Look over the below Course Goals and Unit Subgoals to think through more “small picture” aspects of writing at the level of the word and sentence:
- Read and analyze texts critically: Analyze and interpret key ideas in various discursive genres (e.g., essays, news articles, speeches, documentaries, plays, poems, short stories), with careful attention to the role of rhetorical conventions such as style, tropes, genre, audience, and purpose.
- Use conventions appropriate to audience, genre, and purpose: Adapt writing and composing conventions (including your style, content, organization, document design, word choice, syntax, citation style, sentence structure, and grammar) to your rhetorical context.
- Experiment with the rhetorical power of tapping into the full range of your rhetorical expertise (i.e., your rhetorical practices in all of the contexts in which you use rhetoric)
- Learn the differences between genres at the level of words, sentences, paragraphing, document design, mode, etc.
- Change stylistic features of your writing to accommodate your audience
- Write with other voices (e.g., paraphrasing, direct quotes, summary, footnotes, endnotes, managing claims and evidence with other voices, qualifying claims, counterarguments)
Thinking back to many of the style exercises we did in the first few Learning Modules can especially be valuable to do, in addition to thinking through these goals.
Speaking of, in one of the Learning Modules, you were asked to calculate sentence average and variation of sentence length as well as classify and count sentence types for two paragraphs in your writing.
I want you to skim through all of your writing with the course and unit goals in mind, Learning Module activities on style (especially Learning Module 2, Learning Module 3, Learning Module 4, Learning Module 5–these modules considered things like punctuation, word choice, coherence, translingualism, and register), and various lesson plans in the first half of the semester that focused on style in order to begin to notice things you notice that you got better at as the semester went on at the word and sentence level.
After doing this skimming and note-taking, focus especially on at least 2 paragraphs. One from an early part of the semester and one from a latter part of the semester or one paragraph from a first draft and one paragraph from a second draft.
You have three tasks:
- Using the instructions from this Learning Module page, calculate sentence average and variation of sentence length of both paragraphs.
- Using the instructions from this Learning Module page, classify and count sentence types for two paragraphs in your writing of both paragraphs.
- Write about any growth you notice in terms of rhetorical effects of sentence variety AND one other element of style we talked about (e.g., punctuation, word choice, register, coherence) in about 100-200 words. Also include information about differences in sentence length and type that you found doing your calculations. Think about what you are working on and want to continue to work on at the word and sentence level.
Remember: nothing has to be “perfect” here…you can write about things that improved but you still would like to keep improving! That is honestly how most of this stuff is: frustratingly always-in-progress. But, life is kind of always in process and sort of never finished, so, yeah.
After commenting below, click on the button to continue the module:
11 thoughts on “Experiential-Learning Document and Rhetorical Analysis: Small Picture”
1. Length – early paper 28.5 Words. late paper – 24 words
2. early – Simple, Simple, Complex, Compound Late – Simple, Simple, Simple, Complex, Simple
3. One change in my writing that I can observe is that I tend to use less complex sentences and in the past, I would add more punctuation than needed. I have become a much more efficient writer over the term and I work faster in finding examples in writing and using them in my own paper. One trend that I see in my writing is that now in my papers, I am using fewer words in my sentences and this can be a good sign for my writing as I tend to get my point across quicker. I want to incorporate more variation of sentences and possibly in my next English course I will learn how to do this in a better way.
1. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: 23.4 words/sentence.
Research Paper 2nd Draft: 21.7 words/sentence.
2. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: Complex, complex, simple, complex, complex, complex, compound-complex, complex, simple.
Research Paper 2nd Draft: Complex, complex, complex, complex, complex, simple.
3. Though I haven’t change much in terms of sentence variety, I have noticed that my sentences tend to be shorter than before. I think that is a good improvement because if I can convey the same idea with less words, I should. In addition, reading long sentences is exhausting, therefore by writing shorter sentences, I am making my essay more readable. I have also noticed that my sentences are flowing more smoothly now. Previously, my sentences tend to jump from one idea to the next, with little transition. Now sentences generally have cohesion and smoother transitions.
1. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: 24.6 words per sentence.
Research Driven Writing Project: 31.2 words per sentence.
2. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: Simple, simple, complex, complex, simple, simple.
Research Driven Writing Project: Simple, simple, complex, compound-complex, complex, complex, and simple.
3. One of the things that I have noticed is that the more the length of my writing increases, the more words and sentences I use to complete a project. However, one thing that I think has remained constant is that I tend to begin and end my paragraphs with simple sentences, while using the more complex ones in the middle. I believe that the demands of my writing require such a structure because it is difficult to link claims and evidence in shorter sentence structure. However, the sentences should not be too long as to exhaust the reader.
Literacy Narrative (draft 1): 27.03 words per sentence
Rhetorical analysis (draft 2): 24.36 words per sentence
Literacy Narrative (draft 1):
complex, compound, simple, simple, compound, complex-compound, simple, complex, complex-compound, complex.
Rhetorical analysis (draft 2):
Complex-compound, complex, compound, complex-compound, compound, simple, compound, complex-compound.
3. My sentence average for my most recent paper (rhetorical analysis) is lower than that of my Literacy Narrative, but I’m not sure if that is either good or bad. It probably means that I’m more concise and efficient at delivering my idea instead of going around in circles. I also use less simple sentences as well as less Compound-complex ones, this is probably because I’m not doing super long sentences like I used to, but I don’t do them “simple” either.
1. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: 25.4 words per sentence
Research Paper 2nd Draft: 24.2 words per sentence
2. Literacy Narrative 2nd Draft: Simple, simple, simple, simple, complex, complex, simple
Research Paper 2nd Draft: Simple, simple, complex, complex, simple, complex
3. My sentences have become more complex, and well written. I use rhetorical lenses’ to my advantage in order to set up a strong foundation for what I will be writing about. The length of my writing has stayed around the same (About 1 word less per sentence), which just means that I am a tad more brief and straight to the point in my writing now. Overall I have improved greatly.
Literacy Narrative Final Draft: 18.3 words per sentence
Research Driven Writing Project: 18.0 words per sentence
Literacy Narrative Final Draft: simple, compound, complex, complex, complex, simple, compound, simple
Research Driven Writing Project: simple, complex, complex, simple, compound, simple, complex, compound, compound
3. As we can see, my sentence length hasn’t really changed very much. In both paragraphs, it looks like I use a good mix of various sentence types. I think one reason my average sentence length might be shorter than others is because some of my sentences are very long and others are only a few words. I think this keeps the reading interesting though. One thing that I have focused on that relates to the small picture is that I have tried to make my sentences flow better by imagining that my writing is like a conversation that I am having with another person.
1. Literacy Narrative:20, Research Paper: 16.2
2. Literacy Narrative: Compound, Compound, Simple, Complex, Complex, Simple, Compound
Research Paper: Simple, Simple, Simple, Simple, Complex, Compound, Compound, Simple
3. From the Literacy Narrative until the research paper I have grown a lot as a writer. I tried to improve on my sentence variation and way I write which we can see in my research paper. I focused on writing shorter sentences that are simpler and help the reader get straight to the point. Hence I used many simple sentences to explain my ideas to the readers. In the future I hope to continue this way and improve even more.
1)Literacy Narrative- 20.75 words per sentence
Research Paper- 19.67 words per sentence
2) Literacy Narrative- Complex Compound Complex Compound Simple Compound Complex Complex
Research Paper- Compound Compound Complex Complex Complex Complex
3) I have definitely grown as a writer from mid-term to now. Although I would like to use more simple sentences, it is quite difficult when writing a research paper. I fully believe I structure my sentences much nicer and try to not be so repetitive.
1: Literacy Narrative: 21.26 words per sentence Rhetorical Analysis: 19.13 w/s
2: literacy narrative: complex, simple, complex, simple, simple, simple, simple, simple, compound, compound, compound-complex, simple, simple, simple, simple, compound, complex, simple, compound, simple, simple, simple
rhetorical analysis: simple, complex, simple, complex, simple, complex, simple, simple
3. One major difference I noticed is that the paragraph in my literacy narrative is annoyingly long. There was absolutely no reason for that paragraph to drag on like that. It is also extremely unbalanced, there are times where there are simple sentences and then multiple complex and compound sentences. My rhetorical analysis paragraph is much more balanced and brief but informational.
1. QSR1 – 18.5 words per sentence, Rhetorical Analysis 2nd Draft – 16.8 words per sentence
2. QSR1 – 2 simple, 2 compound, 4 complex, 1 complex-compound. Rhetorical Analysis 2nd Draft – 1 simple, 1 complex, 3 compound-complex.
3. The paragraph from the Rhetorical Analysis was shorter for readability, appropriate for the blog post genre. It also included a long quote from a source to use an author’s voice to properly describe the first main theme of the song. The paragraph from QSR1 was a mixture of summary and analysis, but more heavily leaned on summary. Looking at other parts of the RA, I think I have maintained my sentence type variety.
1. Literacy Narrative draft 1: 11.1 words per sentence
Literacy Narrative draft 2: 12.8 words per sentences
2. Literacy Narrative draft 1: compound, simple, simple, complex, compound, simple, simple, simple, complex, simple, complex, complex, simple
Literacy Narrative draft 2: compound, complex, simple, complex, compound, simple, simple, compound, complex, simple, complex, complex, simple
3. The original paragraph was shorter but the revised version offered more information overall that helped the narrative.