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This exercise guides students through the process of revising their writing by varying sentence structure. First, they are asked to compare two similar paragraphs, counting the number of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences in each. They are then asked to consider how varying sentence structure improves the quality of writing in the second paragraph. Next, they are asked to revise a simple paragraph by varying sentence structure. Finally, they apply their knowledge by analyzing and revising a paragraph from their own writing.
When working through this with my students, I guide the class through the first segment, pairing independent practice with whole group instruction/discussion. Then I allow students to work with a partner for the second section. I have found that working through the process with a peer can be very beneficial as they think aloud together. Finally, students work independently to apply the revision technique to their own writing.