We’ve talked a lot about revising at the sentence-level as we’ve explored techniques like sentence comparison from Ed Schuster. Now I want you to see how we might take this to the level of paragraphs. Below I’ve included a grammatically correct but rather stylistically mediocre paragraph (it’s actually taken from an old Warriner grammar book that I used when teaching middle school). Your task is to revise this paragraph, using the techniques we’ve discussed this semester (also listed below) to improve sentence fluency and the flow of ideas. Copy the paragraph into your word processor, work your revision magic, then come back here and paste the paragraph into the comments section so we can all see it. You should have your revised paragraph posted here by the start of class on Tuesday, November 3.
Remember to use any of these techniques as you revise:
- out-of-order adjectives/opening adjectives or adverbs
- participial phrases
- compound and complex sentences (including FANBOYS and AWUBIS conjunctions)
Here’s the paragraph:
Many stories have been written about Lorelei. It’s a huge rock which juts out from the Rhine River in Germany. According to one song the rock is inhabited by a woman. She is blessed with supernatural powers. She has jewelry that glitters in the sunlight. This gold jewelry catches the attention of a sailor. He is passing in a sailboat. She sings a magical song to him. She casts a spell on the sailor. She forces him to stare up at her. He never sees the dangerous obstacles in the water. These obstacles are jagged rocks which can tear into a ship’s hull. The sailor is deprived of his senses. He crashes his boat upon the rocks. He is still caught within the woman’s spell. He follows his boat to a watery death. Many ships have sunk near Lorelei. They have been destroyed by the power of this magical woman.