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  1. #1
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default pyramid structure of sentence

    Hi,guys. Recently I have been reading an English writing textbook. It recommends the so-called pyramid sentence structure to student writers. On p.156, it says, "When writing a sentence, try a pyramid structure and see if it flows better." The first example it gives reads,"According to the department, the loans can help students whose parents are migrant workers out of poverty effectively." The books says this example sentence should be revised as follows:
    According to the department, the loans can effectivelyhelp out of povertystudents whose parents are migrant workers.
    The books goes on to say that in this revision we have the the following pyramid sentence structure:

    effectively
    out of poverty
    students whose parents are migrant workers

    Afterwards, it gives another two pairs of wrong and right sentences which are not too complicated in structure and therefore are easy to understand. But finally it offers still another two pairs of sentences one of which is too long and terrible (I mean "so difficult to follow"):

    1. Wrong: "Shut up and get something to read" blatantly eradicates all her hope.
    Right: It blatantly eradicates all her hope when he says, "Shut up and get something to read."
    2. Wrong: If numerous fathers and sons stand shoulder to shoulder, just like Mandela's statement to the ANC in the prison, "Unite! Mobilize! Fight on! Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle, we shall crush apartheid!" the success of the emancipation should be inevitable.
    Right: The success of the emancipation should be inevitable if numerous fathers and sons stand shoulder to shoulder, just like Mandela's statement to the ANC in the prison, "Unite! Mobilize! Fight on! Between the anvil of united mass action and the hammer of the armed struggle, we shall crush apartheid!"

    I have tried to understand this so-called pyramid sentence structure from another perspective. In my opinion, an effective sentence usually progresses from the old information to the new information, which is the focus of the sentence and which the writer or speaker wants to introduce to the reader or listener. The old information in the sentence might be something new in the previous sentence. So, in the above correct versions the last word, phrase or clause is what the writer of the sentence wishes to emphasize. Take the correct version of "2" for example. I think that the writer wishes to focus on Mandela's remarks while "the success of the emancipation" may have already been mentioned in the proceeding sentence, thus being the old information in this current sentence.

    Hey, you guys, would you please tell me whether my understanding of this sentence structure is sensible? Please do me such a big favour, for it is something urgent.
    Thanks in advance!
    Richard

  2. #2
    naomimalan is offline Member
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    Default Re: pyramid structure of sentence

    I'm not sure your interpretation is the correct one (although your book certainly isn't clear!)

    You should take a look at both these sites, starting with the wikipedia one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_writing

    Content Writing Strategies: The Tramezzino Approach And the Inverted Pyramid - How To Create Effective Article Openings - Robin Good's Latest News

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    ohmyrichard is offline Member
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    Default Re: pyramid structure of sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by naomimalan View Post
    I'm not sure your interpretation is the correct one (although your book certainly isn't clear!)

    You should take a look at both these sites, starting with the wikipedia one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/News_writing

    Content Writing Strategies: The Tramezzino Approach And the Inverted Pyramid - How To Create Effective Article Openings - Robin Good's Latest News

    Good luck!
    Thanks for the recommendation! I will go to the sites.

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