April 01, 2012

On the Papers: Whose Story Is this Sentence? Directing Readers’ Perceptions of Narrative

As a writer, you can control whose story a reader percieves you to be telling in any given sentence.

George D. Gopen

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Please take a moment to rank the following three sentences by quality of writing. Which is best? Which worst?

(A) The defendant deprived the plaintiff of his contractual rights by refusing to forward the shipment.

(B) The plaintiff was deprived of his contractual rights by the defendant’s refusal to forward the shipment.

(C) The refusal to forward the shipment by the defendant deprived the plaintiff of his contractual rights.

 

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