Emphasis

Emphasizing the important idea(s) in each sentence and paragraph

In addition to something “old” (a pronoun or noun or transitional expression that links it with the previous sentence), each sentence should contain something “new.” This new idea needs to be adequately emphasized by the structure of the sentence or your reader may get sidetracked from your argument. Emphasis within a sentence can be attained by the ordering of ideas, by the use of strategic repetition or transitions like most importantly, and by the subordination of non-important ideas. Emphasis within a paragraph can be attained by the order of the sentences, by the use of strategic repetition or transitions, and by short sentences amidst longer ones.
Notice the difference emphasizing an idea within a sentence can make in writing. Notice too this emphasis is achieved both through relegating the less important idea to a dependent clause and by repeating “is.”

a. Violence in adult society is increasing along with violence in American elementary schools.

b. Not only is violence increasing in adult society, it is increasing in American elementary schools.

Revise the following passage, emphasizing the important ideas when appropriate. You may have to shuffle ideas between sentences. Begin by deciding which ideas deserve emphasis.

College should be free because a college degree is so important to the success of a person in our society. Without a college degree, a person has a lower social standing, worse prospects for employment, and more of a chance of committing crimes. All of society will benefit from the money spent making a college education available to every citizen if crime rates did fall.

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