There is no singular set of rules for becoming an outstanding writer. There are, however, a number of habits writers acquire which become second nature in the creation of effective writing. These include an awareness of sentence construction.
Two critical aspects of sentence construction for outstanding writing include:
1. A variety of sentence length.
2. A variety of sentence openings.
Among the feedback students receive after each writing session with COW is a graph of sentence lengths.
By examining this graph, students receive a comprehensive view of the variety of sentence length in their composition. The length of their longest sentence is also indicated, giving an immediate “heads up!” to the dreaded run-on sentence.
Another graph that reveals an important aspect of student writing is “Sentence Starters.”
This graphs shows students how many times they have used specific words to start sentences in their composition. Overusing certain words to start sentences, such as “The” or “I” becomes immediately apparent with a quick glance of the “Sentence Starters” graph.
By giving students feedback on these important aspects of sentence construction on a continual basis, they can become much more mindful of these important compositional aspects during the writing process.
In the end, they’ll be better writers.