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screensaver400
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2009-10-09, 17:14

Quote:
Hargie notes that process questions are typically preferred by intelligent students, who tend to be more eager to respond to a challenging process question than to a mundane recall question.
One person who proofread my paper questioned my switch from the plural at the beginning of the sentence to singular at the end. However, I think it appropriate to switch. At the beginning I am speaking of a general rule; at the end, I am noting a likely response to two questions (i.e., comparing one process question with one recall question).

In terms of style, I like the contrast between plural at the beginning and singular at the end. If I use plural all around, the sentence feels repetitive, even though it isn't ("Process questions are preferred by intelligent students who tend to be more eager to respond to challenging process questions . . .")

While I'm not completely sure, I do believe the sentence is grammatically correct.

Am I wrong?
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2009-10-09, 17:23

The sentence also seems awkward because it uses passive voice and has an unnecessary comma in the middle, but otherwise it appears to be technically correct.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2009-10-09, 17:24

I'm no English major and I couldn't tell with certainty whether the sentence is grammarically correct or not. However, I think it's a case where the structure is too awkward that it's not worth redeeming it.

If it were up to me, I'd have rephrased it so it'd be less awkward.

Maybe:

Quote:
Hargie observed that intelligent students are more eager to respond to challenging process question over a mundane recall question.
Tangentially: I'm not sure if this is a instance of passive voice but that's a good reason why one should avoid passive voice.

Edit: Looks like I was lucky on guessing passive voice; thanks Brad!
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2009-10-09, 17:25

I probably would've used an em dash instead of a comma:

Quote:
Hargie notes that process questions are typically preferred by intelligent students — who tend to be more eager to respond to a challenging process question than to a mundane recall question.
  quote
Maciej
M AH - ch ain saw
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2009-10-09, 17:25

Actually, I think the sentence is repetitive.

EDIT: Yeah, I would have done something along the lines of what Banana said.
  quote
Brad
Selfish Heathen
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2009-10-09, 17:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by 709 View Post
I probably would've used an em dash instead of a comma:
An em dash seems even more wrong than a comma here, though, because em dashes are used for parenthetical statements and to indicate interruption of speech.
  quote
709
¡Damned!
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Purgatory
 
2009-10-09, 17:29

I don't care — I love em dashes.

Though — you're probably right.
  quote
screensaver400
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2009-10-09, 17:32

I agree that the sentence was awkward . . . I got fixated on the singular/plural issue and didn't consider the larger issues.

Thanks.
  quote
Bryson
Rocket Surgeon
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Whitby
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2009-10-09, 18:14

I sent it to my missus - who checks Masters and PhD theses for a living. She said:

Quote:
"Awkward sentence. Delete it and start again."

Banana's sentence is almost correct. It need an "a";

Quote:
Hargie observed that intelligent students are more eager to respond to a challenging process question over a mundane recall question.
or it needs to go plural:

Quote:
Hargie observed that intelligent students are more eager to respond to challenging process questions over mundane recall questions.

I prefer the plural, because "students" is plural in the beginning of the sentence.
  quote
screensaver400
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2009-10-09, 18:19

Going back to the singular/plural issues, I prefer "than to" for singular, and "over" for plural. Again, am I wrong? :-P

Quote:
Hargie observed that intelligent students are more eager to respond to a challenging process question than to a mundane recall question.
or

Quote:
Hargie observed that intelligent students are more eager to respond to challenging process questions over mundane recall questions.
  quote
ezkcdude
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
 
2009-10-09, 18:57

Quote:
Originally Posted by screensaver400 View Post
One person who proofread my paper questioned my switch from the plural at the beginning of the sentence to singular at the end. However, I think it appropriate to switch. At the beginning I am speaking of a general rule; at the end, I am noting a likely response to two questions (i.e., comparing one process question with one recall question).
Question for the OP. Did Hargie make the observation (intelligent students prefer process questions) and the hypothesis (because process questions are more challenging)? It is not clear from your statement. One possible re-write:

Quote:
Hargie hypothesized that intelligent students prefer process questions to recall questions, because the former are more challenging for them.
  quote
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