BLUEPRINT for WRITING
COS Critical Skills Writing Lab
In home construction, the architect’s BLUEPRINTS provide a builder with drawings of the house’s framework. Once the framework has been built, all other parts of the house will both emanate from and attach to that framework.
And, like the building contractor is dependent on the architect . . .
. . . so is the reader dependent on the writer.
Both need BLUEPRINTS to guide them.
Blueprint of an Essay
LEAD, THESIS, CLUEING SENTENCE TOPIC, S/D SENTENCES x # PARA. CONCLUSION
BLUEPRINT has four parts.
• Leads • Clueing Sentences • Paragraph Transitions • Sentence Coherence
Part Four: Sentence Coherence
COHERE: to stick or hold together COHERENCE: sticking together SENTENCE COHERENCE: when the ideas of all
sentences in a paragraph are linked to one another sentence sentence sentence
- the desired result is that the reader leaves the paragraph with a single impact. - interruptions created by end mark punctuation ( . ! ? ) are more easily bridged and, therefore, less intrusive on the reader.
Sentence Coherence may be achieved in three ways.
• Natural Order
• Gap Glue • Repeated Key Words and Phrases
Natural Order : On occasion, the subject of a paragraph will have an inherent or natural order that the writer ( and, consequently, the reader ) must follow. The how-to-do-it paragraph lends itself to Natural Order. .
Making a Cake To bake a cake, first read the recipe. Lay out all the ingredients. Make sure all necessary baking utensils are at hand. Preheat the oven. Grease the baking pan. Mix all the ingredients. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake the cake. Let the cake cool. Frost the cake. Clean up the cooking area. NOTE: Each sentence naturally follows the previous
sentence; no sentence could be transposed in the cakemaking process.
RE PEA TED KE Y WO RDS A ND PH RAS ES : When the reader must remain mindful of a term throughout the paragraph, it is often repeated.
Repeated key words and phrases may be included in paragraphs three ways and - usually - simultaneously. But, let’s look at them individually.
1. synonyms 2. grammatical variations 3. pronouns
REPEA TED KE Y WOR DS A ND PH RAS ES synonyms
• In the following paragraph, synonyms are necessary because the key word, ‘hair,’ is monotonous.
Although Ben liked his hair, Lucy decided his hair could be improved. His barber appraised his hair, clipped the hair, and styled the remaining hair. His new hair was an improvement.
• Note: be careful; overusing synonyms may distract your reader. For example, look at the revision.
Although Ben liked his hair, Lucy decided his mane could be improved. His barber appraised his tresses, clipped the shock, and styled the remaining fluff. His new coiffure was an improvement. • Note: monotony has been replaced by overkill.
GAP G LU E: Words that link (or stick) one senE
tence to the next - mostly, adverbial conjunctions.
• • •
Eliminate ‘choppiness’ Marry sentences Create continuity between sentences
Examples of Gluing Words (Gap Glue)
Regardless Nevertheless However Thus
in spite of everything anyway, whatever by contrast, in spite of as a result, in this way
Everybody owns something special. That special item could be anything. It could be a car, a poster, a reptile, a letterman’s coat, or a rubber ducky. Regardless of the item, it must be valued dearly. For example, I have a bone-handled switchblade knife that I bought in Germany while guiding some rowdy students on a European tour. It is neither a stiletto nor a pocket knife. Nevertheless, it could be a lethal weapon. The blade is spring loaded, with a neatly-hinged, brass lever on one end. However, the blade is utilitarian, despite its intimidating action, and used mostly for carving cheese and bread. I misplaced the knife, once, and was nearly heartbroken. When I found it, I boxed it away. But I still worry about losing it; thus, my switchblade owns me.
The following paragraph has no gap glue. Note the fragmented ideas and choppy sentences.
Working in the neighborhood grocery store as a checker was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. I had to wear an ugly, scratchy uniform. It was cut at least three inches too short. My schedule of working hours was inconvenient. My hours changed each week. It was impossible to make plans in advance. Getting a day off was out of the question. The lack of working space bothered me. Except for a half-hour break, I was restricted to three square feet of room behind the counter. I felt like a cog in the register.
Now look at the same paragraph, with gap glue added.
Working in the neighborhood grocery store as a checker was one of the worst jobs I’ve ever had. In the first place, I had to wear an ugly, scratchy uniform that was cut at least three inches too short. My schedule of working hours was another inconvenience; because my hours were changed each week, it was impossible to make plans in advance, and getting a day off was out of the question. In addition, the lack of working space bothered me. Except for a half-hour lunch break, I was restricted to three square feet of room behind the counter. Consequently, I felt as if I were no more than a cog in the cash register.
Are you beyond your first draft?
• When you practice Sentence Coherence, you are adding DESIGN to your sentences. • To avoid writer overload, it is advised not to practice DESIGN when first constructing a sentence. • Save DESIGN for 2nd and later drafts.
SENTENCE COHERENCE QUIZ
1. The writer will utilize sentence coherence in order to A. come to a conclusion B. validate support data C. link one sentence to the next
C. Link one sentence to the next
1. In a paragraph explaining birdhouse construction, the writer would be best advised to use A. natural order B. gap glue C. repeated key words and phrases A. natural order
3. Repeated key words and phrases depend on synonyms, pronouns and A. appositives B. grammatical variations C. lead-ins B. grammatical variations
1. Gap glue links one sentence to the next, using mainly A. subordinate conjunctions B. conjunctive adverbs C. coordinating conjunctions B. conjunctive adverbs
5. The writer should apply DESIGN • as early as the outline • in the 1st draft • only after the 1st draft is finished C. only after the 1st draft is finished
6. Remove the outer garments. Disconnect the sides of the soiled diaper and dispose. With a clean, moist, warm cloth, wipe the baby’s bottom. Powder or oil the cleansed area. Redress the baby in a clean diaper and replace the outer garments. For sentence coherence, this paragraph depends on A. gap glue. C. natural order. E. repeated key words and phrases.
B. natural order
1. Those who practice dentistry advise that chewing gum is bad for your teeth. Sugar is deposited between molars and promotes tooth decay. To prevent those expensive dental appointments, chew sugarless gum. It is promoted by dentists to maintain healthy teeth. For sentence coherence, this paragraph depends on A. gap glue B. natural order C. repeated key words and phrases
B. repeated key words and phrases.
1. Rafting is fun. However, some care should be observed. Ignoring safety gear can be deadly. For example, hypothermia can disable a swimmer almost immediately in an icy river and, therefore, wetsuits should always be worn. Too, helmets can prevent head injury if the rafter is pitched overboard among rocks. On the other hand, simple sunscreen is often overlooked as a rafting precaution. For sentence coherence, this paragraph depends on A. Gap glue B. Natural order C. Repeated key words and phrases
A. Gap glue