Writing Techniques – Unit Eight: Sentence Variety
Learning Objective: Examine strategies for developing effective communication
One of the qualities of a great writer is to constantly strive for sentence
variety. Often this means following a straightforward but hard to accomplish
writing technique: Start each sentence with a different word (SESWADW) – this is
purely a Professor Stoltz device!
The SESWADW writing rule applies to each page of a lengthy document or to a one-
page memo or report. Needless to say, it cannot be applied to a multi-page
manuscript; however, staying as close to the rule as possible will improve your
In another way of expression, SESWADW, is like having something different for
dinner each night of the week. Having potato casserole each night for a month
would be quite monotonous. Remember too that writing is actually a form of
entertainment – you want your readers to stay interested in the concepts you are
attempting to communicate.
Throughout the term, we have learned several techniques to help us achieve
SESWADW. We have learned how to use subordinating conjunctions, conjunctive
adverbs, parallel structure, and sentence combining. Here is this final lesson
for the quarter, I have created a list of verbals (a verb form) known as
participles. Directions: use each of the following words to begin a sentence of
your own creation. What you will actually be doing is forming a participial
A phrase is a group of words that does not contain a subject or a verb.
Here’s an example:
Watching the game on television, John became quite hungry for a hamburger and
Now you try…here are the words:
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