4 Sep 2013

Improve Sentences for the Common Entrance Writing Paper


ATeacherWrites.com
If you're writing a story, how can you make your sentences more interesting? If you're doing practice exams for Common Entrance or the 11 plus Writing Paper, these examples will help you raise your grade.

Example Sentences:
[1] There was
a tree.
Transform this into > 'a tree loomed in the darkness'. 
Loomed is a more interesting verb with a scary mood. The word, 'darkness', adds to the creepy atmosphere.
To create a different mood, try this:
A tree dropped pink blossom that scattered (or danced) like confetti in the wind.
'Danced', and 'scattered' are both more interesting words, and 'pink blossom' shows that it's Spring.

[2] There was a dog.
Transform this into > a dog rushed towards me, wriggling with joy.
Alternatively, you could write:
A dog leapt at me, snarling furiously. Or, 'the brute leapt at me, snarling viciously.'

If you need to start your sentences with a different word to 'I':
Try 'flipping' the sentence. You can also use this method to add in more description.
[3] I was in a room. 
> The room seemed to close in around me. 

[4] I saw a red, gleaming apple.
The red apple gleamed. 

[5] I dropped the muffins I stole. 
> The stolen muffins burst from the bag as it hit the floor and rolled towards the baker's feet.

How to avoid 'I did this. I did that. I did the other.'
Make a list, like this:
[6] I went to the park. I sat on the bench. I ate a cake.
> I went to the park, sat on the bench and ate a cake.

[7] I ran home as fast as I could. I slammed the door. I sat, panting in the front room.
> I ran home, slammed the door and sat, panting in the front room.

Another Way to 'Flip' Sentences:
[6] Sam whacked the cricket ball over the boundary. 
The cricket ball flew over the boundary. 

[7] Sam set fire to the house. 
The house caught on fire. 



Add in Extra Description at the Front of your Sentence, Like This:
[8] He got closer.
Furious, pink in the face, he had gained five yards. 
> Suddenly, he grabbed for my coat. 
> All at once, he had gained five yards. 
> In a rush, he came towards me.
> Running furiously, he swiped at me. 

[9] I reached the bog. I was in the mud.
Suddenly, I reached a bog, mud squelching under my feet. 

-ing is Your Friend.
Use it at the start of your sentence, together with a list:
[10] I waded through the bog. I came to a river then I reached the town.
> Wading out of the other side of the bog, I came to a river then a town.
[11] I ran. I crossed the field. I came to the town.
> Running hard, I crossed the field towards the town. 

[12] I sat down and I ate the cake. 
Sitting down, I ate the cake. 

[13] I pounded down the wicket and bowled as hard as I could. 
Pounding down the wicket, I bowled as hard as I could. 

[14] I leapt into the air and caught the ball. 
Leaping into the air, I caught the ball. 

[15] He jumped into the river and waded after me. 
Jumping into the river, he waded after me. 

[16] He came towards me fast and fell over. 
Coming towards me fast, he fell over. 

The author, , is an Oxford graduate, outstanding-rated English Language and Literature teacher and of ages 10-18 in the British education system. In 2012, she was nominated for Pearson's Teaching Awards. As a private tutor, she raises grades often from C to A. Her writing is also featured in The Huffington Post. She offers private tuition in the Haywards Heath area, West Sussex.