The KISS Grammar Workbooks Back to Samples

Gorilla Alien

I. Directions:
1. Place parentheses ( ) around each prepositional phrase. 
2. Underline verbs twice, their subjects once, and label complements ("PA," "PN," "IO," or "DO").
3. Draw an arrow from every adjective and adverb to the word it modifies.

     I have a toy that is a gorilla alien. He is a pretty cool alien, but sometimes he

can be annoying. But he's pretty cool. My friends really like to play with the alien

a lot. I gave him a pretty cool name. It is Gorilla Alien. He has soft pointy elbows 

and knees.



II. Do a statistical analysis:
1. Count the total number of words in the selection (TW).
2. Count the total number of sentences in the selection (TS).
3. Count the total number of words that are in prepositional phrases (TWPP).
4. Count the total number of words that you were Unable to Explain (UtE).
5. Divide the total number of words (TW) by the total number of sentences (TS). This will give you the average number of words that you use in a sentence. You can compare that number to the numbers in the statistical exercises that you will do and/or to the average for your class. (Remember, like Goldilocks, you do not want that number to be too hot (high) or too cold (low). The best place to be in somewhere near the middle.)
6. Divide  the total number of words that are in prepositional phrases (TWPP) by the total number of words (TW). You can compare this number to those in the samples and your class average. It will give you an idea of how much you are using prepositional phrases (primarily to add descriptive details of people, things, times and places).
7. Subtract the total number of words that you were Unable to Explain (UtE) from the total number of words in what you wrote (TW). This will give you the approximate number of words (in your own writing) that you can already grammatically explain (NCE). Divide this number by the total number of words  (TW). (This shows approximately  how much of your own writing that you can already explain.)