A terrific 2-sentence pair by SY

In this 2-sentence pair by SY, I especially like the very short sentence coming after the longer one:

Firstly, in “Chanticleer and Renard the Fox or The Trickster Tricked,” the conflict is between a wise character, Chanticleer, and a clever character, Renard. In this fable the wise character prevails.

Online anaphora demonstration

From the University of Sydney:

See how words ‘without content’ point or link to content words in other sentences…”

Examples of words without content:

  • this
  • such
  • these

Examples of words with content:

  • cat
  • dog
  • house
  • run
  • sit
  • stay

DIRECTIONS for using the site:

  1. Click on Step 5 
  2. Read the paragraph.
  3. Click START.

Source:
Clearer Writing by the University of Sydney

I think of “words without content” — function words — as words whose meaning you can’t find in the dictionary. The meaning lies in the conversation you are having or the passage you are reading.

Which paragraph is easier to read and why?

One of the paragraphs in this post appears in World History: Patterns of Interaction, Grades 9-12 (Michigan). New York: McDougal Littell, 2008. (Print.) (378.)

PARAGRAPH 1:
German kings after Frederick, including his grandson Frederick II, continued their attempts to revive Charlemagne’s empire and his alliance with the Church. This policy led to wars with Italian cities and to further clashes with the Pope. Conflicts were one reason why the feudal states of Germany did not unify during the Middle Ages. Another reason was that the system of German princes electing the king weakened royal authority. German rulers controlled fewer royal lands to use as a base of power than French and English kings of the same period, who, as you will learn in Chapter 14, were establishing strong central authority.

PARAGRAPH 2
German kings after Frederick, including Frederick’s grandson Frederick II, were no more successful than Frederick had been. They, too, failed to revive Charlemagne’s empire and his alliance with the Pope. They incited fruitless wars with Italian cities and further clashes with the Pope, and the constant conflict undermined their ability to unify Germany’s feudal states under one king. The kings were weakened further by Germany’s political system, which allowed German princes to elect the king. They also held relatively few royal lands compared to the French and English kings, who controlled large territories. As you will learn in Chapter 14, French and English kings during this period were establishing strong central authority. Meanwhile the German kings succeeded neither in reviving the Empire nor in unifying the country.

PARAGRAPH 3
The German kings after Frederick, including his grandson Frederick II, continued Frederick’s efforts to revive Charlemagne’s empire and his alliance with the Church, but they did not succeed. Like Frederick, they incited fruitless wars with Italian cities and further clashes with the Pope, and the constant conflict undermined their ability to unify Germany’s feudal states under one king. The kings were further weakened by the German political system, which allowed German princes to elect the king, and by their relative lack of royal lands compared to the large territories controlled by French and English kings of the same period, who, as you will learn in Chapter 14, were establishing strong central authority in their own countries. Frederick’s successors succeeded neither in reviving the empire nor in unifying their country.

ANSWER

Terrific student revisions of Martha Kolln’s “getting chilled” exercise

BACKGROUND: Martha Kolln explains cohesion in writing

In class a few weeks ago (10/25/2012), students revised the ‘getting chilled’ passage from Martha Kolln’s Rhetorical Grammar. I was very impressed by the results.

Here’s the passage:

Getting chilled or getting your feet wet won’t cause a cold. Weather is not the culprit that causes the common cold. Viruses are to blame.

A major problem with this passage is that it has 3 different grammatical SUBJECTS in just 3 independent clauses:

  1. Getting chilled or getting your feet wet || won’t cause a cold.
  2. Weather || is not the culprit that causes the common cold.
  3. Viruses || are to blame.

STUDENT REVISIONS:

Getting chilled or getting your feet wet won’t cause a cold. The common cold is not caused by weather, but by viruses.
-JG

Getting chilled or getting your feet wet won’t cause a cold. The common cold is not caused by weather; viruses are to blame.
-DP

Getting chilled or getting your feet wet won’t cause a cold. A common cold cannot be blamed on the weather. However, it can be blamed on viruses.
-GC

The common cold is not caused by getting your feet wet or getting chilled. Cold weather is not the culprit that causes the common cold, but viruses are to blame.
-JB

Kolln, Martha J. Rhetorical Grammar: Grammatical Choices, Rhetorical Effects. 5th ed. New York: Longman 2006. (Print.) (72.)