Friday, November 09, 2007

Creating Sentence Variety: THE ART OF STYLING SENTENCES

Having just finished The Art of Styling Sentences (fourth edition) by Ann Longknife and K. D. Sullivan, I would recommend it to serious students of writing for four reasons:

1. It offers practical tips for creating sentence variety by arranging words, phrases, and clauses and using by different punctuation marks.

2. It establishes a basic stylistic range by cogently discussing 20 basic sentence patterns.

3. It provides plenty of practice opportunities on each of the sentence patterns by posing key questions for reflection and giving end-of-section exercises.

4. It balances the authors’ approach to style with other rhetorical theories, such a Francis Christiansen’s cumulative and periodic sentences.

My take on the book is simple: For $9 you can’t go wrong. At the least, you are bound to find that you rarely or never use at least a few of the 20 sentence patterns; at best, you could well use the sentences patterns as a starting point from which to fashion more elaborate sentence patterns.

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