Ch 6: Compass Writing Skills: Syntax and Sentence Structure

About This Chapter

This chapter provides the guidelines to how a well-constructed sentence is written. Varied sentence structure and parallelism are among the numerous topics in the chapter's lessons.

Syntax and Sentence Structure - Chapter Summary

Learn about the factors that go into writing a strong sentence and review how to analyze a written sentence in this chapter. The video lessons on sentence structure and syntax are short and effective. Some topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Independent and dependent clauses
  • Sentence structuring tips
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Sentence fragments and comma splices

Check your understanding of the sentence structure and syntax information in this chapter by taking practice quizzes that follow each review lesson. The key terms highlight the main ideas covered and are shown in bold.

ACT Compass Writing Skills Objectives

The ACT Compass Writing Skills diagnostics tests gauge a student's skill level across areas that include shifts in construction, clause relationships and verb agreement. The multiple-choice Compass Writing Skills placement exam also requires familiarity with proper sentence structure in order to notice and fix essay errors. You'll receive the needed preparation for these exam questions in this chapter's informative lessons. This chapter's learning objectives include:

  • Correctly identifying a sentence's subject
  • Awareness of inappropriate shifts in verb voice
  • Familiarity with uncommon singular and plural nouns
  • Avoiding faulty collective ownership

14 Lessons in Chapter 6: Compass Writing Skills: Syntax and Sentence Structure
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

1. How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

2. Varied Sentence Structure in Writing

Learn the meaning of sentence structure and the importance of varying sentence structure in writing in this lesson. Four strategies to help you vary your sentence structure will also be described.

How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence

3. How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence

Don't pass over this lesson! You may think you know how to find subjects and verbs in a sentence, but picking them out can be harder than you think. Identifying subjects and verbs is the first step to unlocking nearly everything else about English composition.

Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

4. Sentence Structure: Identify and Avoid 'Mixed Structure' Sentences

A mixed structure sentence is a common error that occurs when a writer starts a sentence with one structure but switches to a different structure in the middle of the sentence. This video will teach you how to spot and avoid this type of error.

Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

5. Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

This lesson is about independent and dependent clauses, and how they make up a sentence. Dependent clauses, like the name suggests, rely on other elements in a sentence. Independent clauses, on the other hand, can stand alone. Learn more in this lesson.

Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear Sentences

6. Sentence Clarity: How to Write Clear Sentences

Just because you know a good sentence when you read one doesn't mean that you think it's easy to put one together - forget about writing an essay's worth. Learn how to write clear sentences and turn rough ones into gems.

How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

7. How to Write Better by Improving Your Sentence Structure

Often times in writing, we know what we want to say, but it doesn't seem to come out right. In this video we will learn the steps needed to improve your writing with better sentence structure.

Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

8. Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

Once you've developed an outline, it's time to begin drafting your essay. This lesson will walk you through the steps of putting together a body paragraph and show you how to ensure that your paragraphs are unified, coherent and well-developed.

Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences

9. Parallelism: How to Write and Identify Parallel Sentences

Sentences that aren't parallel sound funny, even if they look perfectly correct at first glance. Learn what makes a sentence parallel, how to revise a sentence to make it parallel, and how to write beautiful, balanced sentences of your own.

Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

10. Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

Sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences are grammatical and stylistic bugs that can seriously derail an otherwise polished academic paper. Learn how to identify and eliminate these errors in your own writing here.

Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

11. Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement

Learn all about verb tense and subject-verb agreement in our first lesson on this tricky topic. We'll look at examples to help you understand this concept.

Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns

12. Subject-Verb Agreement: Using Uncommon Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns

Subject-verb agreement is a tricky beast. Learn which uncommon singular and plural nouns and pronouns are most likely to trip you up when trying to craft essays with good grammar.

Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Voice and Mood

13. Inappropriate Shifts in Verb Voice and Mood

If a person's attitude or tone of voice is constantly changing, he or she can be hard to read or understand. This can be applied to how we write. To communicate clearly, we need to recognize and correct inappropriate shifts in verb voice and mood.

Sentence Agreement: Avoiding Faulty Collective Ownership

14. Sentence Agreement: Avoiding Faulty Collective Ownership

A common error occurs whenever a writer uses wording that suggests that a lot of people own or use just one thing, when really they all own or use their own separate things. This video will explain how to identify and fix this type of error.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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