The English Teacher

Teaching Content in Writing

UNIT: OBFUSCATORY SENTENCES- [Focus: recognizing lack of content: If students can purposely write material without content, they can better recognize it when they are doing it just to add length to an assignment, or when it is found in other writing.]
First write out a sentence as a sample for students, as long as possible, which appears to have meaning, but does not. Have the students analyze the sentence and discuss its meaning among themselves. [Don't make the sentence so difficult no student could equal it.] Then explain to the class that the sentence doesn't mean anything, that it is obfuscatory. Then have the students each write one of their own and have volunteers write them on the chalkboard, etc.
Students enjoy the accomplishment of writing sentences like this, and it opens their minds to another concept of writing.

Sample Sentences:
Hopefully zircons which are used in place of diamonds will not become the medium of exchange in such faraway places such as Zanzibar and Boleopolis because Renfrew Wright hypothesized that the devor effect would render entirely futile the exportation of poleological edifices which are rested solely upon the framework of outmoded mutual reciprocity.
Indeed the cumulative predecession of ocissic waves due to geological upheavals contributes to the precariousness of such views rendering them not only financially reprehensible but malfactorily obfuscatory and thus zircons although utilitarian in theory fail in practice.

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