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Lesson Three Clarity: Actions From Joseph Williams’ Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (2000)

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson Three Clarity: Actions From Joseph Williams’ Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (2000)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Lesson Three Clarity: Actions From Joseph Williams’ Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace (2000)

2 CHARACTERS & ACTIONS Once upon a time, there was Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma, the Woodsman, and the Wolf. The end. Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place, a jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing a fright.

3 CHARACTERS & ACTION (better…sort of) Once upon a time, as a walk through the woods was taking place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’s jump out from behind a tree occurred, causing fright in Little Red Riding Hood.

4 CHARACTERS & ACTION (way better) Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking through the woods, when the wolf jumped out from behind a tree and frightened her.

5 CHARACTERS & ACTIONS Why do we like that one better? The characters are subjects of verbs The characters’ actions are verbs.

6 Once upon a time as a walk (action/noun) though the woods was taking (empty verb) place on the part of Little Red Riding Hood, the Wolf’s jump (action/noun) out from behind a tree occurred (empty verb) causing fright (action/noun) in Little Red Riding Hood. OR Once upon a time, Little Red Riding Hood was walking (action/verb) through the woods, when the Wolf jumped (action/verb) out from behind a tree and frightened (action/verb) her.

7 1. Choose a paragraph of your own writing. 2. Identify the subjects and verbs in each sentence. 3. Are they near each other? How could you revise them? 4. Look at the verbs. Are the verbs the subjects’ actions?

8 Our lack (noun/action) of data prevented (verb) evaluation (noun/action) of state action in targeting (noun/action) funds to areas in need (noun/action) of assistance (noun/action). Because we lacked (verb/action) data, we could not evaluate (verb/action) whether the state had targeted (verb/action) funds to areas that needed (verb/action) assistance (noun/action). Our lack (noun/action) of data prevented (verb) evaluation (noun/action) of state action in targeting (noun/action) funds to areas in need (noun/action) of assistance (noun/action).

9 Despite her knowledge of the need by cities for more money, her veto of a bigger education budget aimed at giving encouragement to cities for an increase in local taxes. Although the governor knew that the cities needed more money for schools, she vetoed a bigger education budget to encourage the cities to increase their local taxes.

10 NOMINALIZATION Verb Nominalization discoverdiscovery resistresistance reactreaction fliesflying AdjectiveNominalization carelesscarelessness differentdifference proficientproficiency Nominalization occurs by turning a verb or an adjective into a noun. We nominalize a verb or adjective when we turn it into a noun.

11 NOMINALIZATION CLUES Look for words with the following endings:  -ing  -tion  -ment  -ence or -ance  -ness

12 NOMINALIZATION PRACTICE analysisbelieveattemptconclusionemphasizeevaluate suggestapproachcomparisondefinediscussexplanation expressionfailureacquisitionappealappeardescription decreaseimproveincreaseaccuracycarefulclear intelligenceimportantpreciserelevantdecideexplicit

13 NOMINALIZATION How would you revise the following sentences? 1. The results are indicative that the data are representative of the population. 2. There is opposition among voters to nuclear power plants near population centers.

14 1. Choose another paragraph of your text. 2. Highlight all the verbs or adjectives that are nominalized. 3. Try revising a few sentences that have nominalizations. 4. If you do not have any nominalizations, great! But revise this: The frequent use of nominalizations instead of verbs results in the frustration of reader expectations. Their expectation is of characters as subjects and their actions as verbs. Increased reader frustration results from dropping characters from sentences altogether.


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