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Numerous studies (Mellon, 1969; O'Hare, 1973; Cooper, 1975; Shaughnessy, 1977; Hillocks, 1986; Strong, 1986) show that the use of sentence combining is an effective method for improving students' writing.The value of sentence combining is most evident as students recognize the effect of sentence variety (beginnings, lengths, complexities) in their own writing.
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Research strongly suggests that the most beneficial way of helping students improve their command of grammar in writing is to use students' writing as the basis for discussing grammatical concepts.
Researchers agree that it is more effective to teach punctuation, sentence variety, and usage in the context of writing than to approach the topic by teaching isolated skills (Calkins, 1980; Di Stefano and Killion, 1984; Harris, 1962).
Sentence combining is the strategy of joining short sentences into longer, more complex sentences.
As students engage in sentence-combining activities, they learn how to vary sentence structure in order to change meaning and style.Students who are native speakers of English already know English grammar.They recognize the sounds of English words, the meanings of those words, and the different ways of putting words together to make meaningful sentences.However, while students may be effective speakers of English, they need guidance to become effective writers.They need to learn how to transfer their knowledge of grammatical concepts from oral language to written language.Teaching sentence sense through the manipulation of syntactic elements 4.Teaching both the power of dialects and the dialects of power 5.Teaching punctuation and mechanics for convention, clarity, and style Rather than strive to teach all grammatical concepts to all students, teachers should prioritize and provide instruction on the grammatical elements that most affect their students' ability to write effectively.Teachers should also be sensitive to individual students' readiness to learn and apply grammatical concepts.Shaughnessy advocates four important grammatical concepts: the sentence, inflection, tense, and agreement.She recommends that teachers encourage students to examine grammatical errors in their own writing.