Monthly Archives: May 2016

Combine and Refine Sentence Variety Exercise

Combine and Refine: Sentence Variety Exercise

[Instructors: Download Word documents of this exercise and solutions at the end of this post.]

Sentences that begin with the same phrase or word are repetitive and boring to read. Similarly, writers who don’t vary their sentence length can make their prose sound choppy. Your writing will become more concise, lively, and fluid if you combine sentences and vary the sentence patterns. Two writing strategies can help you create more varied, interesting sentences.

Coordination refers to combining sentences with conjunctions such as and, but, for, or, nor, so and yet.

Before:   Newspapers provide in-depth articles on various topics. Many newspapers are still losing circulation.

After:     Newspapers provide in-depth articles on various topics, but many are still losing circulation.

Subordination links sentences with similar ideas to create one sentence by using words such as after, although, because, before, if, since, unless, until, when, where, whether, that, which, or who.

Before:  Most freshmen live in dorms. Most freshmen gain 15 pounds during their first year in college.

After:   Most freshmen who live in dorms gain 15 pounds during their first year in college.


Revise the following sentences by combining using coordination or subordination.

  1. The Marketing Department will conduct a survey to determine the types of products that best serve the  customer. The Marketing Department sometimes initiates ideas for new products.
  1. Data Delivery Systems makes burglar alarm systems that meet government standards. Data Delivery Systems leases its products to business and industry.
  1. I will graduate next June. I plan to enter the accountancy field.
  1. If you major in business, opportunities are open to you. Opportunities in sales, marketing, and public relations are open to business majors.
  1. Brokerage houses frequently offer internships to juniors and seniors. Brokerage houses are a good place to start your career.
  1. Dr. Caroline Cunningham has published extensively on business ethics in several respected journals. Dr. Cunningham is a specialist in business ethics.
  1. The Public Relations Department handled the crisis by issuing a news release. The news release explained how the company was responding to complaints about the faulty hinge.
  1. Our office parking lot was recently demolished to make way for a new building. I found a parking spot easily even though the lot was demolished.
  1. Annual reports provide stakeholders with important information. Annual reports are seldom read.
  1. DHL has initiated a carbon-neutral program. Carbon-neutral programs help the environment by mitigating carbon emissions.
  1. Backpacks are convenient for carrying books and other items. Backpacks can cause poor posture.
  1. Our team project required considerable overtime. The project involved the creation of a business plan. The business plan idea was a coffee shop in Seattle.
  1. My job is tiring. My job requires writing. Writing is difficult for me.
  1. It is important to have a basic understanding of design when creating a Web site. You may be called upon to design a Web site for your company.
  1. Josh Mankell was CFO of Draco Industries. Draco Industries is a manufacturer of reading lamps. Josh Mankell retired last month after a long and prosperous career as CFO of  Draco Industries.

Suggested Solutions

  1. The Marketing Department, which sometimes initiates ideas for new products, will conduct a survey to determine the types of items that best serve the customer.
  1. Data Delivery Systems, which makes burglar alarm systems that meet government standards, leases its products to business and industry.
  1. When I graduate next June, I plan to enter the accountancy field.
  1. If you major in business, opportunities in sales, marketing, and public relations are open to you.
  1. As brokerage houses frequently offer summer internships, they are a good place to start your career.
  1. Dr. Caroline Cunningham, who is a specialist in business ethics, has published extensively on the topic in several respected journals.
  1. The Public Relations Department handled the crisis by issuing a news release that explained how the company was responding to complaints about the faulty hinge.
  1. Although our office parking lot was recently demolished to make way for a new building, I found a parking spot easily.
  1. Annual reports provide stakeholders with important information, but they are seldom read.
  1. DHL has initiated a carbon neutral program that will help the environment by mitigating carbon emissions
  1. Backpacks are convenient for carrying books and other items, but they can cause poor posture.
  1. Our team project, which involved a business plan for a Seattle coffee shop, required considerable overtime.
  1. My job is tiring because it requires writing, which is difficult for me.
  1. Because you may be called on to create a Web site for your company, it is important to have a basic understanding of design.
  1. Josh Mankell retired last month after a long and prosperous career as CFO of Draco Industries, a manufacturer of reading lamps.

 


Sentence Variety Exercise

Sentence Variety Exercise Solutions

 

Former Yelper Talia Jane—Whiner or Winner?

[Instructors: Your students will likely have lots to say about this actual case! Use the links in the post to direct your students to the originals and then discuss the situation. We’ve included some questions to get the conversation started.]

shutterstock_181519442_MAY2016Recently, an employee at San Francisco-based Yelp sent An Open Letter to My CEO, in which the 25-year-old former English major detailed her long list of woes about her life and job at Yelp. Talia Ben-Ora, who goes by Talia Jane online, wrote that she was “balancing all sorts of debt and trying to pave a life for myself that doesn’t involve crying in the bathtub every week.” In the letter she complains about the high cost of her apartment ($1,245/month), the slow pace of promotions at Yelp (“I was told I’d have to work in support for an entire year before I would be able to move to a different department,”) and how she is unable to buy groceries or pay her cell phone and utilities bills. Her letter drips with sarcasm (“…if I made $24,000 more annually I could probably get the headlight fixed on my car. And the flat tire…”).

Not surprisingly, Talia Jane was fired soon after she posted her letter. Since then a firestorm of both criticism and support has appeared on social media. Some of Talia Jane’s millennial counterparts understand the ex-Yelper’s plight—working at a minimum wage job and living in San Francisco, one of the most expensive cities in the nation, just do not compute—while others have responded by critiquing Talia Jane’s poor work ethic and sense of entitlement.

Discussion

  1. What possible career repercussions might follow Talia Jane after this incident?
  2. What else might Talia Jane have done to change her unhappy work situation?
  3. How do you feel about Talia Jane’s public display?