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Sentence Structure Problem Set 1


Sentence Structure Problem Set 1

Sentence Structure Problem Set 1

In an era where effective communication is paramount, the technique of sentence combining emerges as a critical skill for enhancing the syntactic maturity and clarity of writing. Drawing on insights from the "How RTI Works" series by Jim Wright, this informational article explores the concept of sentence combining, its significance, methodologies, and practical applications in educational settings.

Enhancing Writing Skills through Sentence Combining

Sentence combining is a dynamic approach to teaching sentence structure, aimed at improving the writing abilities of individuals who struggle with syntactic maturity. Traditional grammar instruction, often isolated from practical application, has shown minimal effectiveness in advancing the writing proficiency of learners. In contrast, sentence combining presents a promising alternative, emphasizing the active integration of kernel sentences into more complex and diverse structures. This method not only enriches sentence variety but also fosters a deeper understanding of how different elements of sentences can be artfully merged to convey meaning more effectively.

Practical Demonstration of Sentence Combining

The essence of sentence combining is best illustrated through practical examples. Consider the task of writing about the American Revolution, where a student might write two simple sentences: "The American army had few supplies in the winter of 1776. The American army had few trained military leaders." Sentence combining teaches the student to merge these sentences into a more comprehensive one: "The American army had few supplies and few trained military leaders in the winter of 1776," using coordinating conjunctions like 'and' to create a more informative statement.

Instructional Strategies for Sentence Combining

Implementing sentence combining in writing instruction requires a structured, direct-instruction approach that encourages risk-taking and experimentation. Educators are advised to foster a supportive learning environment where students are introduced to the diverse ways sentences can be combined. Through a mix of demonstration, collaboration, and independent practice, students gradually develop the confidence and skill to incorporate sentence combining into their writing, enhancing the expressiveness and sophistication of their work.

Types and Examples of Sentence Combining

The methodology of sentence combining encompasses a wide range of techniques, each aimed at integrating different sentence elements to achieve a desired effect. Examples include:

  1. Multiple (Compound) Sentence Combining: Merging sentences with similar subjects or objects using conjunctions to form compound sentences.
  2. Adjectives & Adverbs: Embedding descriptive words from one sentence into another to add detail and nuance.
  3. Connecting Words: Using coordinating and subordinating conjunctions to link sentences, thereby showing relationships between ideas.
  4. Relative Clauses and Appositives: Incorporating clauses that provide additional information about a noun, or using appositives to redefine or clarify a noun phrase within the sentence.
  5. Possessive Nouns: Transforming sentences to feature possessive nouns, thus compacting information and clarifying relationships between subjects.


The practice of sentence combining is not merely a grammatical exercise; it is a powerful tool for enhancing the clarity, variety, and depth of writing. By mastering this technique, writers of all levels can significantly improve their ability to convey complex ideas with precision and elegance. As highlighted by Jim Wright's work, the integration of sentence combining into educational frameworks promises not only to elevate the writing skills of students but also to enrich the overall quality of written communication in various contexts.

For educators and students keen to explore the full potential of sentence combining, resources and further reading are available at Intervention Central, offering comprehensive guides, exercises, and strategies for effective writing instruction.


  • Graham, S., & Perin, D. (2007). Writing next: Effective strategies to improve writing of adolescents in middle and high schools – A report to Carnegie Corporation of New York. Washington, DC: Alliance for Excellent Education.
  • Robinson, L. K., & Howell, K. W. (2008). Best practices in curriculum-based evaluation & written expression. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (pp. 439-452). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Saddler, B. (2005). Sentence combining: A sentence-level writing intervention. The Reading Teacher, 58, 468-471.
  • Strong, W. (1986). Creative approaches to sentence combining. Urbana, OL: ERIC Clearinghouse on Reading and Communication Skill & National Council of Teachers of English.
Choose the sentence that best combines the underlined sentences.

Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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