You will need the handout called “Sentences.”
1. Take all of the discussion posts (in attachments as well, called sentence assessment) that you’ve done for class, and paste them into a separate document, and then separate the sentences so that each sentence is on a separate line (or lines, depending on its length).
Highlight coordinating conjunction words and subordinating conjunctions: Finding these kinds of words will help you to decide what kinds of sentences you have. Indicate the type of sentence at the end of each sentence (simple, compound, complex, compound/complex). See Purdue’s OWL if you need help determining your types of sentences or the sentence handout. http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/573/02/
Highlight independent clause verbs: Start by highlighting the verbs in the clauses that could stand by themselves and be considered sentences. Then highlight in another color, the verbs in dependent clauses.
Left or right branching?: Notice also whether you tend to write left branching or right branching sentences. (You can determine this question by looking at the location of your main subject and verb—is there a lot of material before the subject and verb? That’s a left branching sentence. If you start with the subject and verb, that’s often called a right branching sentence.) At the end of the document indicate the number of left and number of right branching sentences.
Variation: Determine the organization of each sentence. Indicate the amount of variation you have in your sentences.
Typical of your writing?: Check back in your original document to determine whether this particular paragraph seems representative of your writing style, and indicate the answer here.
Assess Verb quality: Highlight all of your verbs, and underline the verbs that could be improved. You want to stay away from weak and wimpy verbs! Type weak versus strong verbs into Google and read through some resources, and then look at this link from Purdue’s OWL on conciseness http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/572/01/
Give examples of verbs that you changed out, and what you replaced them with.