Presentation on theme: "1 Tools for Writing Informative Sentences. 2 Topics of Discussion Use strong, active verbs Use active instead of passive voice Avoid verbs disguised."— Presentation transcript:
1 Tools for Writing Informative Sentences
2 Topics of Discussion Use strong, active verbs Use active instead of passive voice Avoid verbs disguised as nouns Use dependent clauses Avoid prepositional phrases
3 Active Verbs At the core of every good sentence is a strong, precise verb. At the core of most confusing, awkward, or wordy sentences lies a weak verb.
4 Active vs Passive Voice Frisky ate my homework. My homework was eaten by Frisky. Frisky = Doer / subject of sentence ate = Active Verb homework = Object of action homework = Object as subject by Frisky = Doer object of preposition was eaten = passive verb
5 Active or Passive Voice? The metropolis has been scorched by the dragon’s fiery breath. The technicians demanded longer coffee breaks. The explosion was caused by a kerosene lamp.
6 When Passive Works … Use active voice unless you have a good reason for choosing passive Emphasize the receiver of the action The solution was heated to the boiling point and then reduced in volume by 50 percent.
7 When Passive Works … Use active voice unless you have a good reason for choosing passive Passive Voice: A number of problems are indicated by these results. Active Voice: These results indicate a number of problems. Further analysis showed / suggested / yielded ….
8 Avoid Weak Verbs Convey practically no sense of action do, make, perform, have forms of the verb to be Reduce the verbs function as the power source Avoid nouns that are really verbs in disguise Substitute verbs that create a clear sense of action
9 Verbs Disguised as Nouns Make a recommendationRecommend Formulate an argument Arrive at a conclusion Perform an analysis Argue Conclude Analyze
10 The Dependent Clause Amplifies or qualifies the statement in the main part of the sentence Highlights the importance Suppresses the incidental Links ideas together Shows how ideas are related Start with a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun
11 The Dependent Clause SoWhereBefore AlthoughThanThough AfterSinceWhen BecauseAsWhereas IfUnlessuntil While WhoWhatWhich ThatWhyHow (many) Subordinating conjunctions Relative Pronouns
12 The Dependent Clause The project was not completed on time because the machine parts were stolen. If at first you don't succeed, try something else. A helium nucleus has two protons whereas hydrogen has only one. Energy supplies will dwindle unless we conserve.
13 The Dependent Clause Where are the parts that I ordered? The uranium nucleus, which contains 92 protons, is unstable. Most people don't know who their senators are. What the aerospace industry needs now is more friends in Congress.
14 Avoid Prepositional Phrases Less informative alternative to dependent clause Treat all ideas as grammatically equal No discrimination No emphasis among qualifying details Reader left to interpret what you are trying to say
15 Avoid Prepositional Phrases in progress on the floor beside the garage between the cities of data-processing equipment to a Martian by walking on hot coals
16 Avoid Prepositional Phrases In their specifications for engine parts, titanium is often requested by engineers because of its resistance to the effects of high temperatures. (6) Because titanium resists high temperatures, engineers often request it in their engine part specifications.
17 Editing Approach Circle the prepositions Determine the doer Determine the action Use dependent clauses instead of prepositional phrases Use active voice instead of passive Use strong verbs What to look for….. What to do …..
18 Uncertainties in the market for American cars is of concern to leaders of the industry, due to the increases in the costs of labor and raw materials. (8) In the design of components for warp drives for starships, increasing attention is being given to the employment of dilithium crystals because of their high power output in relation to their weight. (9) Rewrite avoiding prepositional phrases