Sentence Sense: A Writer's Guide

written by
Evelyn Farbman
prepared for the Internet by
Charles Darling
Capital Community College
Hartford, Connecticut

This online textbook in basic writing offers students three approaches to becoming more confident writers. Part One examines how sentences work, giving students a structural understanding of the language they use every day. Part Two focuses on errors that commonly appear in written English. Part Three suggests techniques and topics for developing ideas in writing. Students may move back and forth among parts, using the resources collected in Part Four as support.


Before beginning their serious study of Sentence Sense, students are advised to read the special instructions for navigating the online text and for taking the various kinds of applications:
Navigation Instructions
Using Applications

Sentence Sense Online is designed to take advantage of the interactivity possible on the Internet. There are over 200 computer-graded or self-grading exercises to encourage students to apply ideas, test their mastery, and have fun with language along the way.

Students are also referred to documents outside this text for further reading and exploration of issues that come up in the process of writing.

The accompanying Study Guide advises teachers about ways of using Sentence Sense in courses, and it provides students with a printable manual for easy reference both at and away from the computer.

PART ONE: The Basic Structure of English Sentences
Chapter One: An Overview of the Sentence
Chapter Two: Verbs
Chapter Three: Subjects
Chapter Four: Completers and Modifiers
Chapter Five: Embedded Thoughts
Chapter Six: Capitalization and Punctuation
Chapter Seven: Combining Sentences

PART TWO: Recognizing and Repairing Common Errors
Chapter Eight: Sentence Fragments
Chapter Nine: Run-on Sentences
Chapter Ten: The Final -ed Ending
Chapter Eleven: The Final -s Ending
Chapter Twelve: Subject-Verb Agreement
ChapterThirteen: Pronouns
Chapter Fourteen: Spelling
Chapter Fifteen: Consistency

PART THREE: Preparing to Write and Organizing a Composition
Chapter Sixteen: Techniques for Writing
Chapter Seventeen: Private and Public Modes of Writing

PART FOUR: Special Resources for the User of Sentence Sense
Chapter Four, Part 1: Special Instructions for Using this Online Book
Chapter Four, Part 2: Printable Charts and Tables for Sentence Sense
Chapter Four, Part 3: Tips for ESL Students
Chapter Four, Part 4: Internet Resources for Writers
Chapter Four, Part 5: Search Engine for Sentence Sense

Study Guide Copyright Information
Author Bio Notes Suggestions, Comments, Questions
RETURN TO THE SENTENCE SENSE, THE GRAPHICS VERSION