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Writing Style Practice Exercises

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Updated on Aug 25, 2011

Read the following study guide for a concept review:

Writing Style Study Guide

Exercise 1

Question

Combine sentences in the following paragraph and rewrite them to create a new style.

Bicycles have always been popular forms of transportation. They are used for work and play. They are found on city streets and in small towns. They are even found in the mountains. The first mountain bikes were built in 1975. They were made to ride over rocky terrain. In order to handle the rocks and bumps on these trails, bicycles were built with heavy, balloonlike tires. They only had one speed. They also had coaster brakes.

Exercise 2

Questions

Change the styles of the sentences below by adding specific description and detail.

  1. He ate a huge breakfast this morning.
  2. Descriptive/detailed version:

  3. The car sped down the street.
  4. Descriptive/detailed version:

  5. The new computer lab has lots of equipment.
  6. Descriptive/detailed version:

Exercise 3

Questions

Rank the sentences below according to formality. Put a 1 next to the sentence that is most formal, a 3 next to the sentence that is most casual, and a 2 for a midrange sentence.

  1. Your grades have improved.
  2. These calculations show that your class average has increased.

    Your grades are up!

  3. You're doing great work, Sierra.
  4. Nice job, Sierra.

    Your performance is above our expectations, Sierra.

Exercise 4

Questions

To strengthen your understanding of tone, try this exercise. Change the tone of the following passages so that they convey a new mood. You can change words, add words, or delete words if necessary. Change the sentence structure if you like, too.

Example

Change from: matter-of-fact tone

The tickets are sold out.

To: disappointed tone

Man, I can't believe the tickets are already sold out. What a bummer!
  1. Change from: apologetic tone
  2. I'm really, really sorry I got you in trouble.

    To: indifferent tone

  3. Change from: annoyed tone
  4. Now what do you want?

    To: respectful tone

  5. Change from: fearful tone
  6. Oh no—he's here!

    To: joyful tone

Answers

Exercise 1

Answers will vary slightly. Here's one way to combine the sentences:

Bicycles have always been popular forms of transportation. Used for both work and play, they can be found on city streets, in small towns, and even in the mountains. Built in 1975, the first mountain bikes were made to ride over rocky terrain. In order to handle the rocks and bumps on these trails, bicycles were built with heavy, balloonlike tires. They had only one speed and coaster brakes.

Exercise 2

Answers will vary. Here are some possible responses.

  1. As usual, he ate a huge breakfast this morning: three eggs over easy, a dozen banana pancakes, ten strips of bacon, a pear, two pieces of buttered rye toast, a glass of 2% milk, and a glass of orange juice.
  2. The red convertible sped down Riverside Drive doing about 80 miles per hour.
  3. The new computer lab on the fourth floor has ten PCs, ten Mac laptops, a color inkjet printer, and a scanner.

Exercise 3

  1. 2, 1, 3
  2. 2, 3, 1

Exercise 4

Answers will vary. Here are some possibilities:

  1. Too bad you got in trouble.
  2. How can I help you?
  3. At last! He's here!
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