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Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig

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Chapter 13

Making Sentences Move

Essentially style resembles good manners. It comes of endeavouring to understand others, of thinking for them rather than yourself—or thinking, that is, with the heart as well as the head.

—Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

A Command of Syntactic Structures

Most inexperienced writers believe that what makes a person a good writer is her ability to come up with words. As we’ve seen, though, skilled writers know how to choose words and they know how to arrange those words effectively in sentences. Skilled writers, then, have a command of syntactic structures. This doesn’t mean they necessarily know the grammatical names for every structure they use; it does mean that they have those structures so completely embedded in their ...

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