Short Analysis #2 (Coordination and Subordination)
Draft Workshop: February 11
Submission Date: February 13
Context and Course Objectives
For your first paper, you discussed the relative length of your sentences and a professional writer’s sentences. For your second paper, you will begin to look at the structure of your sentences. Specifically, you will consider how you coordinate and subordinate your ideas within and between sentences, how you use the active and passive voice, and how you incorporate different sentence patterns (perhaps without even consciously).
The second chapter of Rhetorical Grammar discusses the seven basic sentence patterns. Through the use of the “optional slot,” writers usually build sentences from these basic patterns, but they also combine ideas using coordination and subordination. We will discuss the role of clauses, specifically subordinate and coordinate clauses, as a means of developing ideas within sentences. We will continue our discussion of clauses as you look at how you use coordination and subordination in your writing.
1.) The first step will be to choose an academic essay of at least 750 words that you have written. Look at each sentence in the draft and determine whether the sentence is a simple sentence, a compound sentence, a complex sentence, or a compound-complex sentence and note whether or not the sentence/clauses are in the active or passive voice. You then might discuss how you used subordination and coordination to connect your ideas and why you think you chose the active and/or passive voice.
2.) Then, edit your sentences. Combine simple sentences, make compound sentences into complex sentences, make complex sentences into compound sentences, make complex and compound sentences into two simple sentences, make active sentences/clauses passive, etc.
3.) Discuss the difference between the original sentence and the revised sentence. Explain why the edited sentence is better in the context of the paragraph in which it appears and the paper as a whole.
Some Guiding Questions
Why did you coordinate some ideas and subordinate others? Do you think you over-rely on one structure or another? Why? Might some sentences benefit by being combined with other sentences through coordination and subordination? Why? Might active sentences benefit from the passive structure or vice versa? Why? You might also discuss your punctuation when coordinating and subordinating. Develop your analysis by asking and answering why you think you structured your sentences the way you did and reflecting on that strategy.
Bring drafts with you to the workshop on February 11; at that time, we will discuss some options for structuring your analysis.
- About 1,000 words
- Include original essay with draft (highlight passages)
- Be nice
Sample Page Design
Here is what the first page of your draft might look like.
- Khaled Hosseini finished high school. He went to Santa Clara University. He received a degree in biology. After that, he went to medical school. He got his medical degree in 1993.
- Khaled Hosseini finished high school and attended Santa Clara University, receiving a degree in biology. He then went to medical school and received his medical degree in 1993.
In this section you will explain why the second version is better than the first in the context of the draft. The explanation should include a detailed discussion of the changes, why subordination and/or coordination was better, and some context for the passage. It should be at least one well-developed paragraph, if not two.
Some Revision/Editing Advice
Use small passages for editing and stick to coordinating and subordinating ideas, transforming active/passive voice, and identifying sentence patterns. Avoid more than a few sentences, even when combining ideas. If you can edit the passage to make it more concise, do so, but you still must consider at least one of the three items above.
As you edit the passages, make the edited version better than the original. It will give you much more to talk about and provide more applicable practice in editing.
Adverbial Subordinate Clauses
Most subordinate clauses feel “less important” because they provide adverbial information (when? why? where? why?) about the main clause. Often, they actually do include important information. As you revise your explanations, try to comment on what kind of adverbial information they provide (location, time, manner, reason).
Now that we’ve discussed cohesiveness, use what you know about the “known-new contract” and “end focus” to develop your explanations. If you choose to change the location of the two clauses in a compound or complex sentence, it would be worth noting how doing so makes the sentence more cohesive with the sentence before and/or the sentence after it.
Although you’re welcome to include an introduction and a conclusion, this assignment does not require you to do so. That said, sometimes a conclusion is helpful to reflect back on the analysis assignment as a whole.
References to Words as Words
When you refer to a word as a word, use italics to identify the word. (e.g. “I used however to more explicitly connect a contradictory idea to the idea presented in the previous sentence.”)