September 2016 archive

Sentence Assignments

    1. Favorite sentence assignment

    “I went to bed a little early that night, changing into boy boxers and a T-shirt before crawling under the covers of my bed, which was queen size and pillow topped and one of my favorite places in the world.” (The Fault In Our Stars)

    The root sentence is: “I went to be a little early that night”. The phrase that follows gives detail about the “I” in the sentence, telling the reader what she was wearing and what she was doing. The last phrase of the sentence is a referral to the subject “bed” mentioned directly before the word “which”, and it describes the bed (how it looked, that it was her favorite place.)

    IC, DC, DC

    I wrote my own sentence in a similar style:

    “I rode my brand new skateboard that day, wearing knee pads and a blue helmet that matched my skateboard, which was medium sized and covered in blue paint and my new prized possession.”

    The root of the sentence is “I rode my brand new skateboard that day”. The phrase that follows after the first comma supports the “I” in the sentence and provides information on what “I” was wearing when riding a skateboard. The ending phrase picks up after the comma and continues to refer to the subject and root of the sentence “new skateboard”.

    2) “Albert Einstein: “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

    This is a compound sentence directing the reader to look deep into nature. It is an if/then sentence: If you “look deep into nature…” then you will understand everything better. The sentence, although short, has a lot of meaning.

    DC, DC

    3) “This Article examines the sometimes subtle ways that the built environment has been used to keep certain segments of the population—typically poor people and people of color—separate from others.”

    Thinking about this sentence in a rhetorical way, it serves the purpose of letting the reader know what the purpose of the article is. The sentence tells us that the article is going to examine different ways that the physical structure of an environment is used to keep people out of certain areas. The root of the sentence “The built environment has been used to keep certain segments of the population separate from others”. The phrase in between the dashes that interrupt the root sentence, modifies “certain segments of the population”.

    Schindler, Sarah. “Architectural Exclusion: Discrimination and Segregation Through Physical Design of the Built Environment.” The Yale Law Journal – Home. The Yale Law Journal, 2016. Web. 11 Dec. 2016.

    4) From “We Should Hang Out Sometime” , p 181  

    “Obviously, you want to go somewhere fancy to eat on the night of prom, which is why our group chose one of the classiest joints in Harrisonburg, an upscale seafood establishment called Red Lobster.”

    The root sentence is “Our group chose one of the classiest joints in Harrisonburg” and everything before this subject is description. The last phrase “an upscale seafood establishment called Red Lobster” modifies the “classiest joints” portion of the root sentence. The first phrase “Obviously, you want to go somewhere fancy to eat on the night of prom” sets the condition for the root sentence. This can also be looked at in a sarcastic perspective. The first word “Obviously” and the fact that Red Lobster is not known to be a fancy restaurant makes this more clear.

    DC, DC, DC, DC

    5) From “City Of Rhetoric”, Introduction, p.3

    “In the following years, there were few changes in “North Town”: neither the population nor the racial composition of the neighborhood underwent any significant alteration, staying around 80 percent white and 20 percent black.”

    The root sentence is “there were few changes in “North Town”:” The series of facts that follow the colon support the root sentence. It gives example of aspects of “North Town” that have had very few changes. The beginning of the sentence “In the following years” refers to the time frame of the rest of the sentence. After the colon, there is a neither/nor phrase comparison.

    DC, IC, IC, DC

    6) Quote from Buddha:  

    “In the end only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

    The root sentence is the very beginning “In the end only three things matter”. What follows after the colon, is a list of the three things that matter separated by commas. “Gently” and “gracefully” are two poetic adverbs.

    IC, DC, DC, DC

    7) From “Staying Strong” by Demi Lovato:  

    “If you don’t love yourself for your flaws and imperfections, you can’t expect anyone else to either.”

    This is an “if/then” sentence. It states the “if” part of the sentence that leads to the “then” part: “If you don’t love yourself, then you can’t expect others to either.” The purpose of this type of sentence is to reason with the readers and hypothesize what the outcome would be.

    DC, DC

    8) From “City of Rhetoric”  , Preface, p. xiv     

    “After all, if we continue to design our landscape so that we need not have contact with people who are different from us, we should not be surprised when the political life that results is impoverished.”   

    This is an example of an “if/then” sentence without actually using the “then”. The word “then” is implied after the comma. It describes how if variable A happens, then variable B will happen as a consequence. “If we continue to design our landscape…”, then “we should not be surprised when…”. The argument being made is if we keep building the environment to be exclusive of certain people, the odds are that we will end up with a poorer political life. “After all” leads you to the conclusion.

    9) From “The Fault in Our Stars” p3   

    “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year, my mother decided I was depressed, presumably because I rarely left the house, spent quite a lot of time in bed, read the same book over and over, ate infrequently, and devoted quite a bit of my abundant free time to thinking about death.”  

    The root sentence is “my mother decided I was depressed”. The word “because” connects the rest of the sentence and sets out the reasons as to why her mother thought she was depressed. “Late in the winter of my seventeenth year” provides context and a time frame for the rest of the sentence.

    DC, IC, DC, DC, DC, DC, DC

    10) John F Kennedy: “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”      

    This is an example of parallelism in grammar. The first phrase is giving the reader a positive factor that comes from physical fitness and the second phrase is doing the same. “…not only…” is key in the phrase because it suggests that a similar statement about physical fitness will be made.