The Lost Art of Diagramming Sentences

Posted on: September 15, 2014

P-ActionSentences_A_1024x1024If you’ve been around the Writing Center lately, you’ve seen that we’ve spruced the place up a bit. A few plants here, a new lamp there. And a lot of great artwork!

One of the coolest pieces, and a favorite of Writing Center Director Ryan Shirey, is a print from Pop Chart Lab — A Diagrammatical Dissertation on Notable Lines of Cinematic Action. 

Does it get any cooler that the sentence diagrams of famous action movie lines? Dr. Shirey thinks not.

Think back to high school English class. Between reading The Great Gatsby and studying those SAT words, we all learned how to diagram sentences. But could you do it now?

A recent NPR story states that sentence diagramming has a long, controversial history in our education systems, and while it’s been a mainstay in education, the  art of diagramming sentences may be fading away.

The articles goes on to ask the question – does diagramming sentences still belong in the classroom? What do you think?


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