Thursday, June 25, 2009

Improving Vocabulary through Sentence Expansion

I’d like to take you on a journey of sentence expansion today, and then encourage you to periodically use this exercise in your own writing. It is helpful for communicating effectively, increasing vocabulary, and smoothing out the flow of your work.

Step 1: Let’s begin with a simple sentence: Friends write.
Step 2: What do friends write? Friends write email.
Step 3: Why do friends write? Friends write email to share ideas.
Step 4: Who are friends? Maria and Andrea write email to share ideas.
Step 5: How do Maria and Andrea share ideas? Maria and Andrea exchange email to share ideas.
Step 6: What types of ideas do Maria and Andrea exchange in their email? Maria and Andrea exchange tips about saving money in their emails.
Step 7: How often do Maria and Andrea share money saving tips in their emails with each other? Maria and Andrea share money saving tips in their emails with each other at least twice a week.


As you can see, this process will continue as long as you let it. You can use it to create entire paragraphs of simple sentences, or draft one long sentence that clearly expresses your thought. The idea is to ask the right questions, and respond accordingly. You can be the author and/or the audience for this exercise. Your answers may vary depending on the role you choose to play.