Mrs. Juster's Virtual Classroom

  

Web Site Disclaimer

Please note that I do not control and am not responsible for the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of any documents on this web page containing hypertext points to information created and maintained by other public and private organizations. The inclusion of pointers to particular items in hypertext is not intended to reflect their importance nor to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered by the author, the referenced material, or the organization operating the server. (Adapted, Library of Congress Disclaimer.)

Sentence Fluency- Rhythm & Flow


Click here to see detailed information for every writing trait from the Northwest Regional Education Laboratory.

When you write a multi-genre research paper or a poem or short story, you will have the opportunity to break some of the "rules" of grammar. After all, the reason for grammar is to ensure that ideas are clearly and effectively communicated. So as long as you are communicating your ideas clearly and effectively, you can break some rules! 

For example, Herman Melville was fond of sentences that went on for pages and pages. Here's an excerpt from the chapter entitled "The Whiteness of the Whale" in Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Note: This is all one sentence!

Though in many natural objects, whiteness refiningly enhances beauty, as if imparting some special virtue of its own, as in marbles, japonicas, and pearls; and though various nations have in some way recognised a certain royal pre-eminence in this hue; even the barbaric, grand old kings of Pegu placing the title 'Lord of the White Elephants' above all their other magniloquent ascriptions of dominion; and the modern kings of Siam unfurling the same snow-white quadruped in the royal standard; and the Hanoverian flag bearing the one figure of a snow-white charger; and the great Austrian Empire, Caesarian, heir to overlording Rome, having for the imperial color the same imperial hue; and though this pre-eminence in it applies to the human race itself, giving the white man ideal mastership over every dusky tribe; and though, besides all this, whiteness has been even made significant of gladness, for among the Romans a white stone marked a joyful day; and though in other mortal sympathies and symbolizings, this same hue is made the emblem of many touching, noble things -- the innocence of brides, the benignity of age; though among the Red Men of America the giving of the white belt of wampum was the deepest pledge of honor; though in many climes, whiteness typifies the majesty of Justice in the ermine of the Judge, and contributes to the daily state of kings and queens drawn by milk-white steeds; though even in the higher mysteries of the most august religions it has been made the symbol of the divine spotlessness and power; by the Persian fire worshippers, the white forked flame being held the holiest on the altar; and in the Greek mythologies, Great Jove himself made incarnate in a snow-white bull; and though to the noble Iroquois, the midwinter sacrifice of the sacred White Dog was by far the holiest festival of their theology, that spotless, faithful creature being held the purest envoy they could send to the Great Spirit with the annual tidings of their own fidelity; and though directly from the Latin word for white, all Christian priests derive the name of one part of their sacred vesture, the alb or tunic, worn beneath the cassock; and though among the holy pomps of the Romish faith, white is specially employed in the celebration of the Passion of our Lord; though in the Vision of St. John, white robes are given to the redeemed, and the four- and-twenty elders stand clothed in white before the great white throne, and the Holy One that sitteth there white like wool; yet for all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.