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Have students review the section of the handbook on simple sentences before class. In class, ask the students to choose one of the key sentences of the reading. Then, in groups, have them transform the sentence into a simple sentence or into a series of simple sentences. Use this to have a discussion about
- the concept of the sentence/essay
- Does breaking it down into simple sentences make it easier to understand?
- Is this a tool they can use when reading?
- sentence style in general
- When are simple sentences useful?
- Why didn’t the author of the essay use only simple sentences?
- their own writing
- When should they use simple sentences?
- What makes them useful in writing?
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About the Author
Barclay Barrios is an Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs at Florida Atlantic University, where he teaches freshman composition and graduate courses in composition methodology and theory, rhetorics of the world wide web, and composing digital identities. He was Director of Instructional Technology at Rutgers University and currently serves on the board of Pedagogy. Barrios is a frequent presenter at professional conferences, and the author of Emerging.