I’ve been doing a fair amount of coding lately—I’m working on an upgrade to GrammarTrainer to make it more user friendly and more informative about student progress.
In the following questions, the first sentence of a paragraph is given. Your job is to “unscramble” the rest of the paragraph by putting the next five sentences in the correct order.
Part of what’s distinct about Catherine’s and my curriculum is that we’re zeroing in on the basic building blocks of writing–phrases, sentences, and paragraphs.
As a writing instructor, I’ve been chronically frustrated by the fact that composition textbooks use words they don’t define.
Flow, for instance.
What is flow?
What is a paragraph apart from a list of sentences separated by white space from a bunch of other lists of sentences inside a longer text?
The answer the books give is that a paragraph has a topic (what’s a topic?) and the sentences about the topic have flow.
But that’s no help because now we’re back to flow, and the books don’t tell us what flow is.
Then there’s the universal awkward, awk for short.
What is an 18-year old college freshman who writes awkward sentences to make of the word awkward?
I came across this passage in a Times story by the mother of a high school student who wrote letters to successful dyslexics asking for advice, and thought it would be fun to see if I could punch it up a bit using principles Katharine and I teach in Europe in the Modern World: