Home‎ > ‎Mr. Palmitier‎ > ‎Language Arts‎ > ‎

Techniques to Improve Your Writing

"Brush Strokes"
Techniques to Improve Your Writing
Inspired by Harry Noden's Image Grammar
Click on the Links below for more information

Writer Harry Noden, in his book Image Grammar, gives us plenty of ideas of how to improve our writing craft and style. We will be focusing on what Noden refers to as, "Painting with Five Basic Brush Strokes" (page 4).
 
"Brush Stroke" #1 is called Action Verbs. Work on eliminating "to be" verbs from our writing throughout the year.
  • Example:
    • Sentence with a "to be" verb - The car was rammed into by a boy on a bicycle.
    • Same sentence with an action verb - A boy on a bicycle rammed into the car.
"Brush Stroke" #2 is called Adjectives Out of Order. The first attachment below takes you to a slideshow explaining and demonstrating how to use Adjectives Out of Order along with the independent practice following the presentation. Placing the adjectives after the noun and within the commas helps to emphasize their importance to the sentence. Check out attachment 01 Adjectives Out of Order  for the explanation of Adjectives Out of Order.
  • Example:
    • Normal Adjective Use - The sweet, spicy chili sauce is the most important ingredient in the burritos.
    • Adjectives Out of Order - The chili sauce, sweet and spicy, is the most important ingredient in the burritos.
"Brush Stroke" #3 is called Appositives. The second attachment below takes you to a slideshow explaining and demonstrating how to use appositives along with the independent practice following the presentation. Placing appositives  after a noun and within the commas helps to zoom in on the description of the noun appositive provides. Check out attachment 02 Appositives for the explanation of appositives.
  • Example:
    • Normal Sentence - The sleet pelted the children as they ran between the bus and the school.
    • Sentence with Appositives - The sleet, frozen bullets from the angry sky, pelted the children as they ran between the bus and the school.
Brush Stroke #4 is called participles. Participles are essentially -ing verbs. Check out attachment 07 Participles Explanation and Group Practice for the explanation of participles.
  • Example:
    • Normal Sentence -
    • Sentence with Participles

Brush Stroke #5 is called absolutes. Absolutes are essentially a noun followed by a participle (-ing verb). Check out attachment 10 Absolutes February 21 for the explanation of absolutes.
  • Example:
    • Normal Sentence -
    • Sentence with Absolutes- 
Noden, Harry R. Image Grammar: Using Grammatical Structures to Teach Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999. Print


Comments