Confusing, Confusing/Tangled Phraseology

A strong indication that a student doesn’t understand the material is present within how the student constructs a sentence. Students put together disorder in the sense that they don’t distinguish between one thing and another. They bring together phrases that don’t make sense even to themselves, let alone to the reader.

Sample Excerpt

The Indians see the white man as stupid in their strive to civilize the savage.  And this thought takes notice because the Indians were often painted as fragile and passive people.  Passivity proved to their advantage because they tended not to incorporate themselves into society.

Figure 7: Essay Excerpt, “The Legacy of Conquest”


1) How can a thought take notice? What does this mean?

2) How did passivity prove to their advantage?


The opposite of “to confuse” is “to clear up” or make plain.  It is not always a good thing to try to demonstrate sophistication in your writing if you don’t already possess this ability. You will only confuse the reader even more. Sometimes constructing the simplest statement(s) represents the best indication of your ability to create a well-constructed, effective sentence, one that especially has an impact upon your reader.

Your major objective is always to be effective. Writing what you mean and meaning what you write should be your primary goal.

Copyright 2011 Regina Y. Favors. All Rights Reserved.

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