Unscrambling Dependent Clauses to Make Complex Sentences

Writing with Complex Sentences: mini-lesson

Complex sentences are sentences with more than one subject and one verb connected by linking words and conjunctions. Using complex sentences in academic writing is very important because if you write too many short and simple SVO (subject-verb-object) sentences, your writing will be simple, �choppy� and uncomfortable for your reader. Therefore, it is necessary to practise writing complex sentences.

Consider the following example:

  • The course exam was difficult. The students received a high grade.
This is an example of simple, �choppy� (not smooth) SVO writing. It is more comfortable for your reader if you connect the two ideas with linking words or conjunctions in a complex sentence. That way your reader does not need to stop so often. For example:
  • Although the course was difficult, the students received a high grade.
  • Despite the difficulty of the course, the students received a high grade.
These sentences are complex because (i) they contain an independent clause:
  {the students received a high grade}
and (ii) a dependent clause:
  {Although the course was difficult / Despite the difficulty of the course}

Independent clauses are called �independent� because they can �stand alone� (without a dependent clause).
Dependent clauses cannot stand alone.

Some of the linking words that are often used to introduce dependent clauses for complex sentences are as follows:

  To introduce a dependent clause that adds a new / another idea: to express an additional point To introduce a dependent clause that expresses cause and effect: to show that one idea may cause another To introduce a dependent clause that expresses contrast (differences) between two ideas
Introduces a dependent clause;  it must be followed by a subject and a verb  

-Based on…


Because the exam was approaching, Peter stayed home and studied hard every evening.

-Even though


While the cost of living is very high in HK, food is not too expensive.
Must be followed by a noun phrase

-In addition to


In addition to playing guitar in a band, Jim hikes, swims and reads.

For those who wish to attend, a ticket must be purchased.

-Due to
-Because of
-Based on

Due to the high cost of the concert tickets, John decided not to go.

By studying hard for weeks, he was able to pass the exam.

Based on
the data, there is a tendency for boys to be more violent than girls.

-In spite of / Despite



 In spite of the high cost of the concert tickets, John decided to go.

Despite the high cost of the concert tickets, John decided to go.

Unscrambling dependent clauses to make complex sentences (1): instructions

Read the red and black words above each box then re-order them to make dependent clauses that complete each complex sentence. (The words in red are those shown when you click �Show hint�.) The first one has been done for you.

    Peer Leaders in Drug Abuse Prevention

    During the past decade, much has been learned about school-based drug prevention programming. We now know that effective programs are comprehensive, begin intervention efforts early, project a clear no-use message, contain different strategies for different populations, and coordinate their program with a broader community-wide prevention effort (Mohai, 1991). More light has also been shed on the strengths and weaknesses of specific program components, including curricula.

  1. assessment / difficult, / Though / drug / curricula / has/ been / prevention

    Though drug prevention�

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    Though drug prevention curricula assessment has been difficult

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    evidence is mounting that curricula based on the Social Influence Model (SIM) is especially effective in changing student drug-use attitudes and behavior (Ellickson, 1990; Bangert-Drowns, 1988; MacKinnon, 1991). Research has also shown that allowing students to take an active role in prevention program delivery strengthens the program as well as boosting the self-esteem and academic performance of the students who assist (Carr, 1988; Benard, 1990; Norem-Hebeisen, 1983).
  1. advantages, / of / Because / these


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    Because of these advantages,

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    more and more schools are enlisting the skills and enthusiasm of trained "peer leaders" to lead other students through SIM-based drug prevention curriculums (Perry, 1986).


    Peer leaders have been used by student services professionals since the mid-1960s. Peer leaders have assisted school counselors and administrators in providing support for fellow students with special needs such as academic (tutoring), social (orienting new students), physical (aiding handicapped students), or emotional (leading support groups).

  2. self-help / strength / Both / the / movement, / growing / the / of

    Both the growing�

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    Both the growing strength of the self-help movement,

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  3. available / diminishing / and / to / schools / students, / the / resources / assisting / for

    and the diminishing resources�

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    and the diminishing resources available to schools for assisting students,

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    have made peer leader programs appealing. (Carr, 1988; Benard, 1990).

    Selection of peer leaders has been done in a number of ways,
  4. restrict / student / achievers / programs / although / most / do/ not /to / high / or / leaders. / participation

    although most programs do not�

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    although most programs do not restrict participation to high achievers or student leaders.

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    In fact, serving as a peer leader has been shown to have a transforming effect on the school performance of underachieving and alienated youth (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989). Once selected, peer leaders go through a special training program to develop strong communication and decision-making skills (Myrick & Sorenson, 1988).

    Specific benefits of a peer leader program include: (1) freeing up time for teachers and counselors to perform other tasks, (2) providing strong role models for other students (peers are more effective as role models than adults), (3) creating a less threatening counseling environment where students can share attitudes and experiences that they might not wish to discuss with an adult, and (4) strengthening the self-esteem of peer leaders by providing them with leadership experience and an opportunity to play a meaningful role in the lives of others (Webb, 1987).


  5. behavior, / Based / on / the / that / pressures / role / play /a / major / in / social
    / shaping /knowledge

    Based on the knowledge that social�

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    Based on the knowledge that social pressures play a major role in shaping behavior,

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    especially the behavior of youth, the Social Influence Model (SIM), or Peer Influence Model as it is sometimes called, seeks to strengthen students' awareness of and resistance to the external pressures exerted by friends, family, and the media, and to internal pressures such as low self-esteem that can lead youth to drug use (Norem-Hebeisen, 1983; Pentz, 1990; Benard, 1990). Prevention curriculum based on SIM dispenses objective information about drug use (within the context of a clear no-use philosophy), examines drug use attitudes and behaviors, and gives social resistance skill training (Ellickson, 1990; Mohai, 1991).

    Using Peer Leaders in SIM Discussion/Resistance Skill Training

    A variety of SIM curriculum delivery modes exist including printed materials, presentations, media announcements, posters, games, surveys, movies, and computer programs. One SIM approach especially conducive to the use of peer leaders is discussion and resistance skill training groups where students can sort out together assumption from fact and learn and practice assertiveness skills that will help them successfully negotiate their way through the various social situations in which their behavioral choices are challenged (Ellickson, 1990; Perry, 1986; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989).

    Discussion/resistance skills training has become popular
  6. for / competence, / on / needs / adolescent / capitalizes / because / it / autonomy,
    / fun, / recognition, / and

    because it� � competence, autonomy, recognition, and fun,

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    because it capitalizes on adolescent needs for competence, autonomy, recognition, and fun,

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    and addresses social isolation that can lead to feelings of alienation and delinquent behavior. (Carr, 1988; Benard, 1990). Skills targeted for improvement are: cognitive awareness, goal setting, problem identification and management, decision making, communication, including assertion and refusal skills (Carr, 1988).

    Peer leaders lead fellow students through a specific drug prevention curriculum that includes group discussion, question/answer and writing exercises, and individual and group role playing. During these exercises students challenge each others' beliefs, try out new social skills, and provide important emotional support to one another that can extend beyond the group session (Benard, 1990).

    Using peer leaders to deliver SIM-based drug prevention curricula has many benefits.
  7. to / opportunity / giving /other, / By / youths / an / help / and / learn / each / from

    By giving youths an�

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    By giving youths an opportunity to help and learn from each other,

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    student-led SIM curricula address the internal needs of youth for personal efficacy and self-worth, while building valuable skills in identifying and effectively resisting social pressures to use drugs. To be effective, peer-led SIM programming efforts should:

    1. be supervised by well-trained adults capable of modeling the desired skills;
    2. be based on demonstrated needs;
    3. represent the social composition of the school and community;
    4. be interactive and experiential; and,
    5. provide peer leaders with extensive training and opportunities for skill renewal. (Carr, 1988)


  8. to / addition / In / use / in / group / discussion / their / directing / groups,

    In addition to their use in�

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    In addition to their use in directing group discussion groups,

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    peer leaders also serve as prevention program administrators: assessing school needs, selecting appropriate programs, and coordinating program implementation and assessment. They also have taken the leadership in developing alternative drug-free school and community activities. Peer leaders in some school districts have served as instructors for younger students, teaching them about the hazards of drug use while indirectly serving as powerful role models. Others have encouraged peer leaders to establish and coordinate student-run businesses to give youth more skills and greater experience with assuming adult responsibilities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1989).


  9. school / effectively / been / have / peer / Although / leaders / assisting /staffs / the 1960s, / since

    Although peer leaders have been�

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    Although peer leaders have been effectively assisting school staffs since the 1960s,

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    they have recently assumed their most critical role to date: leading other students through drug prevention curriculums, particularly those based on the Social Influence Model. In addition, peer leaders are serving as prevention program administrators and often are taking the leadership in developing alternative drug-free school and community activities.


  10. approaches / prevention / possible / educators / For /exploring / drug / and curricula,

    For educators exploring�

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    For educators exploring possible drug prevention approaches and curricula,

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    several excellent guides to curriculum selection are available from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information (NCADI), P.O. Box 2345, Rockville, MD 20852, (800) 729-6686, the public information arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bangert-Drowns, R. L. (1988). The effects of school-based substance abuse education-a meta analysis. Journal of Drug Education, 18(3), 243-260.

Benard, B. (1990). The case for peers. Portland, OR: Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. ED 327 755.

Carr, R. A. (1988). Peer helping: the bridge to substance abuse prevention. The BC Counsellor, 10(2), 3-18.

Ellickson, P. L., & Bell, R. M. (1990). Prospects for preventing drug use among young adolescents. Santa Monica, CA: The RAND Corporation.

MacKinnon, D. P. et al. (1991). Mediating mechanisms in a school-based drug prevention program: First-year effects of the Midwestern Prevention Project. Health Psychology, 10(3), 164-172.

Mohai, C. E. (1991). Are school-based drug prevention programs working? (ERIC Digest). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

Myrick, R. D., & Sorenson, D. L. (1988). Peer helping: A practical guide. Minneapolis, MN: Educational Media Corporation.

Norem-Hebeisen, A., & Hedin, D. P. (1983). Influences on adolescent problem behavior: Causes, connections, and contexts. Child and Youth Services, 6(1/2), 35-56.

Pentz, M. A. et al. (1990). Effects of program implementation on adolescent drug use behavior: The midwestern prevention project (MPP). Evaluation Review, 14(3), 264-289.

Perry, C. L. et al. (1986). A process evaluation study of peer leaders in health education. Journal of School Health, 56(2), 62-67.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1989). Prevention Plus II: Tools for Creating and Sustaining Drug-Free Communities. Washington, D.C.: Author.

Webb, M. (1987). Peer helping relationships in urban schools. (ERIC Digest). New York: ERIC Clearinghouse

ERIC Identifier: ED341892 Publication Date: 1991-12-31 Author: Mohai, Caroline E. Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Counseling and Personnel Services Ann Arbor MI.

http://www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED341892.pdf Copyright information: http://www.ericdigests.org/about.html