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    Posted by bitesize_english_teacher (U15197928) on Saturday, 12th May 2012

    If you have difficulty with Sentence Structure questions, try to memorise this CHECKLIST FOR SENTENCE STRUCTURE QUESTIONS. In the exam, go through each feature by a process of elimination until you reach one that applies to the passage.

    Remember the four key words: LENGTH - TYPE - PATTERN - PUNCTUATION.
    The answer is bound to relate to one of these.

    • Sentence length [long/short? Purpose? Long for explanation; short to create contrast or climax or to emphasise a point]

    • Sentence type [Statement? Exclamation? Question? Rhetorical question? Minor sentence (i.e. verbless sentence)]

    • Sentence pattern: e.g.
    repeated phrase;
    series of sentences beginning with same words;
    build up to a climax (or anti-climax);
    list (if so, look at the order in which things are listed – in order of importance or build-up to a climax, for example);
    inversion (reversal of normal word order to throw emphasis on first word(s) of sentence);
    parenthesis (marking off extra information in the midst of sentence, usually with dashes);
    antithesis (balancing of opposites)

    • Punctuation: look for clues to sentence structure in the punctuation (e.g. colon/semi-colon/dashes)

    As always in Close Reading querstions, remember that simply IDENTIFYING the feature won’t gain you many marks; you must show the EFFECT of the use of the feature. (See the post on colons/semi-colons for more on this).

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