The Science Of Scientific Writing    Set H      Location in Sentences   Multi-part Sentences      Exercise 1     Maps for Sentences     Exercise 2       Simple Sentences      Final Page .

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OVERVIEW: The way to well-written science

How to do the Course


PART I: Paragraphs and Sentences

SET A: Paragraphs: The Maps Behind Them

SET B: Paragraphs: Using Maps to Meet Readers' Expectations

SET C: Paragraphs with Something Extra: Points and Tails

SET D: The Generic Section: Expectations and Maps as Blueprints

SET E: Scientific Sections: The Methods and Results

SET F: Scientific Sections: The Discussion

SET G : Scientific Sections: The Introduction

SET H : Sentences

SET I : The Paper as a Whole



PART II: The Paper and its Sections


SET 1: Argument Parts

SET 2: Indicator Words

SET 3: Refining Claims

SET 4: Locating Arguments in Prose

SET 5: Rationale's Essay Planner

SET 6: Evidence in Arguments: Basis Boxes

SET 7: Assessing

SET 8: More on Assessing

SET 9: Analysis Maps

SET 10: Assessing Again

Synthesis 1: Position-Early Paragraphs

Synthesis 2: Position-Final Paragraphs

Synthesis 3: Writing a Discussion I

Synthesis 4: Writing a Discussion II

Location, Location, Location: Sentences are expected to fit the Familiar First pattern too

dsSo far we have looked at the expectations that readers have of paragraph and section structure. We have seen that the most important feature is that each type of text unit provides an early frame of reference followed by an elaboration. Optionally one may include some sort of conclusion, in the form of a Point Sentence (for a paragraph) or one or more concluding paragraphs (for a section).

Since Frame of Reference content is usually older, more familiar information, we can also characterise (a) the basic pattern, and (b) the pattern with a conclusion, as follows:

(a) Older - Newer

(b) Older - Newer - Even Newer

These expectations are also relevant to the structure of the paper as a whole, and we will look at how they apply at that level in the next set. Unexpectedly for many people, these "Familiar First" expectations also apply to sentences. In a "simple" sentence (i.e. composed of a single clause only) readers expect early content to provde older, familiar, referencing content, with newer, less familiar content being located in the final part of the sentence (Older - Newer). With a "multi-part sentence" (explained on the next page) the reader expects either the Older - Newer pattern, or the Older - Newer - Even Newer pattern (the latter coinciding with the Early - Middle - Final parts of the sentence).

Thus the location of content within a sentence (i.e. early, middle, or final) is an important factor in the way that readers interpret the content's role. In linguistics the older and newer content of a sentence are technically referred to either as topic - comment or theme - rheme, respectively, and the early - final pattern is described as a feature not just of English but of most other languages as well.

In this Set we will start by looking at the importance of location in multi-part sentences.