Cohesion Exercise: Combining and Connecting Sentences

Using Transitional Words and Phrases

writing exercise
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The following exercise will give you an opportunity to apply the techniques for combining sentences effectively discussed in the article Cohesion Strategies: Transitional Words and Phrases. If you haven't practiced sentence combining before, you may also find it helpful to review Introduction to Sentence Combining.

Sentence Combining Exercise

Combine the sentences in each set into two clear and concise sentences, eliminating any needless repetition. As you do so, add the transitional word or phrase wherever you think it fits best to show how one sentence relates to another. Remember that transitions are an important component of cohesion.

After you have completed the exercise, compare your sentences with the original excerpts.

  1. Instead
    Retirement should be the reward for a lifetime of work.
    It is widely viewed as a sort of punishment.
    It is a punishment for growing old.
  2. Therefore
    Since the early years of this century it has been known that viruses cause cancer in chickens. In more recent years viruses have been shown to cause cancer not only in chickens, but also in mice, cats, and even in some primates. It was a reasonable hypothesis that viruses might cause cancer in humans.
  3. In fact
    We do not seek solitude.
    If we find ourselves alone for once, we flick a switch.
    We invite the whole world in.
    The world comes in through the television screen.
  4. On the contrary
    We were not irresponsible.
    Each of us should do something.
    This thing would be of genuine usefulness to the world.
    We were trained to think that.
  5. However
    Little girls, of course, don't take toy guns out of their hip pockets.
    They do not say "Pow, pow" to all their neighbors and friends.
    The average well-adjusted little boy does this.
    If we gave little girls the six-shooters, we would soon have double the pretend body count.
  6. Next
    We drove the wagon close to a corner post.
    We twisted the end of the wire around it.
    We twisted the wire one foot above the ground.
    We stapled it fast.
    We drove along the line of posts.
    We drove for about 200 yards.
    We unreeled the wire on the ground behind us.
  7. Indeed
    We know very little about pain.
    What we don't know makes it hurt all the more.
    There is ignorance about pain.
    No form of illiteracy in the United States is so widespread.
    No form of illiteracy in the United States is so costly.
  8. Moreover
    Many of our street girls can be as vicious as any corporation president.
    Many of our street girls can be as money mad as any corporation president.
    They can be less emotional than men.
    They can be less emotional in conducting acts of personal violence.
  9. For this reason
    The historical sciences have made us very conscious of our past.
    They have made us conscious of the world as a machine.
    The machine generates successive events out of foregoing ones.
    Some scholars tend to look totally backward.
    They look backward in their interpretation of the human future.
  10. However
    Rewriting is something that most writers find they have to do.
    They rewrite to discover what they have to say.
    They rewrite to discover how to say it.
    There are a few writers who do little formal rewriting.
    They have the capacity and experience.
    They create and review a large number of invisible drafts.
    They create and review in their minds.
    They do this before they approach the page.

Sample Answers

After you have completed the ten sets, compare your sentences with the originals below. Keep in mind that many effective combinations are possible, and in some cases, you may prefer your own sentences to the original versions.

  1. "Retirement should be the reward for a lifetime of work. Instead, it is widely viewed as a sort of punishment for growing old." -Carll Tucker
  2. "Since the early years of this century it has been known that viruses cause cancer in chickens. In more recent years viruses have been shown to cause cancer not only in chickens, but also in mice, cats, and even in some primates. Therefore, it was a reasonable hypothesis that viruses might cause cancer in humans..." (Cigarette Smoking and Disease 1976).
  3. "We do not seek solitude. In fact, if we find ourselves alone for once, we flick a switch and invite the whole world in through the television screen," (Raskin 1968).
  4. "We were not irresponsible. On the contrary, we were trained to think that each of us should do something that would be of genuine usefulness to the world," (Smith 1949).
  5. "Little girls, of course, don't take toy guns out of their hip pockets and say "Pow, pow" to all their neighbors and friends like average well-adjusted little boys. However, if we gave little girls the six-shooters, we would soon have double the pretend body count," (Roiphe 1972).
  6. "We drove the wagon close to a corner post, twisted the end of the wire around it one foot above the ground, and stapled it fast. Next, we drove along the line of posts for about 200 yards, unreeling the wire on the ground behind us," (Fischer 1978).
  7. "We know very little about pain and what we don't know makes it hurt all the more. Indeed, no form of illiteracy in the United States is so widespread or costly as ignorance about pain," (Cousins 1979).
  8. "Many of our street girls can be as vicious and money mad as any corporation president. Moreover, they can be less emotional than men in conducting acts of personal violence," (Sheehy 1988).
  9. "The historical sciences have made us very conscious of our past, and of the world as a machine generating successive events out of foregoing ones. For this reason, some scholars tend to look totally backward in their interpretation of the human future," (Eiseley 1972).
  10. "Rewriting is something that most writers find they have to do to discover what they have to say and how to say it. There are, however, a few writers who do little formal rewriting because they have the capacity and experience to create and review a large number of invisible drafts in their minds before they approach the page," (Murray).

Sources

  • Cigarette Smoking and Disease, 1976: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Health of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare. United States Senate, Ninety-Fourth Congress, 1976.
  • Cousins, Norman. "Pain Is Not the Ultimate Enemy." Anatomy of an Illness As Perceived by the Patient. W.W. Norton & Company, 1979.
  • Eiseley, Loren. The Unexpected Universe. 1st ed., Harvest, 1972.
  • Fischer, John. "Barbed Wire." Harper's Magazine, July 1978.
  • Murray, Donald. "The Maker's Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscripts."
  • Raskin, Eugene. "Walls and Barriers." The Columbia University Forum Anthology. Atheneum Books, 1968.
  • Roiphe, Anne. "Confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow." New York, 30 Oct. 1972.
  • Sheehy, Gail. "$70,000 a Year Tax Free." Patterns of Exposition. Scott Foresman, 1988.
  • Smith, Lillian. Killers of the Dream. W. W. Norton, 1949.