User:OrenBochman/Grammar Drills 2

This is an assignment for Simone's adoption program. You are welcome to edit this page if you notice any errors or have any additional information to add, but as a courtesy, please notify OrenBochman if you make any major changes to avoid any possible confusion between him and his adoptee(s). Thanks!

Here are four sets of exercises: in paragraphing, the control of sentence length, and the use of commas (two sets).

Exercise in paragraphingEdit

Here’s a fat, grey paragraph that was the lead in a FAC. It needs to be broken up into, let’s say, four manageable portions. There are a number of ways of dividing it, so we can offer only a suggested solution.

Your task is to identify three statements in the paragraph that appear to take a fresh direction. Check that each of these statements can function as a “theme”—that is, as a logical, cohesive subsidiary topic within the lead. To perform this function, each statement that you identify must be followed by extensions or enhancements of the idea that it introduces.

The Sun is the star at the centre of our solar system. The Earth and other matter (including other planets, asteroids, meteoroids, comets and dust) orbit the Sun, which by itself accounts for more than 99% of the solar system’s mass. Energy from the Sun—in the form of sunlight, supports almost all life on Earth via photosynthesis, and, via heating from insolation—drives the Earth’s climate and weather. About 74% of the Sun’s mass is hydrogen, 25% is helium, and the rest is made up of trace quantities of heavier elements. The Sun is about 4.6 billion years old and is about halfway through its main-sequence evolution, during which nuclear fusion reactions in its core fuse hydrogen into helium. Each second, more than four million tonnes of matter are converted into energy within the Sun’s core, producing neutrinos and solar radiation. In about five billion years, the Sun will evolve into a red giant and then a white dwarf, creating a planetary nebula in the process. The Sun is a magnetically active star; it supports a strong, changing magnetic field that varies from year to year and reverses direction about every 11 years. The Sun’s magnetic field gives rise to many effects that are collectively called solar activity, including sunspots on the surface of the Sun, solar flares, and variations in the solar wind that carry material through the solar system. The effects of solar activity on Earth include auroras at moderate to high latitudes, and the disruption of radio communications and electric power. Solar activity is thought to have played a large role in the formation and evolution of the solar system, and strongly affects the structure of Earth’s outer atmosphere. Although it is the nearest star to Earth and has been intensively studied by scientists, many questions about the Sun remain unanswered; these include why its outer atmosphere has a temperature of over a million degrees K when its visible surface (the photosphere) has a temperature of just 6000 K. Current topics of scientific enquiry include the Sun’s regular cycle of sunspot activity, the physics and origin of solar flares and prominences, the magnetic interaction between the chromosphere and the corona, and the origin of the solar wind.
Jane Austen (1775–1817) is widely regarded as one of the greatest writers in the English language. Her unfailingly elegant prose depicted middle- and upper-class moral dilemmas with powerful irony.

Exercise in sentence lengthEdit

When you see a sentence that is too long, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where to split the sentence?
  • Why does the excessive length make it unclear?
  • How to reword the part more effectively?

In the follwing excercises have a sentence which is too long. Typically, the author has tried to cram too many related ideas into the sentence. For each exercise, identify where and how to split the sentence for easier reading. The “where” is easy enough—aim for roughly equal parts either side of the split; the “how” is more challenging—sometimes you’ll have to change the grammar a little.

For each question, hit “[Show]“ in the lower box to reveal the solution. If you'd like a hint before displaying the solution, first hit “[Show]“ in the upper box to reveal it.

The writing desk of Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961), an American novelist whose distinctive writing style is characterised by economy and understatement.

Exercise in smoothly integrating ideas into a sentenceEdit

Although the title here says "sentence", learning how to integrate ideas effectively can involve the relationship between sentences, as well as within them. Some of the exercises thus involve two sentences.

Try to determine how the ideas in these exercises might be better integrated. This may involve using a more appropriate link (e.g., an additive rather than a contrastive word, or a semicolon or full-stop instead of "and").

For each question, hit [Show] in the lower box to reveal the solution. If you'd like a hint before displaying the solution, first hit [Show] in the upper box to reveal it.

Please widen your window if the display is distorted.

Exercise in using commasEdit

  • needs explanations hints and solutions checks


If you have any questions, ask them now! Or would you like to take the test?