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Sentence Fluency. Fluency. One of the hardest tasks of the writer is to read what is on the page, not what the writer hoped would be on the page. Donald Murray. Fluent writing is…. graceful, easy to read aloud. · natural sounding. • effective and smooth.

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One of the hardest tasks of the writer is to read what is on the page, not what the writer hoped would be on the page.

Donald Murray


Fluent writing is…

  • graceful, easy to read aloud

· natural sounding

•effective and smooth

· effective use of transitions/ conjunctions

· varies in length and structure that creates a pleasant rhythm


What to look for...

Rhythm, flow, natural sounds

Smooth pacing

Well-built sentences

Sentence length enhances the meaning

Varied sentence beginnings



Sentence Beginnings:

We went to the beach. We had fun. We saw seagulls. We went home.

Vary the beginnings and combine sentences :

Despite being overrun by pesky seagulls, we had fun at the beach.


Don’t say:

“At this point in time, we feel we are ready to begin to fight.”


“Now, we’re ready to fight.”

Make every word work hard and your sentences will be powerful, full of punch.



Key Question:

Can you FEEL the words and phrases flow together as you read it aloud?

Is the flow of writing “right” for the purpose and audience?

now you re turn
Now…you’re turn.
  • Think about sentence fluency when you’re writing to the following prompt.
  • You only need to write one paragraph.
respond to the following in one paragraph
Respond to the following in one paragraph.
  • You probably have read many interesting books or watched an entertaining TV show recently. It probably stands out in your mind for a certain reason. It is the kind of show or book that many people would enjoy and would not mind watching or reading again. Perhaps it dealt with a subject that you particularly enjoy. Maybe it stimulated the imagination. Whatever the reasons, you know that you found it interesting.
  • Choose a book or TV show that that you enjoyed. You are to write a well written paragraph, telling the reading what you particularly enjoyed about that book or TV show.
now let s look at a few examples
Now, let’s look at a few examples…
  • How would you rate the sentence fluency of each piece?
caution danger ahead
Caution – Danger Ahead
  • It was a nice summer's day. My family and I were vacationing in the mountains on our way to go camping. Nothing could go wrong, or could it?We were driving up a bumpy gravel road. We had to take it slow to prevent sliding. My sister and I were in the back of the car admiring the beautiful view of the forest. I was so excited to go camping. It was the perfect day, until the incident. We had driven a few miles and only seen a couple of cars pass us so far. It was pretty calm. Up ahead I noticed that we were approaching a bend in the road. You could see nothing past it, and so my dad proceeded to drive slower. I remember reading a magazine and all of a sudden I had a gut feeling to look up. I was in shock as I saw a gray truck speeding towards us. It was as if it had come out from nowhere. A rush of fear ran through my body. From the moment I saw the car, time felt as though it was running in slow motion. I knew exactly what was going to happen and yet I could do nothing to stop it. I felt like I was trapped in a cage with no way to escape.
now try it on your own
Now try it on your own
  • Using the examples, answer the questions provided about the sentence fluency of each choice.
  • Fill in your responses on the handout.