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Review First you write a sentence: The elements of reading, writing... and life (a review)

What is a sentence? For most of us it is a syntactic structure containing a subject, verb and object. For Joe Moran, Professor of English and Cultural History at Liverpool’s Sir John Moore’s University in the UK, it is much more. His book, First You Write a Sentence, is about how to give a sentence stronger emotional and intellectual impact to get your message across effectively.

It is a shortish book (230 pages) with a select bibliography and index, containing seven chapters and dealing with word order, the use of nouns and verbs, using plain words, writing long sentences, how to link sentences, and as Moran describes it, ‘why a sentence should be a gift to the world’. The book concludes with 'Twenty Sentences on Sentences', summarising the author’s advice. It is an interesting and inspiring read and will be valuable for academic as well as creative writers.


Dominique Vouillemin. Teacher and teacher trainer at International House London, specialising in language learning and international communication and cultures. Tutor on the IH Business Cultural Trainers Certificate. Runs Cambridge University Cert IBET courses. Has run courses in Russia, China, Kazakhstan and other countries.


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