “bombshell” opening sentences? Why are such sentences nearly always failures? Students tend to utilize bombshell opening sentences in an attempt to be interesting. However, most sentences such as these nearly always fail because they highlight the absence of any real thought or imagination.

7. The author suggests that mastery of structure makes it possible for you to express yourself more freely. Explain how this theory might be applied to one of the following activities: dancing, gymnastics, painting, automobile design, dress design. In automobile design, a person must utilize certain laws of physics and a basic design in order to create a safe car. An engineer must work within this framework to create a working automobile. However, he is still free to utilize his imagination within the framework to create a completely new type of vehicle. LAW Chap 4 Structure


Part 1, pg 47

1. Write four different opening sentences for the introductory paragraph you wrote for your last essay assignment (pages 39-40), using the structural pattern described in this section.  2. Write the entire introductory paragraph, beginning with one of the opening sentences in #1.  3. Write an introductory paragraph ending with one of the theses below:  a) Folk singing is more than a fad.

b) Today’s student tends to be a conformist.
c) The chief purpose of higher education is to teach students to think for themselves. NOTE: You will need this introductory paragraph for your next two assignments. Hang on to it.

LAW Chap 4 Structure (part 2, pg 53)

1. “The real power of your essay resides in the middle section.” Explain. The middle section contains the argument. Here you put forward the reasons that will convince your reader of the thesis. 2. How does the full thesis help you in preparing the middle section? The full thesis has forced you to create a con list and pro list which you are now ready to formulate into an essay.

3. Describe the method of handling opposition in both long and short essays. In a short essay, you may be able to make a concession in one sentence and move on.

In a longer essay, you may need to make concession statements at the beginning of 2 or 3 paragraphs, or devote an entire paragraph to concessions. However, your pro statements should always take up more space than con statements. 4. What point should you make last in your argument? Why? The final argument should be the strongest. It should be based not only on your personal feeling (as it may be skewed) but also on the reader’s point of view. LAW Chap 4 Structure


Part 2, pg 53-54
4. Write a middle section to follow the introduction you wrote for assignment 3 (page 47). Use the illustration for either the short or long essay (figures 4 and 5) as a guide.  NOTE: Hold on to this assignment. You will need it later.

LAW Chap 4 Structure (part 3, pg 58)

1. Since the middle section of an essay covers all the points in the full thesis, why does an essay need a concluding paragraph? An essay requires a conclusion to complete the thought. 2. How does the introduction help you write a conclusion? Often you will restate or rephrase the thesis in your conclusion. You will also borrow phrases and ideas from the introduction and place those in the conclusion. 3. Why is it likely that you will need to rewrite your introduction before writing a conclusion? You may need to re-write the introduction because after writing the main body of the paragraph you have different ideas about what to include in the introduction. 4. Describe the structure of a conclusion. The structure of the conclusion is the opposite of the introduction, with the point, or thesis, restated at the beginning, and then broadening out to more general statements.

5. “Every time you pick up a significant word or phrase from preceding paragraphs and work it into you conclusion, you create echoes in the reader’s mind.” Explain this statement. This statement alludes to the fact that the repetition of words allows the essay to feel unified and complete. 6. How can you summarize without listing? By changing word order and not utilizing the exact same words, you can summarize your points in an essay. 7. Explain what is meant by “broadening” your concluding paragraph to its final sentence. In the concluding paragraph, you start with the thesis and broaden the subject to more generalized statements.

LAW Chap 4 Structure

Part 3, pg 58
5. Look again at the introduction and middle section that you wrote for Assignments 3 and 4. Rewrite you introduction. Then write a concluding paragraph.  6. Write a complete essay on one of the following subjects:  catsbasketballcareers

horsestrackmoney problems

LAW Chap 4 Structure

1. Using your dictionary, write a definition for each of the following words: argument an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; a process of reasoning disconsolate without consolation or solace; hopelessly unhappy; cheerless; gloomy intolerably unendurable; insufferable; excessive

irresolutely doubtful; infirm of purpose; vacillating
lamentable regrettable; unfortunate; mournful obsessive continually preoccupied with a particular activity, person, or thing; excessive repetitive characterized or given to unnecessary repetition; boring; dull sequential characterized by or having a regular sequence; following; consequent tendency a natural or prevailing disposition to move, proceed, or act in some direction or toward some point, end, or result close-up a detailed or intimate view or examination

pan shot referring to moving the camera in a horizontal motion while following the action 2. Each of the words above is used here in a complete sentence followed by part of another sentence. Finish each of the incomplete sentences so that it explains or illustrates the first sentence.

a) Most people think of an argument as a quarrel. In an essay, however, an argument is a process of reasoning in order to persuade a reader to agree with your opinion. b) She was disconsolate. She was
hopelessly unhappy and could not be consoled by others. c) The man was intolerably rude. He was excessively rude to others. d) The boy stood irresolutely at the door. He could not decide whether to enter the crowded room, or turn around and leave. e) Her wardrobe was in lamentable condition. Everything she owned was so old and worn it was not presentable to wear. f) The man showed obsessive concern for his health in many ways. He scheduled an appointment with his doctor every week. g) He made some good points, but he was repetitive.

I got tired of listening to the same arguments over and over again. h) The problems were arranged in sequential order, according to their difficulty. The most difficult problem was the last. i) She has a tendency to be overcritical. She seems to feel that everyone must be perfect in all their efforts. j) The close-up scenes were particularly effective. One shot concentrated on the old man’s hands, and you could see his feeble fingers trembling as he buttoned his worn sweater. k) Films often open with a wide pan shot. In a western movie, for example, the camera usually sets the scene by scanning the vast desert.

LAW Chap 5 First Steps Toward Style

The “two commandments” represent way stations on the road to style. You have not yet finished with structure, but from this point forward structure and style begin to merge. So you need to arm yourself now with the two commandments; they can give you immeasurable help in the writing that lies ahead. Get rid of “there.” Get rid of the first person. Learn to do without them now in your writing, and when they are returned to you—as they will be—you will be able to handle them with grace and skill.

The exercises that follow will help you establish the habit of writing in third person without the help of “there.” Then you will be ready to practice your new discipline in the paragraph, which comes next.

LAW Chap 5 First Steps Toward Style

1. In what way is style in writing similar to style in any kind of activity? Style is the ability to take something that is difficult and make it look effortless. 2. Why is it important to learn what not to do in writing? Give an example of the value of this rule in some other field (golfing, bowling, swimming, acting, singing, etc.) Learning what not to do forces you to think of another way to write. In a sport, such as swimming, learning what not to do in a stoke forces you to practice it the correct way (or at least ion a more correct manner). 3. Name the two rules that you are to observe in your writing until further notice. DO NOT USE THE WORD “THERE” and DO NOT USE FIRST PERSON. 4. Why does the use of the personal pronoun frequently weaken a writer’s statement? To support your answer, give examples other than those used in the text.

Personal pronouns put you into the subject of the essay, instead of the subject being the main idea. Personal pronouns phrases like “I think” also sound apologetic. 5. What is meant by the terms “substitute first person” and “substitute second person”? Substitute first person phrases are those like “the writer thinks”. Substitute third person is a phrase such as “a person never knows…” 6. How does the elimination of the word “there” from your written work force you to use better verbs? The elimination of the word “ther” forces you to use active verbs, which are more colorful and attractive

LAW Chap 5 First Steps Toward Style

1. Complete the sentences below so that they express your personal opinion: a) I think that student clubs develop leadership in young people. Student clubs develop leadership in young people.

b) In my opinion, art classes allow students to express creativity. Art classes allow students to express creativity.
c) To me, the best movies express a moral truth.
The best movies express a moral truth.
d) I feel that a college education opens a window of opportunity to an individual. A college education opens a window of opportunity to an
individual. e) It is my belief that the color of a man’s skin should be of no consequence. The color of a man’s skin should be of no consequence.

f) One must pay close attention to most scientific lectures if he wants to be well informed. Paying close attention to scientific lecture is required in order to be well informed. g) If you analyze television programming, you discover that it contains a great deal of violence. A great deal of violence is contained in the majority of television programming. h) I don’t see the point in requiring a person to take off their shoes at the airport. Requiring a person to take of their shoes at an airport is asinine. i) I feel almost certain that space travel will be common by the end of this century. Space travel will be common by the end of this century.

j) Nobody can convince me that carrots are better than ice cream. Carrots are not better than ice cream.
2. Rewrite each one of your sentences in strict third person, avoiding all use of I, me, my one, you, a person, etc.  3. Delete the word “there” from all the sentences below. Rewrite the sentences if necessary, using active verbs whenever possible. k) There is a girl in math class who has a brain like a computer. A girl in math classes possesses a brain like a computer.

l) There are some aspects of this problem which can never be understood. Some aspects of this problem can never be understood.
m) Every member of the team was there when the coach made the announcement. Every member of the team was present when the coach made the announcement. n) There will be plenty to eat.

Plenty of food will be available to eat.
o) If there is one thing he can’t stand, it’s long telephone conversations. One thing he can’t stand is long telephone conversations.
p) He was right, but there were moments when she hated him for it. He was right, but many moments existed where she hated him for it. q) There will be no meeting of the club tomorrow.

Tomorrow’s club meeting has been cancelled.
r) There were lots of good things to eat in the basket. Many tasty treats filled the basket.
s) There was a crowd of happy students in the hall.
A crowd of happy students filled the hall.
t) His point of view is strange, but there is a lot to be said in its favor. Although his point of view is strange, many arguments can be made in its favor.

LAW Chap 5 First Steps Toward Style

1. Look up the definitions of the following adjectives:
authoritative recognized or accepted as being true or reliable; official insidious stealthy, treacherous, deceitful
objective existing independently of perception or an individual’s conception; of or relating to a goal redundant characterized by verbosity or unnecessary repetition in expressing ideas 2. In one sentence for each, explain exactly what the writer means in the sentences below. (do not repeat the italicized word nor any form of it.) a) He could speak with an authoritative voice on the subject of space flight. His statements were accepted as true or reliable.

b) His political enemies tried to destroy him by insidious attacks on his loyalty. The attacks on his loyalty were stealthy and not easily observable. c) She seemed utterly incapable of an objective point of view. She could not distant herself from the situation to see it from a different point of view. d) Don’t make redundant comments.

Do not make repetitive comments.

LAW Chap 6 The size and Shape of Middle Paragraphs

The middle paragraphs of an essay constitute your “body of argument,” and the number of paragraphs you write for any essay depends upon the number of points you want to make. The length of these paragraphs can vary enormously, but for the time being you should concentrate on writing fairly long paragraphs in order to get a firm sense of their structure: a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The easiest way to master this structure is by visualizing what you are writing about. See what you mean, then show your reader what you see, in a picture-frame paragraph—a paragraph in which the topic sentence and the concluding sentence act as a frame for a picture made vivid in your middle sentences with specific details.

Everything you write about will seem more real, both to you and to your reader, when you master the picture-frame technique. And you will find, as you move from point to point, explaining and illustrating as you go, that paragraphing has become a simple and quite natural process.

LAW Chap 6 The Size and Shape of the Middle Paragraphs

1. How does the structure of a middle paragraph differ from the structure of an introductory paragraph? From that of a concluding paragraph? Thhe middle paragraphs can be thought of as blocks, whereas the introduction is a triangle and the conclusion is an upside down triangle. 2. What is the main purpose of paragraphing? The main purpose of paragraphing is to separate ideas, giving each idea its own setting so that it can be fully and clearly developed without interference from other ideas. 3. Students of composition are advised to write “big” paragraphs while they are learning. Why? Writing long paragraphs forces you to think and use ingenuity. Once you have the experience of writing longer paragraphs, it will be easier to cut out the parts that are unnecessary. 4. In what way does the structure of a paragraph resemble the structure of a full essay? Like an easy, every paragraph has three parts: a beginning, a middle, and an end. 5. What is the function of the first sentence in a paragraph? The first
sentence in a paragraph is the topic sentence and it tells the reader what the paragraph is about. 6. What is the function of the middle section of a paragraph? The middle section of a paragraph explains and illustrates the point of the paragraph. 7. Why does the three-part paragraph structure automatically insure the “one point, one paragraph” rule? If you introduce your topic, add a few sentences to explain the topic, and then add a concluding sentence, there is no room for another topic.

8. How does paragraph structure resemble conversation? In what way will it differ?

Paragraph structure is almost identical to our conversations, having a topic sentence, statements to illustrate our point, and a concluding sentence. However, in eassys the vocabulary is richer and slang speech is not utilizes. 9. Explain the “picture-frame paragraph.” Is this different from basic paragraph structure, or is it simply another way of describing the structure? The” picture fram paragraph” does have the same structure as a basic paragraph, but a “picture frame paragraph” focuses on SHOWING rather than TELLING by using specific illustrations and giving detail.

10. The picture-frame paragraph that is primarily descriptive will differ somewhat from one that is argumentative. How? An argumentative paper must have concrete examples full of specific details. This is how you “show” your points in an argumentative paper. 11. Analyze the following paragraph. What major rule of paragraph structure does it violate? The last two sentences do not stay on topic and do not conclude the paragraph effectively.

The old-fashioned American Kitchen was the living center of the American home. That was where the family ate its meals, where children studied and women sewed and men read the newspaper, where every family crisis was settled. It was a big, warm, cluttered place, full of all the smells that meant home—freshly baked bread and starched curtains and stick cinnamon and scrubbed linoleum and apples and oilcloth. The kitchen was really the living room—the place where the family lived. The mothers in those days did not usually hold hobs outside the home. Unfortunately, today’s modern industrial society has taken women away from their homes.

LAW Chap 6 The Size and Shape of the Middle Paragraphs

1. Write a paragraph (using correct paragraph structure) explaining what is wrong with the following paragraph. Be explicit.  Too many students believe that popularity depends not upon what they are but upon what they have. They want their parents to buy them all the things that they feel will guarantee popularity. They feel that these things will solve all their problems and make them happy. This may affect their personalities in a very bad way.

2. Rewrite the above paragraph, using the picture-frame technique.  3. Write a paragraph that is primarily descriptive, beginning with this topic sentence: “The day was wet and rainy.”  4. Write a paragraph that is primarily argumentative, beginning with this topic sentence: “Few girls are really interested in athletic events.”  5. Write a paragraph about some television show that you particularly like or dislike. Remember, you cannot use I, me, my mine, you, and your. Try to make your opinion clear to the reader my means of descriptive detail. 

The above paragraph does not utilize “picture framing” to form an interesting and informative paragraph. In fact, the above paragraph is dull because it does not add any insight as to why teenagers feel a certain way, or the consequences of those feelings. The use of concrete examples and specific details are necessary when writing an argumentative essay to help the reader understand your point. For instance, a better sentence might be, “popularity obsessed teenagers often ask their middle income parents to purchase outrageously expensive jeans in the hopes that this material possession will propel them to the top of the high school social ladder”. This sentence gives a much clearer picture of the teenager bein g discussed and the types of outlandish requests he makes upon the average parent.

LAW Chap 6 The Size and Shape of the Middle Paragraphs

1. Write a definition for each of the following words:
graphic vividly or clearly described; pertaining to the use of diagrams, graphs, or curves. ingenuity the quality of being cleverly inventive or resourceful. predetermine to settle or decide in advance; strongly influence puerile of or pertaining to a child; childishly foolish; immature rhetorical used for, belonging to, oror concerned with mere style or effect visualize to make perceptible to the mind or immagination

willy-nilly in a disorganized or unplanned manner; sloppily
2. Finish each of the unfinished sentences below, so that it will demonstrate your understanding of the italicized word:

a) Her description of the thief was graphic. She made us see him as a _____________________ ______________in ____________________________ with ________________________ and with ________________________________________________________________________________. b) She had shown a great deal of ingenuity in making her costume for the party. She had ________________________________________________________________________________. c) You can’t predetermine the length of any paragraph because, in the course of writing it _______________________________________________________________________________. d) Most of his attempts to prove his sophistication are puerile—for example, his habit of _______________________________________________________________________________. e) Don’t give me the rhetorical answers. Give me an answer that tells me ________________ _______________________________________________________________________________. f) The boy had never been to the small town where his father had grown up, but he could visualize it. He thought of it as ______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________. (use several details) g) It seemed to her that she had spent her her entire life doing what other people told her to do, willy-nilly. She wished that, just once, she could __________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________.

LAW Chap 7 Connections Between Paragraphs

Remember that the chief puhook.rpose of transitions is to help your reader follow your train of thought. They are the links that hold your ideas together and keep them moving toward a single goal. So make certain, always, that some kind of link exists between your paragraphs, and that the link exists not only in your own mind but also, clearly and unmistakably, in the words you put on paper.

One kind of link is not necessarily better than any other kind, but variety is better than sameness. So try for variety. Use the purely mechanical devices for quick and simple transitions. Use word and phrase hooks for stronger and clearer links. Use idea hooks for broad references. Use combinations for emphasis and tone.

Use them all. But, above all, use them.

If the only place that “however” sounds correct is at the beginning of the sentence, change the word to “but”.

The types of transitions are:
Transitional words
A paragraph hook
A deeper hook
A multiple hook
An idea hook

LAW Chap 7 Connections Between Paragraphs

1. If a paragraph can stand alone as a structure, why should it need to be linked to any other paragraphs? The paragraph is ultimately part of a larger essay, and therefore must be connected to the other paragraphs in the essay. 2. Explain the analogy between and essay and a moving train. Just like the train cars on a train must be linked to stay together, so do the paragraphs of an easy need to be linked in order to hold the essay together. 3. What are the three kinds of transitions that link paragraphs? Standard devices, paragraph hooks, or a combination of the two.

4. Describe a standard transitional device. Give examples. A standard transitional device is a word that notifies the reader that a conflicting ppoint of view is about to be presented. Examples include: admittedly, but, certainly, granted, indeed, moreover, obviously, still, thus, true, etc. 5. When however is used as a transition, what is the best position for it in the sentence? The best place for the word “however” is in the middle of a sentence between two commas. 6. What is the correct punctuation for a tucked-in however? Between two commas

7. This sentence appears on page 87: “You probably use the paragraph hook often in your own writing without knowing it and see it constantly in your reading without realizing it (as in this sentence, for example.)” What is the paragraph hook in this sentence? You will have to look back to the paragraph preceding the sentence for your answer. The phrase “paragraph hook” is the paragraph hook. 8. Describe the difference between a simple paragraph hook and a deeper hook. A simple paragraph hook takes a phrase from the last sentence and repeats it in the first sentence of the next paragraph. A deeper hook goes back further in the paragraph, picks up a key phrase, and repeats it in the next paragraph. 9. What is a multiple hook? A multiple hook picks up more than one key word or phrase to repeat in the next paragraph.

10. How does an idea hook differ from the other kinds of paragraph hooks? An idea hook does not use word repetition, but utilizes the same IDEAS as the part that is repetitive. 11. What is a combination hook? The combination hook will utilize more than one type of hook or transition (for example, a transitional word with a paragraph hook. 12. Is one kind of transition better than any other kind? If so, why? If not, what is the best guide for deciding which kind of transition to use after you have made certain that you are being clear? One transition is not better than another. If your writing is clear, but you feel the transition is not working, look at adding another to improve the rhythm or your sentence.

LAW Chap 7 Connections Between Paragraphs

1. Assume that each of the paired sentences below is the first sentence of two consecutive paragraphs. Supply a transition for the second sentence of each pair.

a) He received the highest praise for his efforts to improve living conditions in the slums. He was frequently criticized.
Despite his humanitarianism, he was frequently criticized.
b) The study of science can be a tremendously exciting intellectual experience. The study of science can have a narrowing effect.
Even so, the study of science can have a narrowing effect.
c) She caused trouble wherever she went.

She was the kind of woman who could turn a peaceful exchange of views on the weather into a war of nerves. In fact she was the kind of woman who could turn a peaceful exchange of views on the weather into a war of nerves. d) Students are showing greater interest in baseball as a school sport. Students are showing a greater interest in dramatics.

The interest in baseball, however, is rivaled by an ever increasing interest in dramatics. e) The furniture he had acquired for his living room was surely as ugly as anything ever made by man. It was comfortable.

Comfort, on the other hand, made up for offensive hodge-podge furnishings. f) Far too much emphasis has been placed on psychology and too little on personal responsibility. A knowledge of psychology can be very valuable.

Admittedly, a knowledge of psychology can be very useful.
g) The movie was the victim of poor photography and a bad script. It was interesting.
Undoubtedly the movie was interesting.
2. Insert the word however in the second sentence of each pair below: h) He had taken piano for ten years.
He was not, however, a good pianist.
He was not a good pianist.
i) She planned to finish the assignment on Monday.
By Monday, however, she had forgotten all about it.
By Monday she had forgotten all about it.
j) She had very few interests that could be called hobbies. She liked to take long walks in the city, however, and these led her eventually to make the city itself her hobby. She liked to take long walks in the city, and these led her eventually to make the city itself her hobby. k) The council has adopted a “wait and see” attitude. This is, however, no solution.

This is no solution.

3. Write a picture-frame paragraph in which you describe some aspect of your trip to school each morning—perhaps a single city block where you walk, the bus ride through a particular section of town or country, or the attitude of older students you encounter. Then do the following:

l) Write the first sentence of the next paragraph, using a paragraph hook. (You may also include a standard device if you like.)

m) Write another first sentence for your second paragraph, using a deeper hook. 

n) Write another first sentence, using a multiple hook. 

o) Write a full paragraph, using one of the sentences above as your opening sentence. This will give you two full paragraphs. 

p) Write the opening sentence of a third paragraph to follow the two you have just written, using a combination hook for the transition. 

LAW Chap 7 Connections Between Paragraphs

1. Write a definition for each of the following words:
analogy a similarity between like features of two things, on which a comparison may be made. appropriate*suitable or fitting for a particular purpose, person, occasion; to set apart, authorize, or legislate for some specific purpose or use. arbitrary subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent solely upon one’s discretion discreetly judicious in one’s conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy indispensable absolutely necessary, essential, or requisite

irrational deprived of reason or sound judgment multiple consisting of or involving many individuals, parts, elements, recur to come up again for consideration; to occur again referential having, containing, or used as a reference sophisticated having refined or cultured tastes or habits *This word has two different meanings and two different pronunciations. Consult your dictionary.

2. In the left-hand column below are different forms of the words in the vocabulary list. Write a complete sentence in which you use each of these words and also all the words and/or phrases that appear opposite it in the right-hand column. This will require a little inventiveness on your part. Your sentence may be as long as you like, and you can fit the combinations into your sentence in any way you please, but hold yourself to one sentence in each case.

a) analogouslinks between paragraphs
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ b) appropriatelyclass, subdued
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ c) arbitrarilytime, limited
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ d) discreetinformation, questions
_________________________________________________________________________ e) discretionallowed, choice
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ f) dispenseformality, point
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ g) irrationallyconvinced, plotting to
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ h) multiplyingtroubles, blamed, carelessness

_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ i) recurrentdream, pursued, who wanted to

_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ j) referenceunderstand, background
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

k) referringnotes, the impression that
_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ l) sophisticationdress, contrast, naturalness

_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

LAW Chapter 8 The Passive Voice

Training yourself to spot the passive voice in your writing and to put it to rout can be an immensely valuable discipline. It will push you not only
toward more direct and forceful statement but will give you a sharper awareness of language as a flexible instrument, a thing of moveable parts that responds to experiment, adjusts to new patterns. Above all, an attack on passive voice will open up vast new resources of power available in active verbs.

Passive voice will always have certain important uses, but remember that you must keep your eye on it all the time or it will drop its o and change swiftly from passive voice to passive vice. You must learn to outwit it. Make your subject perform. Adopt that as your guiding principle, and you can vanquish one of your most insidious enemies. Only after you have conquered passive voice can you return to it with confidence, knowing when to use it-and why.

So discipline yourself. Put a deliberate check on your tendency to drift into the passive. Experiment with new arrangements of words. Reach for the precise and vivid verb. Make those sentences move. Then you can be sure they are alive.

Five steps to avoid passive voice:

1. As soon as you pick the subject of a sentence, supply it with a verb that makes it do something. Never mind about the rest of the sentence; first get that verb. If you don’t write it in passive voice, you won’t have to change it. (This is known as the cut-it-off-at-the- pass technique.)

2. If you use a passive verb, try to change it.

3. If you can’t change it, try a new sentence.

4. If that doesn’t work, try skipping the sentence altogether.

5. As a last resort, use passive voice.

LAW Chapter 8 The Passive Voice

1. How does the relationship between the subject and verb differ in active and passive voice? Give

examples. In active voice, the subject is doing the action. In passive voice, the subject is having some-

thing done to it. An example of active voice is “Dan flew a kite.” The same sentence in passive voice_

would be “The kite was flown by Dan.”

2.What is meant by the phrase, “a style that has solidified into a convention”? The style of minutes__

read at meetings has developed over time so that ALL minutes are written in this manner, making it__

the standard way in which the events at a meeting are recorded (in passive voice).

3. Why is a “by—“ phrase frequently a sign of passive voice? The –by phrase can often mean an action

is “done by” someone, which is an indication that passive voice is being used.

4. How can you convert a sentence containing a “by-” phrase from passive to active voice? To convert

A sentence from a passive “-by” phrase to an active voice, cut off the “-by” phrase and place the doer _

of the action in the subject position.

5. What is an “audio-active” verb? Give an example not taken from this chapter. An audio-active verb

creates a sound in the reader’s mind. Example: The birds chirped while welcoming the morning sun.

6. According to an old Chinese proverb, one picture is worth more than ten thousand words. How

could you apply this proverb to writing? Writing with active verbs will allow you to paint a picture in

the reader’s mind. This will allow you to be less verbose and more succinct in your writing.

7. What one rule will help you to avoid passive voice? Make your subject do something!___________

8. Under what circumstances is passive voice more effective than active voice? Passive voice is _____

effective when the writer is speaking of violence, accident, or disaster. In these cases the passive voice

emphasizes the fact that the subject is not acting, but being acted upon. Passive voice may also be ___

necessary when the writer wants to change the tone of the essay. Passive voice, however, should be___

avoided whenever possible.
9. What is the “cut-it-off-at-the-pass” technique in reference to passive voice? When you write a_____

sentence, pick the subject and then make it do something. This will allow you to avoid passive voice__

from the beginning.

10. What is meant by the statement that vaguely poetic prose in passive voice “is just secretarial prose

with its face painted, all dressed up but still going nowhere”? Vaguely poetic prose is really no more _

interesting than the dull writings of a secretary taking down the minutes of a meeting. The words may

be more sophisticated, but the style is boring.

LAW Chapter 8 The Passive Voice

1. Make a list, in the order of their appearance, of all the passive verbs in the following paragraph: 

A man was seen at the intersection, calmly crossing against the light. Cars were brought to a shrieking halt. Horns were honked. Warnings were shouted by the crowd waiting on the corner, and in the distance a series of small crashes could be heard from the growing line of cars as bumpers were engaged unexpectedly. None of this was noticed by the man, a narrow-chested little fellow in a black suit. A black briefcase was carried in one hand and a rolled umbrella in the other. When the opposite side of the intersection was reached, his umbrella was raised in a brief salute to the cars that were now hopelessly stalled for blocks because of him. Then he was seen no more.

2. Rewrite the paragraph in active voice, rearranging the sentences in any way you like to create a smooth sequence. 

3. Write an original paragraph describing something you saw yesterday. It can be an event you witnessed or simply an object you observed. It need not be important or exciting, but it must be something real, described as completely as possible. Use passive voice only. 

4. Rewrite your paragraph in active voice. 

5. Write a complete essay with a thesis based on the general subject of passive voice. Make any point you like, but use the two paragraphs you wrote for #3 and #4 above as examples to illustrate your point.

LAW Chapter 8 The Passive Voice

Find a definition for each of the following words:

anonymity having no known name; lacking individual characteristics; unexceptional______________

apathetic having or showing little or no emotion; not interested or concerned; indifferent, unresponsive

convention a large for assembly of a group with common interests; the most widely accepted view of what is thought to be proper behavior, good taste, etc.______________________________________

initiative the first step or action of a matter, commencing move; the right or power to initiate something

irresistible not able to be resisted or refused’ overpowering; very fascinating or alluring____________

lethargic drowsy, sluggish; an abnormal lack of energy______________________________________

memorable worth remembering or easily remembered; noteworthy_____________________________

pervasive to become spread throughout all parts of __________________________________________

vacuum a space devoid of matter; the sense or feeling of emptiness_____________________________

vanquish to defeat or overcome in battle or debate; to conquer_________________________________

2. Finish each of the incomplete sentences below, so that it will demonstrate your understanding of the meaning of the italicized word.

a). On a large college campus a student often suffers from a sense of anonymity. He feels that ______

_________________________________, that _____________________________________________,

and that ____________________________________________________________________________.

b). Interest in the athletic program last year was apathetic at best. Students either _________________

____________________________________________, or ___________________________________.

c). His nominating speech certainly did not follow the standard convention. Instead of ____________

_________________________________, he ______________________________________________.

d). In the campaign to improve living conditions in the refugee camp, John Fletcher took the initiative.

He was not the kind of man who could ___________________________________________________.

e) To him the appeal of the sea was irresistible. He felt ______________________________________,

and he _____________________________________________________________________________.

f) He felt completely lethargic. He could not __________________________. What he wanted above

all else was _________________________________________________________________________.

g) It was a memorable moment. For the first time in his life he _______________________________,

and he knew________________________________________________________________________.

h) The peculiar scent in the house, reminiscent of both roses and mildew, was faint but pervasive. It

clung to ___________________________________, emanated from __________________________,

and seemed to be part of ______________________________________________________________.

i) The girl’s mind seemed to be a complete vacuum. She seemed incapable of ___________________

_____________, and she ______________________________________________________________.

j) Nothing could vanquish his high spirits. Even when ______________________________________

____________, he ___________________________________________________________________.

LAW Chapter 9 The Sound of Sentences

Written sentences should have the sound of speech-intelligent, highly ordered speech that sounds completely natural to the listening inner ear of the reader. The means to this naturalness is through variety in sentence patterns: basic statements, strung-along sentences, periodic sentences, combinations. By learning to add detail in various ways to a basic statement, you can create any of these patterns; and by alternating them, by striving consciously for variety, by listening to your sentences as well as looking at them, you can create the natural cadence of the human voice.

The big obstacle that most student writers must overcome is the conviction that any sentence, once written, is an immovable and unchangeable object, like a chunk of concrete or an engraving on steel.

You must remember that a sentence is a thing of moveable parts, an endlessly adapting structure that is completely subject to the writer’s will, shrinking or expanding to fit the sound and sense he chooses to give it.

So relax. Loosen up. Play boldly with sentences. Combine, convert, shift, change, add, subtract, divide, multiply. Take chances. The more you
experiment, the more you will learn.

LAW Chapter 9 The Sound of Sentences

1. Why is a child likely to believe that written sentences have nothing to do with spoken language?

Children are taught to write very simplistically when they are beginning to write. They become _____

convinced that the written word is supposed to sound different than the spoken word.

2. In what sense is reading “almost as much an act of hearing as of seeing”? When you read, you “hear”

the words in your mind, as if someone is talking.

3. Written sentences should sound like natural speech but cannot actually be natural speech. Explain.

In natural speech we can rely on tone of voice, facial expressions, gestures, manner, and the speaker’s natural appearance to convey a certain message. These devices will not transfer to the written word. If you try to write as you speak, the result will be flat. The goal is to write better than you really talk, but to make it sound as natural and effortless as talk.____________________________________________

4. What is the first principle of rhythm in writing? The first principle of rhythm in writing, to capture_

The basic rhythm of speech, is variation of sentence length.___________________________________

5. What is a basic statement? A basic statement is an irreducible sentence. You cannot remove one___

word from a basic sentence without damaging or destroying the meaning.

6. Describe the difference between a strung-along sentence and a periodic sentence. A strung-along___

sentence is a basic statement with a string of details added to it. A periodic sentence in a basic state-__

ment in which the details are added inside the statement._____________________________________

7. What are the three main places in a sentence where details can be added? Details can be added at the

end of the basic statement, in the middle of the basic statement, or in the middle and at the end of a bas

basic statement.______________________________________________________________________

8. Name three ways of constructing graphic details, illustrating each method with an example not taken

from the text. The three ways of constructing detail are by using adjectives (The dog, old and weary, __

slowly climbed the porch steps), verbs (The dog, exhausted from old age, slowly climbed the porch___

steps), or prepositional phrases (The dog, with great effort, slowly climbed the porch steps)._________

9. How do you add details to a verb? You can add details to a verb by describing how or when the ___

action occurred.

10. What is an appositive? Give an example. How can a preposition help you think of details to add to

an appositive? An appositive is a substitute subject. It tells more facts about the subject. Example:

Marcy, the girl next door, likes to jump rope. A preposition forces you to ask questions and provide

Details. Example: Marcy, the girl next door with fire red hair and pale skin, like to jump rope.

LAW Chapter 9 The Sound of Sentences

1. Reduce all the following sentences to basic statements:

a. Looking from the mountain road above like a small tumble of children’s toys left carelessly behind on the desert floor, the village slept in the sun, its streets empty, its houses shuttered and silent.

The village slept in the sun.____________________________________________________________


b. The old man ate noisily, making a great clatter with his silverware, blowing on his coffee, smacking his lips with pleasure.

The old man ate noisily._______________________________________________________________


c. Whatever else he may have been, however rude or quarrelsome or untidy, he was honest in all his dealings in every way.

He was homest in all his dealings._______________________________________________________


d. As he left the town behind he gained speed, pushing the little car faster and faster through the flat countryside that stretched endlessly to right and left of a highway as smooth and flat as the blade of a knife. As he left the toen behind he gained speed.________________________________________________


e. The telephone rang, its shrill summons bringing everybody in the room to frightened attention.

The telephone rang.___________________________________________________________________


2. Write a strung-along sentence at least twenty words long using each of the
basic statements below as a starting point. Do not change the basic statement; just add to it (see examples, pages 11-112).

a. The moon rose. The moon rose, announcing the coming of the evening, lighting the ever darkening

path, signaling to the earth the day was done.______________________________________________


b. The man was dead. _________________________________________________________________



c. He longed to be free. _______________________________________________________________



d. She liked the song. _________________________________________________________________



e. They had a good time. ______________________________________________________________



3. Using each of the basic statements below, write five periodic sentences at least fifteen words long (see examples, page 112).

a. Mary left the room. Mary, always the most polite, tempered in speech and action, faithful in her ____

desire to offend no one, left the room.____________________________________________________


b. The world’s greatest invention is the safety pin. __________________________________________



c. Hate is based on fear. _______________________________________________________________



d. The man was dead. _________________________________________________________________



e. The circus was his life. ______________________________________________________________



4. Select five of the ten sentences you have just written and add details that will make each one a combination of strung-along and periodic. 

5. Expand the subject of the sentence below in the seven different was illustrated on page 116 (#1-7). Follow the patterns exactly. 

The old man shuffled out of sight.

6. Expand the verb of each of the following sentences. 
a. The girl walked across the playground
b. The boy talked about fishing.

7. Add a simple appositive to the noun at the end of each sentence below: 
a. He liked the car.
b. John read the book.
c. They listened to the lecture.
d. It was a special chair.
e. He called the dog.

8. Using both prepositional phrases and participles, add detail to each of the appositives in the five sentences you have written. Make each sentence at least fifteen words long. 

9. Add an appositive and a who clause to the sentence below, following the pattern shown in #5, page 19. 
They asked for Mrs. Smith

10. Write a sentence containing an appositive and a so…that comparison as shown in #6, page 119.

LAW Chapter 9 The Sound of Sentences

1. Define each of the following words.

adhering to stay attached; stick fast; cling; cleave; to be devoted in support or allegiance___________

arbitrarily subject to individual will or judgment without restriction; contingent upon one’s discretion_

erratic deviating from the usual or proper course in conduct or opinion; eccentric; inconsistent_______

exorcised to seek to expel (an evil spirit) by adjuration or religious or solemn ceremonies___________

implication something implied or suggested as naturally to be inferred or understood_______________

inexhaustible incapable of depleted; untiring_______________________________________________

irreducible incapable of being reduced or of being diminished or simplified further________________

paradox a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses as a
possible truth

repetitive characterized by or given to unnecessary repetition; boring; dull_______________________

subconscious existing or operating in the mind beneath or beyond consciousness__________________

2. Below are the first few words of six incomplete sentences. Finish each of the sentences, using all of the following: 1) the word shown in parenthesis with each; 2) an appositive; and 3) at least one prepositional phrase. The three items need not be used in the order given here, but all three must appear in each sentence.

a. Although John had worked out a (adhering)______________________________________________



b. He managed to (arbitrary) ___________________________________________________________



c. The rhythm of (erratic) ______________________________________________________________



d. The ghosts (exorcised) ______________________________________________________________



e. We can only guess at (implication) ____________________________________________________



f. The resources of (inexhaustible) _______________________________________________________



3. Follow each of the statements below with a second statement that explains the first in different words.

a. A basic statement is irreducible; if any words are left out it would be incomprehensible.__________


b. Writing that sounds natural is a paradox; if we wrote like we actually talk, our words would be flat

and lifeless.

c. The speaker was needlessly repetitive; explaining the same concepts over and over again._________


d. His fear was subconscious; he did not realize he was experiencing this emotion._________________


LAW Chapter 10 Parallel Structure

Some parallels are a matter of simple logic. Controlling them is mainly a housekeeping chore, a necessary straightening and tidying-up that every writer learns to do as a matter of course, as part of his job. The subtler and more complex parallels are the real challenge and the true delight of writing. Requiring the most artful balance of many elements, they are exciting things to handle; but even more exciting is the immediate and startling improvement they can make in your writing style.

Parallelism on any level is simply, in the final analysis, control. Keep all elements of equal value parallel, whether they are big elements or small, and your sentences can’t straggle off raggedly this way and that. They will have the sense of wholeness and balance, of architectural soundness, that pleases the ear and satisfies the mind.

LAW Chapter 10 Parallel Structure

1. Complete the unfinished sentence below with a series of who clauses:

He always made trouble. He was the kind of boy who preferred bulling to friendship, who enjoyed a __

fist fight more than a movie, and who craved mayhem rather than order._________________________

2. Complete with a series of infinitive phrases, using a different infinitive for each phrase:

To be popular, she thought, she needed only to associate with the right people, to possess the right____

clothes, and to drive the right car.________________________________________________________

3. Using to as your preposition, complete this sentence with a series of prepositional phrases:

In desperate search for a cure, he went to physicians, to chiropractors, and to massage therapists._____


4. Using of as your preposition, complete this sentence with a series of prepositional phrases:

She was afraid of everything, of animals, of eights, of people._________________________________


5. Complete this with a series of that clauses:

He complained that the children made too much noise, that they had no manners, that they left a mess_

where ever they went._________________________________________________________________

6. Write a sentence beginning with three if clauses. If our country wants to restore our economy, if our

our country wants to remain a powerful nation, if our country wants to maintain our freedom, then the

citizens must be willing to make some sacrifices to the entitlement programs._____________________

7. Write a sentence ending with three if clauses. Our country can again prosper if the people are willing

to put their faith in God, if they are willing to return to biblical principles, and if they are willing to___

reject the practices of the ungodly.______________________________________________________

8. Complete the sentence below by interrupting it with two parallel if clauses:

The problem of race relations, if we want economic equality, if we want social equality_____________

and if we want educational equality______________________________________________________

must be solved.

9. Write a balanced sentence modeled on #6 on page 124 but using different infinitives. ____________



10. Write a sentence that contains a double parallel.



LAW Chapter 10 Parallel Structure

1. What is the best way to learn parallel structure? The best way to learn parallel structure is by ______

listening to it.________________________________________________________________________

2. Parallelism “is a repetition of structure.” Explain.

Parallelism is a repeating of certain parts of grammar (prepositions, clauses) to create a repetition of the

structure of the sentence._______________________________________________________________

3. Give an example of a balanced sentence.

The goal of a child is to create havoc; the promise of a mom is to tame it.________________________

LAW Chapter 10 Parallel Structure

1. Each of the sentences below contains some kind of faulty parallelism. Rewrite each sentence correctly.

a. She planned a trip to the country, a visit with her grandmother, and
taking long hikes with her cousin.

She planned a trip to the country, a visit with her grandmother, and a hike with her cousin.__________


b. The old man was gentle, kind, and gave away a lot of money to the poor. The old man was gentle,__

kind, and charitable.__________________________________________________________________

c. He put the model airplane together neatly, accurately, and with a great deal of skill. He put the model

airplane together neatly, accurately, and skillfully.___________________________________________

d. The boy wiped the windshield, cleaned off the dirty headlights, polished the chrome trim, and even

the hubcaps were checked. The boy wiped the windshield, cleaned off the dirty headlights, polished the

chrome trim, and checked the hubcaps.___________________________________________________

e. She was a good cook and also kept house well. She was a good cook and housekeeper.____________


f. She was beautiful but a spoiled child. She was a beautiful but a spoiled child.___________________

g. He hoped either to be elected president of his class or make the highest grades. He hoped either to be

elected president of his class or to make the highest grades.___________________________________

h. He was intelligent as well as having a lot of friends. He was intelligent as well as popular._________

i. He had to have the suit both altered and to have it cleaned. He had the suit both altered and cleaned._


j. The thing he most looked forward to was a hot meal and having a hot bath. The thing he most looked

forward to was a hot meal and a hot bath._________________________________________________

k. He enjoyed going to the movies as well as trips to the theater. He enjoyed going to the movies and __


l. Either the boys disliked or ignored him. Either the boys disliked him or ignored him._____________

m. That girl will neither take advice from her parents nor her friends. That girl will neither take advice_

from her parents nor from her friends.

n. Their purpose was not only to take special courses in science but in art. Their purpose was not only_

to take special courses in science but to take courses in art.____________________________________

o. The committee is not only working hard to preserve historical landmarks but is also interested in

developing a local museum. The committee is not only working hard to preserve historical landmarks

but is also developing a local museum.___________________________________________________

p. They believe that a museum will promote greater interest in local history, that it will enrich the lives

of school children in the community, and will become a major tourist attraction. They believe that a___

museum will promote greater interest in local history, that it will enrich the lives of school children in_

the community, and that it will become a major tourist attraction.

q. Many students believe that to be popular is happiness. Many students believe that to be popular is to

achieve happiness.___________________________________________________________________

r. Study develops the mind; exercise develops the body; and understanding is
developed by experience.

Study develops the mind; exercise develops the body; and experience develops understanding._______

s. He made it clear, first, that he had no faith in the project; second, that he would not support it; and

that, third, he would advise his friends against it. He made it clear, first, that he had no faith in the____

project; second, that he would not support it; and third, that he would advise his friends against it._____

t. They arrived in town by bus, by train, by plane, and even walking. They arrived in town by bus, by _

train, by plane, and even by foot.________________________________________________________

2. President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address contained a number of striking parallelisms. Find at least five in the selections from the Address, below. Copy them exactly. 

We observe today not a victory of party but a celebration of freedom, symbolizing an end as well as a beginning, signifying renewal as well as change……….. ………Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard work and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which the nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

So let us begin anew, remembering on both side that civility in not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never
negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.

Now the trumpet summons us again—not as a call to bear arms, though arms we need; not as a call to battle, though embattled we are; but a call to bear the burden of a long twilight struggle, a year in year out, “rejoicing in hope, patient tribulation,” a struggle against the common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

3. Below is a description of an animal lab. Choose a subject of your own-perhaps a library, a dormitory, a restaurant, any place you have observed closely-and write a description that imitates the passage below. Match its sentence structure, parallels, figures of speech, etc, with suitable constructions of your own. 

The animal lab is full of strange, muted sounds. Somewhere down the hall, behind closed doors, monkeys gossip incessantly, their voices thin, faintly exasperated, like the voices of emptied-headed office girls on an endless coffee break. Now and then a lemur’s cry- high, sweet, full of grief and hope- breaks through the monkeys’ mindless chatter. And something else whispers in the air, a small rustling and scuttling sound, anciently familiar and vaguely disquieting: rates are nearby.

They are, in fact, nearby in great numbers, in the big colony room. These are elegant rats, refined rats, plump and docile and immaculate, white of fur and innocently pink of claw and tail. Science has bred out of them nearly every resemblance to their ugly ancestors. These placid aristocrats have never seen a ship’s hold, or a garbage dump, or a littered ally; they have never run from snapping dogs nor crept at night through secret tunnels in the walls of decayed tenements. But they still make, in their clean wire cages, the ageless sound that rats in movement have always made.

4. Select a student from your class in composition (preferably a student you
do not know well) and write a description of him (or her). Do this assignment during class, while you can actually observe your subject. Give enough concrete detail to make him recognizable, but do not give his name.

In addition to actual physical description, indicate also the kind of person you think your subject might be, guessing at his inner thoughts, his ambitions, his attitudes. This will take some imagination. Except for literal description, you will be treating your subject almost as a fictional character. Use third person only. And finally, use at least one example of each kind of parallel structure shown in examples #1-6 on page 124 (and label them in parenthesis within your paragraph). If you are homeschooled, choose a family member, an animal, or pet! 

LAW Chapter 10 Parallel Structure

1. Define the following words:

disquieting causing anxiety or uneasiness; disturbing________________________________________

docile easily handled or managed; tractable; readily trained or taught; teachable___________________

immaculate free from spot or stain; free from moral blemish or impurity; pure; free from fault or flaw_

impervious not permitting penetration or passage; incapable of being influenced, persuaded, or affected

inherent existing in someone or something as a permanent, inseparable element, quality, or attribute___

intricacy difficult to understand; obscure; complex; puzzling; entangled or involved________________

pedestrian a person travelling on foot; dull; commonplace____________________________________

vantage a state, position, or opportunity affording superiority or advantage_______________________

2. Choose the word from the above list that most nearly fits the meaning of each sentence below:

a. The pattern in the lace was extremely delicate and complex, a web of leaves and flowers interwoven with gold thread. intricacy

b. An iron-willed man, he could not be reached by any appeal to his emotions. impervious

c. From the attic window they had a splendid view of everything that went on in the street. vantage

d. Every word, every gesture suggested a strong instinct for drama. inherent

e. She was quiet, submissive, and willing to learn. docile

f. His writing style is quite ordinary. pedestrian

g. His white shirt was spotlessly clean. immaculate

h. She refused to believe the rumor, but it made her uneasy. disquieting

3. Using all the words in the vocabulary list above, write four sentences, each one containing one of the parallelisms illustrated in examples #1-6 n page 124. 

LAW Chapter 11 A Way with Words

Increase your vocabulary consciously by reading, by using your thesaurus and your dictionary, by practicing new words in speech and writing until they become a natural and familiar part of your thinking process. To enrich your vocabulary is to enrich not only your writing but your life, for the more words you know the better you can understand and interpret your own experience.

Make abstractions real by using your senses. Translate big, vague terms into the tangible objects of real life. Make yourself see what you write about: give your ideas substance with specific details, with real things that have color and shape, things that can be touched or tasted or smelled or heard. Strive always toward realness.

For this realness use metaphor and simile. Show what you mean, in images. And use allusion to maintain the sense of friendly communication, or shared experience, with your reader. Connect, relate, compare- and thus delight.

LAW Chapter 11 A Way with Words

1. What is le mot juste? The word that fits precisely the thought you want to express._______________


2. What should you do every time you come across a word that is new to you? Look it up! And then___

write it down!! And then use it!!!!_______________________________________________________

3. What is a synonym? A word that is similar in meaning to another.____________________________

4. What is an antonym? A word that means the opposite of another word.________________________

5. Describe Roget’s Thesaurus. What was the original meaning of the word “thesaurus”? A thesaurus__

contains multiple synonyms and antonyms for words. The original meaning is “storehouse or treasury”.

6. Will your writing have more dignity if you make a point of using big words in place of smaller, more

familiar words? Explain your answer. Your writing will not have more dignity, it will merely sound like

you are a stuffed shirt as well as pompous. If a small word fits the exact meaning you are trying to____

communicate, then use it.______________________________________________________________

7. Explain the meaning of this statement about vocabulary: “You can be a prince or a pauper, depending upon how much of your inheritance you choose to claim.” The English language has a rich vocabulary. You can use it to enrich your writing, or choose not to learn new vocabulary and allow your writing to_

suffer because of your lack of knowledge._________________________________________________

8. What does the author mean by the phrase, “the slums of language”? This phrase refers to a person

who has not learned the rich vocabulary of the English language and continues to use ordinary words.


9. What are the “Solemn Vapors”? A term for the use of an abstraction rather than a word that_______

Represents a concrete idea or object._____________________________________________________


10. What is the difference between an abstract word and a concrete word? Give at least two examples

(not the same ones used in the text).An abstract word is vague, like “car” or “female”. A concrete___

Word is more specific, like “clunker” or “grandmother”._____________________________________

11. What is the difference between a metaphor and a simile? Give examples. Both simile and metaphor

make a comparison between two things. A simile uses the word “like”or “as” (lips like rubies), where a

metaphor uses a direct comparison ( her sun-filled face).

12. What is an allusion? An allusion is a reference to history or literature (ex: His riches rivaled those_

of Solomon.)

LAW Chapter 11 A Way with Words

1. Write a brief essay defending the idea that a student’s personal copies of a pocket dictionary and a Thesaurus, worn out from use, may be better evidence of a good education than a diploma. 

2. Look up the word “nice” in the dictionary. You may be surprised to learn its precise meaning, as opposed to the meaning it has for most people in ordinary conversation. Write a brief essay in which you do the following: 

a. Give the precise definition.
b. Poke fun at the overuse of “nice,” giving examples of its overuse.
c. End your essay with a sentence that uses the word “nice” correctly.

3. Rewrite each of the following sentences so that it expresses the same idea in concrete rather than abstract terms (For example, “Vigorous physical exercise before breakfast is an excellent way to start the day” can be concrete by saying “A few push-ups before breakfast can start the day right.”)

a. She was tired of domestic chores. She was tired of laundry._________________________________

b. The available reading material was very scanty. The selection of magazines was very scantry.______

c. Certain physical characteristics gave evidence of his anger. His rosy cheeks and furrowed brow ___

gave evidence of his anger._____________________________________________________________

d. Real elegance, to her, was jewelry. Real elegance, to her, was a solitary
diamond ring.____________

e. The daily consumption of some kind of fresh fruit is helpful in reducing the need for medical attention. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.____________________________________________________ f. He longed for contact with nature. He longed for a walk in the warm sun.______________________

g. His clothing was obviously old and worn. His shabby clothing was obviously old and worn._______


h. He was tired of the pressures of city life. He was tired of the crowded living conditions of city life.__


i. He would have given a great deal for some kind of solid nourishment. He would have given his last_

dollar for meat and a biscuit.____________________________________________________________

j. What he needs is some kind of strong disciplinary treatment. What he needs is hard work._________


4. Choose one of the sentences below as the first sentence of a descriptive paragraph. Use an extended metaphor to complete the description. (See example on page 140). Be sure to keep details consistent. 

a. She was as cool and graceful as a very elegant cat.
b. He looked like a crafty intelligent old goat.
c. She moved about the house like a fat, dignified hen.
d. She was small and mouse-like.

5. Write five sentences in which you make some kind of familiar allusion. (See examples on pages 141-142.) Be as original as possible. 

6. Write five sentences in which you make a literary allusion. Your literature textbook may be helpful. Find a well-known quotation and work it into some meaning of your own. (See examples on page 142). 

LAW Chapter 11 A Way with Words

1. Below is a list of words that are constantly overused. For each of the words, supply a list of at least ten other words that might be used in its place:

good excellent, honorable, worthy, ethical, innocent, respectable, righteous, adept, adroit, wholesome__

bad abominable, dreadful, defective, fallacious, inferior, deleterious, detrimental, reprobate, vicious,__

big ample, bulky, capacious, commodious, immense, ponderous, voluminous, influential, material, vast

little brief, diminutive, imperceptible, meager, minute, petite, sparse, trivial trifling, barely, seldom, tiny

terrible abhorrent, appalling, disturbing, ghastly, gruesome, harrowing, loathsome, revolting, heinous__ wonderful amazing, magnificent, remarkable, staggering, commendable, exquisite, laudable, worthy,__

happy content, convivial, delighted, ecstatic, elated, intoxicated, jubilant, lively, peppy, sparkling, gay_

sad bitter, dejected, despairing, despondent, disconsolate, dismal, gloomy, glum, melancholy, pensive__

pretty appealing, charming, comely, dainty, darling, delicate, elegant, fair, graceful, lovely, pleasant___

ugly appalling, beastly, foul, frightful, grotesque, hideous, horrid, loathsome, repugnant, repulsive, base

dull addled, besotted, daft, dense, indolent, obtuse, stolid, tedious, even, flat, routine, torpid, stagnant__

exciting animating, arresting, astonishing, breathtaking, dramatic, flashy, melodramatic, provocative__

2. Use each of the words below in below in a periodic sentence that contains at least fifteen words: 


LAW Chapter 12 Odds and Ends and Means

The thirty transgressions listed in this chapter are not the only sins against style, but they are the most common- and the most likely to cause offense to the discriminating reader. The easiest way to handle them at first is to forget about them until you are ready to write the final draft of your paper. Then check. And check closely. Go through your entire paper, checking every sentence against every item on the list until you are certain you have rid yourself completely of the thirty offenders.

It may be a slow, laborious process at first, and you will probably be appalled at how many items from the list show up in your writing. But gradually you will find that control has become automatic; you will find fewer and fewer of the thirty barbarisms in your work because your heightened awareness of them will help you avoid them from the start. Habit will take over. The deliberate, painstaking, conscious hunting-down of stylistic faults leads eventually to a natural, almost unconscious avoidance of those faults.

The Terrible Three probably won’t give you much trouble. They are so laughably obvious, once you have become sensitized to them, that they will probably disappear from your writing immediately. (They will also provide you with a fine source of private amusement as you discover how often –wise and type of and manner or nature turn up in the speech and writing of people who should know better.)

The remaining twenty-seven stylistic faults are slyer and more persistent, but these too will eventually disappear as your awareness increases- as it will, if you are vigilant.

In any case, checking over your paper for the barbarisms listed in this chapter is a very slight effort indeed compared to the effort you have already put into your essay. You have gone to the hard labor of creating something entirely new and entirely on your own. Before you send it out to face the world, give it this final grooming. You owe that to yourself.

LAW Chapter 12 Odds and Ends and Means

1. Notice the title of this chapter. What play on words do you find in it, and how does it relate to the

content of this chapter?

Since many of the rules you should not use can not be categorized, you could
say they are the “odds __

“odds and ends” of writing. The means refers to the WAY you should write and the meaning or words.

2. What are the “Terrible Three”? Give an example of each. 1) the –wise suffix (food-wise) 2) type and

type of (type of dog), and 3) manner and nature phrases ( in a polite manner…which means politely)__


3. Why is the phrase “center around” a logical impossibility? You can not “center around” anything,___

because the center is one point in the middle. Therefore, you must “center on” something.__________

4. Why is fabulous” a poor word to use in most writing? It is a word that has been ruined by overuse. It

means “imaginary, mythical, legendary”.__________________________________________________

5. Logically, what is meant by “I feel badly”? This sentence means you have difficulty physically ____

feeling objects (feel is the verb, and badly is the object which modifies the verb).__________________

6. What is wrong with the word “irregardless”? It is redundant (so it is like a double negative)._______

7. What test can you give the word “like” to make certain that you are using
it correctly? Try substitut-

ing as though, as if, as, or in the way for “like”. If it works, use the substitution instead. ____________

8. Why is it impossible to be “more perfect” or “more unique”? They are absolute, therefore no______

comparison can be made.______________________________________________________________

9. What is a trite expression? Give examples other than those in the text. These expressions are over-

used and have become tiresome. (proud as a peacock, all things considered, for all intents and purposes)

10. Explain the real purpose of punctuation and illustrate its relation to sound. The purpose of _______

punctuation is to make reading easier. Punctuation indicates a pause. A larger pause requires a period,

and a smaller pause requires a comma.____________________________________________________

11. What kind of pause does a comma indicate? A comma indicates a small pause._________________


12. Explain the proper use of a semicolon. A semicolon is a “lightweight period”. It separates closely_

related and equally balanced


LAW Chapter 12 Odds and Ends and Means

1. Write three sentences using the suffix –wise as it should not be used. Then rewrite the sentence without the suffix. 
Example: Everything was against him, percentage-wise.
All the percentages were against him.

2. Write three sentences using the expression “type” or “type of”. Then rewrite correctly. 

3. Write three sentences using the expressions “in nature”, “of a….nature,” and “in a ….manner.” Then rewrite correctly. 

4. Write a sentence that demonstrates, in the same order listed in the chapter, each of the stylistic flaws in the “Troublesome Twenty-Seven.” Then after each sentence that contains a flaw, rewrite to get rid of the flaw. 

Example: As far as exercise, few people get enough.
As far as exercise is concerned, few people get enough.

5. Find the stylistic flaw in each of the sentences below and rewrite the sentence correctly. Some sentences contain more than one flaw.

a. Everybody who came to the meeting thought the discussion ought to center around their particular

problem. Everybody who came to the meeting thought the discussion ought to center on his particular_


b. While he was not a doctor, he was very well informed as far as treatments for sore throats. Although

he was not a doctor, he was well informed as far as treatments for sore throats was concerned.________

c. The course was different than he expected. The course was different from what he expected._______


d. He acted like he was green with envy. He acted avariciously.________________________________

e. Just to be sure on impartiality, get an uninterested judge for the contest. Just to be sure on _________

impartiality, get a disinterested judge for the contest._________________________________________

f. Regarding his future prospects, they look good. His future prospects look good._________________

g. If he would get off of that subject, he could make a lot of forward progress inside of a year. If he___

would get off that subject, he could make a lot of progress inside a year._________________________

h. It was the most perfect kind of response to a silly question. It was the perfect kind of response to a __

silly question._______________________________________________________________________

i. Your letter seems to infer that you are ready to retreat back from your former position. Your letter ___

seems to imply that you are ready to retreat from your former position.__________________________

j. He felt badly about it, but it was all past history now, and outside of expressing his regrets he could

do nothing but try and keep things under better control in the future ahead. He felt bad about it, but it _

was all history now, and apart from expressing his regrets he could do nothing but try and keep things _

better under control in the future.________________________________________________________

k. Each of the girls are asked to seriously consider the risks of the program. Each of the girls is asked to

seriously consider the risks of the program.________________________________________________

l. She was too disinterested in the subject to attend the lecture, plus she was certain it would be similar

to all the other lectures she had heard. She was too uninterested in the subject to attend the lecture, and

she was certain it would be like all the other lectures she had

m. The movie was fabulous, but due to closing hours she had to leave before it ended. The movie was_

suspenseful, but she had to leave before it ended because of closing hours._______________________

n. He knew he might have false illusions about his ability, but he decided to enter the contest

irregardless. He knew he might have false illusions about his ability, but he decided to enter the contest


o. He found the hike so exhausting, and the reason was because he had slept for only a short period of

time the night before. He found the hike exhausting because he had only slept for a short time the night


6. On page 152, under “Punctuation,” is an entire paragraph that contains no punctuation after the first sentence. Beginning with the second sentence, copy the entire paragraph and punctuate it correctly.

Without it a writer’s sentences would run together in one long toneless hum like this without any of the tones of speech. For much of speech is made up of pauses, of hesitations, of small delays and full stops. It is punctuation that must supply writing with these small, necessary silences. Without them it would take a reader twice as long to extract the meaning
from anything he read. He would probably give up in anger or despair, or else go quite mad from the din as his inner ear shrieked, “Stop! Wait! What was that?” You can see, perhaps from this, how difficult reading can be without punctuation.

LAW Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes
Assignment 1: First Person at Last

Using first person, write an essay based on a personal experience. This time, instead of developing your thesis with pro and con argument, you will develop it by telling a story. You will tell it in much the same way you would tell it to a friend and for the same reason: because it is something that really happened to you, and because it proves your point. (Refer to the text for further instruction.) 

LAW Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes
Assignment 2: How to Write Badly by Trying Very, Very Hard

You have spent a great part of the year learning how to improve your writing by using active verbs and concrete detail, by avoiding vague abstractions, clichés, and redundancies. Now you are going to kick over the traces by writing an essay that deliberately violates all of these principles.

You are to be luxuriously long-winded, devastatingly dull, overpoweringly pompous.
You may write in first person or third, but you must stick carefully to standard structure, for your essay must appear to be highly, even loftily, reasoned. Pick a thesis so trivial and/or obvious that nobody in his right mind would consider arguing it-something like “The adhesive quality of adhesive tape is frequently so sticky in nature that it produces negative reactions, skin-wise” or “The standardization of electric-type signals has been important in the solution of problems of traffic.”

The whole point is to do deliberately some of the very things you have
learned not to do. Now is your chance to get them all out of your system. Don’t try to be funny (that will take care of itself). And don’t violate all the principles of good style- if you do that, your paper will be unreadable. Just follow the rules below:

1. Use only passive voice (no active or “audio-visual” verbs at all) 
2. Use the –wise suffix at least twice in every paragraph. 
3. Use type, type of, and manner or nature phrases as often as possible. 
4. Use abstractions, preferably in every sentence: important sounding words ending in –tion,
-ment, -ance, -ence, -ism, -ness, -ity, and –acy. 
5. Inflate simple statements. Don’t say “He looked bad.” Say “He had the appearance of being
in an unhealthy condition.” Don’t say “He did good work.” Say “The type work accomplished by him was excellent in nature.” 
6. Use every trite expression you can think of (see list on page 151 if you run short).  (See the ext for further instructions). 

LAW Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes
Assignment 3: Irony

Choose a thesis as you would choose it for any essay. Then reverse it and overstate it. That overstatement is important; it’s the signal to your reader that your words are not to be taken face value. ……….In short, say what you mean by saying what you don’t mean. Don’t try to be funny- that will take care of itself. And don’t attack personalities- that’s cheap sarcasm, not irony. For serious essays, stick to ideas, policies, programs; for the merely humorous, use the nuisances and discomforts and absurdities of life for your subject matter. Always present your mock thesis as though it makes complete and admirable good sense. Develop it in the same way, with arguments that are perfectly logical in relation to your own mock thesis, however outrageous they may seem if judged by ordinary standards.

In your own phrase, play it cool. Then you will have irony.  LAW Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes
Assignment 4: Irony continued

It would be interesting, for this assignment, to rewrite one of your earliest essays (if it is still available) to see how much it can be improved by an infusion of irony. Otherwise, choose any serious thesis that interests you. Write your introduction without any attempt at irony. Keep your development straightforward, but try to give every paragraph at least a touch of irony- one surprising conjunction of words, one ironic reference, or one gently ironic comment.

The result should be the best essay you have written. 

LAW Chapter 13 More Freedom and a Few Flourishes

1. How do you arrive at a thesis for an essay about personal experience? The thesis in a personal essay_

will express some truth (opinion) you have learned from an experience._________________________

2. How does the development of this thesis differ from the development of the thesis in an essay of

argument? In a personal essay you are permitted to use the word “I” in your thesis. You develop your_

thesis by telling a story instead of developing an argument.___________________________________


3. Suppose you write a colorful description of a city street scene, using first person throughout. Is this

an essay? Explain your answer. This is not an essay, but only a description. An essay will __________

communicate a meaningful experience that has influenced you in some way. A colorful description of a

city street scene might be a component of a personal essay.___________________________________

4. Why is the use of the word “I” usually paradoxical? Under what circumstances would it not be

paradoxical? The paradox of using the word “I” in an essay is that although you use the word “I” in an_

essay, you are not really writing about yourself. You are writing about an opinion or moral truth._____

5. What is a “moral tag”? Give an example of the kind of moral tag that might appear at the end of the

suggested essay on racial prejudice. Why would it be a mistake? A moral tag is the explicit statement_

of the moral truth or opinion you are trying to convey. However, this is poor writing because if you __

have made your point, you will not need to express it so plainly. Also, you do not want to insult the __

intelligence of your reader. Example: This shows that racial prejudice injures innocent people._______ 6. What is the chief value of “writing badly by trying very, very hard?” This exercise will allow you to_

understand just how difficult it is to understand poor writing, and will

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