Erasmus Exercise: Explained

In 1512, the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) published De Copia (meaning “on command of language” or “richness of expression”).  Erasmus’s book was one of the most influential rhetoric texts of the European Renaissance. One exercise in De Copia directs students to compose several hundred variations of one sentence.  This exercise has three purposes: (1)   …

Sentence Components: Parallelism & Sentence Layering

Parallelism is the repetition of a grammatical structure to emphasize a relationship between ideas. Parallelism gives balance, focus, and clarity to a sentence. Parallelism establishes a pattern of repetition that writers can manipulate to create a vast array of rhetorical effects. Examples: Writers can reinforce and emphasize their use of parallelism by repeating one or…

Sentence Components: Periodic & Cumulative Sentence, Absolute Phrase

USE A PERIODIC SENTENCE In a periodic sentence, descriptive elements (or details) introduce the sentence, pushing the complete thought to the end of the sentence. This pattern proves quite effective for emphasis or suspense because the most emphatic point of a sentence is the end.  Periodic sentences are usually long, complex sentences, the independent clause…