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 GrammarI 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.
-J.G.

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

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.
-G.C.

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.
-J.B.

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

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