Is it connected using some kind of logical connection that affects the author’s meaning? Are they simply glued together?

Learning Goal: I’m working on a english discussion question and need a sample draft to help me learn.The Week Four summary page introduces a new course-long assignment: the “Writing Patterns Log” assignment. In this assignment, I’ve asked you to keep track of problematic patterns that you discover (with my help) in your own writing, then learn and demonstrate practical fixes, workarounds, or other strategies for correcting those patterns (or at least using them more intentionally).Our textbook author, MacRae, provides a great deal of content about “Grammar” (in Chapter 3, but also throughout the book and in a “Spotlight on Grammar” reading supplement). I’ve adapted this assignment from one of MacRae’s, since I’ve observed over the years that many students–even the strongest communicators–feel uncomfortable about some “gaps” in their knowledge about foundational grammar, syntax, and punctuation concepts. These concepts come up often in writing, yet they’re not directly covered in many classes (with the exception of foreign language classes, where English language users often make surprising discoveries about the structure and parts of their first language).This is not a course in grammar (or syntax or punctuation), but it is a course in which we can examine our own writing closely, then discover ways to hone our writing proficiency even at the “foundational” level of grammar, syntax, and punctuation. In very practical ways, our knowledge and confidence in foundational principles can expand our repertoire of writing techniques, which in turn means that we can express a greater range of actual ideas.MacRae contends that it’s useful for writers to learn more “grammar language”: the names for, and definitions of, the most important concepts of grammar. Remarkably, MacRae exclaims, writers can master “grammar language” by learning a mere 25 items: Eight parts of speech (only eight!)
Three kinds of clauses (only three!)
Four kinds of conjunctions (only four!)
Four uses for the comma (only four!—actually, more like a dozen, but MacRae fits these dozen into four categories)
Two uses for the semicolon (only two!)
Four uses for the colon (only four!)
Well, he makes a great point: 25 items isn’t so many, especially compared to expectations common in many professional contexts. (Pharmacists, surgeons, tax accountants, engineers, police officers, chemists, linebackers, clergy, and many other professionals routinely memorize hundreds more items in order to master their field’s foundational concepts.)Of course, memorizing a term and its textbook definition isn’t the same thing as knowing how a content works in “real life.” Becoming a pro linebacker would be much simpler if one needed only to know how a play was supposed to work; actually executing the play brings its own challenges. Yet MacRae’s argument is that knowing the concept–actually committing it to memory, and being able to explain or define it for others–helps us learn how to apply the concept in practice. Having words for concepts makes those concepts visible, helps us to recognize them when we see them, and grants us greater command over them.In this class, I’ll ask you to learn and practice some basic sentence-level analyses of grammatical structures–not because I think the grammar terminology is so important, but because grammatical structures are the building blocks of our ideas (when we send those ideas into the world). It’s true that drafting a message (putting it into words for the first time, whether in your head or on the page) is often an unconscious process. Starting with Sentences and ClausesThe basic unit of written meaning is the “clause,” so we’re going to begin there. If you can break down any chunk of text into its clauses, you’re well on your way to understanding exactly how that text works as communication: how it creates its distinctive meaning.A simple sentence is a type of clause–it’s an independent clause (meaning that it can stand on its own as a clause). In fact, all sentences are independent clauses, even if they have a bunch of other things going on as well. But what this means is that, inside of every sentence, no matter how long or convoluted, we can find an independent clause. The components of an independent clause are a noun and a verb–or, less concisely but more precisely, a subject noun and a predicate.What that means is that you can identify the core of every sentence (its independent clause) by figuring out which noun and which verb are functioning as the independent clause. When you’re revising your own (or someone else’s) writing, that’s the place to start: find the simplest version of the sentence by identifying the parts that make up its independent clause.Everything else in a sentence is either a dependent element (it “depends upon”–which is another way of saying, it hangs from–the subject noun or predicate) or a relative element (it ” relates to” another element of the sentence) or a conjunctive element (it “joins with” another element of the sentence).Although every sentence has, at its core, one independent clause, it might have more than one clause. Sentences can also have either dependent clauses or relative clauses (or both) attached to the independent clause. Sentences can contain more than one independent clause. (“I came; I saw; I conquered” is a sentence containing three independent clauses, each with a subject noun and a single-word verb.)So, clauses are fairly easy to recognize, and all correct sentences can contain the three types of clauses: independent clauses, dependent (also called subordinate) clauses, and relative clauses. And that’s it. There are rules and conventions for how to combine clauses, for what other elements can be attached to them (and how), and for how punctuation fits in. But once you’re able to identify a sentence’s independent clause and any other clauses, you’re already a long way toward mastering the sentence’s structure, including making it grammatically correct and well punctuated.Sentence-level analysis, clarity, and concisenessWe’ve already worked on the writing principles of clarity, conciseness, and a few other virtues (the first “seven Cs”). Understanding how to break down a sentence into its components (its clauses and attachments) gives you great leverage to strengthen its clarity and conciseness. (It’s also helpful for improving the other “Cs.”)So, to start us off with some sentence-busting practice, I’d like you to try two things: first, finding and breaking down a complicated sentence into its parts, and then, experimenting with some different ways to rebuild the sentence.Discussion Prompt:1. Find a complex sentence (you can do more than one if you want) that you posted during one of the last two class discussions. Choose one that’s not already just a simple independent clause (with one subject and one predicate); if possible, find one that’s at least 12 words long and that you think contains multiple clauses (either multiple independent clauses or an independent clause plus one or more dependent or relative clauses). Paste the sentence into your discussion post.2. Break that sentence down into its simplest form: just its independent clause. (If you think it contains more than one independent clause, identify the other independent clauses, too.) Remember: in its simplest form, an independent clause is nothing more than a subject (a noun) and a predicate (either a verb alone or a verb plus an object noun).3. Next, see if you can identify any other dependent clauses or relative clauses in the sentence. List them separately. (Refer to MacRae’s discussion of how to recognize dependent and relative clauses, pp. 68ff.)4. Describe the relationships between clauses. In your own words, briefly tell us how one or more of these other clauses is related to your independent clause. Is it connected to a particular element of the independent clause (for instance, to the subject noun, the verb, or the object noun)? Is it connected using some kind of logical connection that affects the author’s meaning? Are they simply glued together?5. Finally, “rewrite” the sentence as a series of separate sentences: one sentence per clause. (What would this same content look like if each clause had its own sentence and these were lined up in a paragraph?)Examples of other students response: (Do not write the same things this is just an example to help you write your answer)Example 1:Even though those facts were written 246 years ago, it is quite clear what they mean today.
Independent clause: It is quite clear.
Dependent/Relative clause:Dependent clause: Even though those facts were written 246 years ago.
Relative clause: what they mean today.
The dependent clause defines we are talking about facts and provides time frame about the age of the facts in question. The independent clause defines simply the facts are clear. The relative clause informs more about the timeframe. I.e., today vs 246 years ago.
The facts in the Declaration were written 246 years ago. The facts read today are still clear.
Example 21. I believe that it is an effective expression of the author’s intended content because it concisely delivers the message in a short and straightforward sentence.2. Independent clause: it concisely delivers the message3. Dependent/Relative clause:- Dep: an effective expression of the author’s intended content- Rel: in a short and straightforward sentence4. The dependent clause explains that we are discussing the authors intended content in a effective and shortened manner which answers the question of the efficiency of the text in question. The independent clause bluntly states that the text delivers its message in a quick and efficient manner while the relative clause informs us more on the time in which it will take to read the text as it states it is just a singular sentence long. 5. The delivery of the author’s intended content is clear and concise. Example 3After looking at the reference with the lens of plain English, I noticed the document could have been better explained and shortened.
Independent Clause: The document could have been better explained.
Dependent Clause: After looking at the reference with the lens of plain English
The dependent clause helps show when the independent clause occurred.
The reference was looked at with the lens of plain English. It could have been better explained and shortened.
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