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When conferencing through my students about their composing, a widespread research I hear, (normally after some stammering from the student) is, “I want to make certain that my writing flows.”
I could follow up by asking the student if he is referring to the flow between his sentences, the flow between his paragraphs, or the flow throughout his whole item of creating. As you have the right to imagine, the student is frequently met via confusion.
Or possibly you have actually heard students in peer review tell their companion, “Your creating flows well,” however as soon as pressed, they can’t seem to carry out an answer regarding where or just how.
These students could have actually a feeling regarding which composing flows and also which composing doesn’t, but they cannot seem to articulate the how or the why.
And I don’t blame them – it deserve to be a challenge to articulate the “how” or “why” a item of creating flows. I imagine that for many kind of students, writing circulation is a cryptic concept that only innately talented writers can summon.
So, to help our students, let’s better specify flow for them and define why it is an important composing component. Let’s assist them understand that there is more than one kind of flow so that the feedago they sell one one more in peer modifying is even more specific and actionable.
What is composing flow and also why is it important?
Most students are mindful of the prestige of flow, also if they cannot pin dvery own a single definition for it. We know this because they are able to usage words prefer “choppy,” “awkward,” and “wordy” to describe creating without being formally taught this vocabulary.
Ever given that we were check out to as kids by our teachers and family members members, we were being taught to appreciate the phonic quality of sentences and also just how they are constructed. For this reason, students have the right to determine composing which lacks circulation as hard or boring to check out, and they have the right to sense the distance it creates between the author and reader.
To help them much better understand this sense of discomfort that some composing offers them, we can define writing circulation in the adhering to terms:
Having circulation means having actually comfort as a writer and also a mastery of not only the content being written around, but the composing craft itself.
Help Your Students Create a Sense of Flow in Their Writing
So let’s break down the various locations of writing that can contribute to the in its entirety circulation of a created item of work.
Teaching Varied Sentence Structure in Writing
Fragments, run-on sentences, and comma splices are worries that have the right to certainly detract from a sentence’s circulation, and they often indicate that a student is having actually an concern recognizing wbelow a sentence starts and wbelow a sentence ends.
Students deserve to remove pieces and run-ons once they have added exercise writing facility sentences utilizing independent claprovides and dependent claprovides.
When comma splices (the joining of two independent clauses with a comma) happen, students can likewise benefit from activities that emphasis on provides of compound sentences and conjunctions.
Sentence combining activities prefer the ones right here included in Deborah Dean’s article from NCTE are an excellent way to help students differ their sentences.
Creating Flow Between Sentences: Avoiding “Choppiness” and also “Wordiness”
Returning to some of the terminologies that I described earlier, what execute students suppose when they explain writing as “choppy?” Usually, this means that the sentences within a passage move at an odd pace.
Choppy writing might be identified by repeated sentence structure (periodically sounding “robotic”) which rely on easy sentences. While the writer may have actually a solid foundation of principles, she can enhance the flow of her creating by trying out through various sentence frameworks, conjunctions, and subordinating clauses.
“Wordy” composing normally describes lengthy and also grandiose phrases that clutter meaning and also readcapacity. Some students that experiment through their vocabulary (generally a great thing) can finish up via creating that has incorrect word option, unexplained sentence framework, or instances of passive voice.
When this happens, encourage your students to ask themselves during the revision or peer modifying procedure whether their diction, or choice of words, is clumsy or getting in the way of their ideas.
Using Transitions Between Paragraphs
Flow can be completed at the paragraph level also. Transition words and also phrases are advantageous not just for linking sentences together, but also for connecting paragraphs throughout a piece of writing. Depfinishing on your intention, the usage of transitions can be provided for a variety of purposes.
Structuring Your Paragraphs to Maintain Flow in Writing
Undoubtedly, writing circulation have the right to be measured on a more comprehensive range when assessing how paragraphs themselves are structured and also arranged.
In this sense, effective flow have the right to be figured out not only by the selection of ideas and also exactly how well each paragraph remains on topic, but also by how paragraphs themselves are ordered.
It’s vital to ask, “Do the points in each paragraph properly build to a combined principle or argument?”
To illustrate, my extremely own high school English teacher readily available me the adhering to tips for embedding circulation into a five-paragraph argumentative essay:
> - Your initially body paragraph have to be the the majority of evident and logical suggest of your dispute. It have to be the many difficult to argue versus and also the a lot of likely to be at the forefront of a reader’s mind after analysis the paper’s development.
> - Your second body paragraph have to be your argument’s weakest suggest. This is the point in your paper once your reader is paying the least attention. Particularly if your initially suggest is solid, the weakness of this suggest has actually much less power as soon as it’s placed in the middle, sandwiched between 2 strong points.
> - Your 3rd body paragraph must be the strongest, though not necessarily the most apparent allude of your debate. This paragraph is carrying the “last punch” of your discussion. It need to be the many compelling, and it is additionally a good location to strike a counterdiscussion (before reaffirming your very own debate before concluding). It need to be the allude you desire to remain in your reader’s mind the the majority of.
Not just the selection of concepts, but how they are ordered can add immensely to the overall circulation of the writing piece.
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A Final, Practical Note on Flow
Founding circulation is just one of the a lot of creative aspects of the creating process. Give your students the language and abilities to define and also improve this aspect of their writing and tell them to have fun via it! Encourage your students to use it as an chance to exercise their voices and to make artistic selections in their writing. With just these few tools, some time to practice, and your heartfelt encouragement, your students will certainly quickly find a new facet of their composing.