March 5, 2011
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KISS Level 5.4 - Appositives

Notes for Teachers
Exercises in KISS Level 5.4
Ex. 1 a and b - Simple Appositives
Ex. 2 a and b - Elaborated Appositives
Ex. 3 - Writing - Elaborating Appositives with a Subordinate Clause
Ex. 4 - A Focus on the Punctuation of Appositives
Ex. 5 - Rewriting:  MC to SC to Appositive
Ex. 6 a and b - Other Constructions as Appositives
Ex. 7 - A Passage for Analysis
Ex. 8 - Just for Fun
Ex. 9 - A Treasure Hunt for Appositives
Old Exercises
More about Establishing Credibility of Source Materials
Notes for Teachers

What IS an Appositive?

     An appositive is a construction that chunks to another construction simply by identity of meaning. No connecting words (prepositions or conjunctions) make the connection. Most textbooks deal only with very simple appositives — nouns that function as appositives to nouns.

We were guided by our old acquaintance, the trapper.

But within KISS we can deal with much more. In addition, students should learn to deal with elaborated appositives — appositives that are themselves modified by prepositional phrases, clauses, gerundives, etc. They can also explore how other constructions (finite verbs, prepositional phrases, clauses, etc.) can function as appositives.

When should we introduce students to appositives?

     This is an important question. Some people believe that students can handle appositives very early. My son was, if I remember correctly, in second grade when he was asked to combine two sentences by using an appositive: "Mary is a marine biologist. She studies fish." He asked for my help, but when I showed him "Mary, a marine biologist, studies fish," he did not like the sentence. He's not alone. 
      Kellogg Hunt, in "Early Blooming and Late Blooming Syntactic Structures," argues that appositives are "late-blooming" and notes that in his study few of the high school students that he studied used them. Part of the problem of course, may be that none of these students were taught how to analyze sentences in the first place.
     Although an understanding of clauses is much more important than appositives, simple appositives can probably be added to students' analytical toolbox as early as fifth grade — if you have the time, and if the students have a basic ability to identify S/V/C patterns. Currently, the grade-level KISS curriculum introduces them in fifth grade.

Suggested Directions for Analytical Exercises
1. Place parentheses around each prepositional phrase.
2. Underline every subject once, every verb twice, and label complements (“PA,” “PN,” “IO,” “DO”).
3. Put brackets [ ] around every subordinate clause and use arrows or labels to indicate their function. 
4. Put a vertical line at the end of every main clause.
5. Write “App” over every appositive and draw an arrow from it to the word to which it stands in apposition.

Probable Time Required: For simple appositives, two exercises?
 
Exercises in KISS Level 5.4

Ex. 1 a and b - Simple Appositives
Instructional Material
"The Birds of Killingworth," adapted from Longfellow Text AK ToC G5; IG6
Appositives (Maxwell L5.4 01) ToC -
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett AK ToC G6; IG6
From "Perseus," by Charles Kingsley AK ToC G6
Appositives (Maxwell L5.4 02) AK ToC G7
Appositives (Maxwell L5.4 03) ToC G8
From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida  AK ToC G8
Simple Appositives, based on sentences from Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd AK ToC G9; 1YM
Ex # 1 from The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson AK ToC G9; 1YM
Dreiser, "Phoebe," Appositives Ex # 1 Text AK ToC G10
Dreiser, Phoebe," Appositives Ex # 2 Text AK ToC -
From "The Lagoon," by Joseph Conrad (#1) Text AK ToC G11
Ex. 2 a and b - Elaborated Appositives
#2 From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett AK ToC G5
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1) AK ToC G6
From 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, by Jules Verne AK ToC G6
Ex # 2 from The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson AK ToC G9
From “Old Put” The Patriot, by Frederick A. Ober   AK ToC G10
From "The Lagoon," by Joseph Conrad (#2) Text AK ToC G11
Dreiser, "Phoebe," Appositives Ex # 3 Text AK ToC -
From Mr. Fortune's Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Ex # 1 [Elaborated] AK -
Ex # 2 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 3 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 5 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 6 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 7 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 11 [Elaborated] AK SC -
Ex # 12 [Elaborated AK SC -
Ex. 3 - Writing - 
Elaborating Appositives with a Subordinate Clause
* Writing - Elaborating Appositives with a Subordinate Clause AK ToC G5-11
Ex. 4 - A Focus on the Punctuation of Appositives
"The Aurora by Guido Reni," from Bryant's Pictures AK ToC G6
Ex. 5 - Rewriting:  MC to SC to Appositive
See also the exercises in the P/A section.
From The Queen of the Pirate Isle, by Bret Harte AK ToC G6
From "Perseus," by Charles Kingsley AK ToC G7; 1YM
Nesbit's Version of Shakespeare's Pericles Text AK ToC G8
Based on sentences from Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd AK ToC G9
Ex. 6 a and b - Other Constructions as Appositives
Instructional Material
From 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas, by Jules Verne AK ToC G6
From The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett AK ToC G6
Ex # 1 from The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson (Noun Clauses) AK ToC G9
Ex # 2 from The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson (Noun Clauses) AK " -
From The Master of Ballantrae, by R. L. Stevenson (Mixed) AK ToC G9
Gerunds as Appositives AK ? ToC G10
Prep Phrases as Appositives - From Christopher Lasch AK ToC G10
Warner's Mr. Fortune's Maggot (Ex # 9 - Prep Phrases) AK SC ToC -
An Adverbial Appositive Clause from Robert L. Heilbroner's The Worldly Philosophers  AK ToC G11
From Mr. Fortune's Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Ex # 4 [An Appositive before its Referent] AK SC -
Ex # 8 [A Noun Appositive to a Finite Verb] AK SC -
Ex # 10 [Appositives as Repetitions of a Finite Verb] AK SC -
Ex. 7 - A Passage for Analysis
"The Last Hour," by Ethel Clifford AK ToC G6
From The Children of Odin, by Padraic Colum AK ToC G6
A Noun Clause as an Appositive - From A Dog of Flanders by Ouida (67 W)  AK ToC G7
Shakespeare'sMacbeth (2.2.33-38) Macbeth meditates on the meaning of "sleep" (which he has murdered) through a series of appositives.  AK ToC G8
From Hawthorne's Tragic Vision, by Roy R. Male AK ToC G9
From Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights AK ToC G10
Rupert Brook's  "I said I splendidly loved you" AK ToC G11
Ex. 8 - Just for Fun
"Andre, a simple peasant" AK ToC G6
Did I Say That??? (Humor)  AK ToC G8
Ex. 9 - A Treasure Hunt for Appositives
     In a book that you are reading, find five sentences that include an appositive and make an exercise (with an analysis key).
Old Exercises
From Mr. Fortune's Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  Most of these exercises are too short. I intent to reorganize them 
    The original sentences contain advanced appositives, but I would not expect students to be able to rewrite all of them with an appositive. 
Ex #  1 Original Ex #  5 Original Ex #  9 Original
Ex #  2 Original Ex #  6 Original Ex #  10 Original
Ex #  3 Original Ex #  7 Original Ex #  11 Original
Ex #  4 Original Ex #  8 Original Ex #  12 Original

 
 
More about Establishing Credibility of Source Materials

     The first question that needs to be addressed here is: in what grade are students even introduced to the question of the credibility of source information? Who says what is an extremely important question, even, in some cases, a question of life or death. Many people are aware of at least a few cases of drugs being recalled after reported serious side-effects, sometimes deaths, caused by them. Most of those drugs were advertised. Can we believe advertising? Although one's own death may be the most serious result of believing uncredible source materials, unreliable sources affect many everyday decisions and many political positions. Students should be taught much more than they currently are about the ways to evaluate the credibility of  sources. But evaluating the source of information is essentially a reading skill.
     Indicating the credibility of  source materials in one's own writing is a much more complex task. It depends on a number of different skills, especially if we are concerned with the type of writing that is required in college and in many professional fields. Although the focus on KISS Grammar is on the grammatical constructions that are used to communicate credibility, we should probably look at the other mental process involved in order to see why many students have problems.
     In college and professional writing, the sources must be documented, usually by information placed in parentheses at the end of the cited source materials:

a.) Malthus predicted that famine would be the ultimate force that keeps population under control. (Heilbroner, 88)

b.) Robert Heilbroner notes that Maltus wrote, "The vices of mankind are active and able ministers of depopulation . . . But should they fail in this war of extermination, sickly seasons, epidemics, pestilence, and plague advance in terrific array and sweep off their thousands and tens of thousands. Should success still be incomplete, gigantic inevitable famine stalks in the rear, and with one mighty blow, levels the population with the food of the world." (88)

Consider some of the questions that a student writer must face in creating either of these two versions. 
     First, should one paraphrase (as in "a"), or should one quote (as in "b")? Several factors influence this decision, two of which are the writer's purpose and audience. Unfortunately, many college students have rarely been taught to consider either purpose or audience in writing papers. Typically, their purpose is to do the assigned paper, and their audience is the teacher. This will not do for most college papers, and it certainly will not do for professional writing. Thus many students find themselves grappling with two major writing questions with which they are unfamiliar. 
     And, if they have grappled with the question of purpose, they face another question -- how important is this information for their purpose? Will the short paraphrase achieve it or do they need the entire quotation? Students who have not considered the purpose of their paper will tend toward the long quotation simply because it fills up space. On the other hand, students who have determined their purpose may believe that the quotation is needed, but that it takes up too much space in a five-page paper. This is especially true because the better writers understand that if they are going to include such a long quotation, then they should probably spend about the same amount of space explaining its importance and relevance to their purpose.
     A second set of questions cluster around the framing of the source material. Should the writer's source for the information precede the information (as in "b"), or should the information simply be given and then followed by the parenthetical in-text documentation (as in "a")? In our examples, it really does not make much difference, but in other cases it can be crucial:
(c.) Fossils support the theory of evolution. (Gould, 36)
(d.) According to Stephen Jay Gould, fossils support the theory of evolution. (36)
Version (c) means that the writer agrees that fossils support the theory of evolution. Version (d) is neutral -- the writer may totally disagree. The problems that students have with keeping voice and sides clear are so wide-spread that Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein have written an excellent short textbook about it -- "They Say/I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing. And their book does not even begin to deal with what goes into the parenthetical citations.
     What to put in the parenthetical citations should give students still another (our third) set of questions. I say "should" because many students prefer not to think about this, and even some college professors teach them not to. Many students are taught to simply include the author and the page number on which the information can be found. But that does not always work correctly. Better instruction is to teach students that the in-text citation should include the minimum information needed to find the source in the Works Cited List (or Bibliography). Thus if there is only one work by the writer of a source -- and that writer is included in the frame of the source material ("Robert Heilbroner notes . . . ") then only the page number is needed. But if there are two works by that source writer, then the title of the work needs to be included -- either in the frame ("In The Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbroner notes . . .") or in the in-text citation (The Worldly Philosophers, 88). Other questions arise when there are two source writers with the same name, or when the source is anonymous, but the point is that students do need to do a new type of thinking in considering these technical questions.
     A fourth set of questions is not so technical. When should the writer include information on the credibility of the source? And if such information is included, what should it be? Does one need to indicate who Malthus was? Heilbroner? Gould? Essentially, this depends on one's intended audience. Economists will all know who Malthus and Heilbroner are; the general public will not. Gould would be recognized by many readers familiar with science and evolution, but not by all. And if, for example, one cites Goethe, does one establish his credibility by calling him a nineteenth-century German poet, dramatist, scientist, philosopher, and/or the author of Faust and/or the author of Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship? These are advanced questions that again depend on one's audience and purpose.  Most college students work them out as they do advanced work in their chosen fields, but we need to realize that they bewilder students who are just learning how to put information about credibility in their papers. What information are they expected to include?
     My purpose in exploring the preceding four sets of questions was simply to suggest the mass of new ideas, new skills, that students are expected to master when we ask them to use sources in their own writing and to explain the credibility of those sources. Our primary focus, of course, is a fifth set of questions -- the grammatical constructions that can be used. Three are most common.

A main clause: 

     Daniel Goleman is the author of Emotional Intelligence and a senior editor of Psychology Today. He claims that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. IQ stands for "intelligence quotient."

A subordinate clause:

     Daniel Goleman, who  is the author of Emotional Intelligence and a senior editor of Psychology Today, claims that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. IQ stands for "intelligence quotient."

An Appositive

     Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence and a senior editor of Psychology Today, claims that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. IQ stands for "intelligence quotient."

     The three main options bring us to the debated question of natural syntactic development. As noted above, Kellogg Hunt suggested that in his research few high school students used appositives. The research of Hunt and his colleagues also suggests that cognitive mastery of subordinate clauses probably develops for most students, around seventh grade. Cognitive mastery is what would be needed for students to look at the main clause version and correctly change it to the version using a subordinate clause (or to naturally write the subordinate clause version in the first place). 
     The point here is that in addition to the preceding four sets of questions, many students don't have the required syntactic maturity. Some college Freshmen have problems using appositives. Every semester at least one student, sometimes several, mangle these sentences:

Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence and a senior editor of Psychology Today, he claims that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. IQ stands for "intelligence quotient.”
A few of these students simply cannot handle the appositives or subordinate clauses. Instead, they hand in something that looks very immature and awkward such as:
Daniel Goleman claims that emotional intelligence is more important than IQ. IQ stands for "intelligence quotient.” Goleman is the  author of Emotional Intelligence and a senior editor of Psychology Today.
This version is awkward for two interrelated reasons. Standing as a separate sentence and coming after the source material, the credibility statement sounds tacked on. The main clause option is also the least mature of the three in that it makes the credibility a main idea (MIMC) equally important to the cited material. The subordinate clause version, of course, subordinates the credibility as a modifier to the cited source, as does the appositive, and the appositive has the added advantage of eliminating the meaningless "who is."
     Much more research needs to be done on syntactic maturity, especially in combination with what grammar is taught and how. My guess is that exercise eight is too advanced for fifth and sixth graders. Teachers and parents will need to determine for themselves when their students are ready to develop these skills. But the KISS Approach to teaching appositives should give students cognitive mastery of the construction, such that when they hit the mass of new concepts needed for documenting research, they will be able to use appositives without having to master the construction at the same time.