SenDraw is a software program used for creating Reed-Kellogg sentence diagrams. Anyone is welcome to download the software, which is made available "as is." There is no application support available at this time.

SenDraw can be used to create diagrams for sentences that you have already analyzed. SenDraw will not automatically analyze and diagram sentences for you. Even seemingly simple English sentences require smart humans to analyze them; consider, for example, the differences between "Time flies like an arrow" and "Fruit flies like a banana."

Sentence Diagrams

Sentence Diagrams for: "Time flies like an arrow" and "Fruit flies like a banana"

SenDraw Background and Compatibility

The software was created by UCF graduate software engineering students for a class project (EEL 5881: Software Engineering I, taught by Damla Turgut, Ph.D.). One team of students created version 1; another team created the forthcoming version 2. SenDraw is currently used in two classes at UCF: LIN4680 Modern English Grammar and LIN5675 English Grammar & Usage, both taught by Beth Young, Ph.D.

SenDraw should run in any Windows environment. Other programs, such as Microsoft Paint or Microsoft Word (use the drawing toolbar), may be used to create sentence diagrams. Devices such as Logitech's personal digital pen also work, and scanners also can digitize paper and ink diagrams.

Sentence Diagrams

Reed-Kellogg diagrams are often called "traditional" diagrams because they were introduced in 1877 by Alonzo Reed and Brainerd Kellogg and have been in more-or-less continuous use ever since. Diagrams are useful because they help you to visualize sentences, showing you the relationships between different sentence parts. You have to understand the grammar of a sentence in order to diagram it.

However, many linguists have moved away from these traditional diagrams:

  • Traditional diagrams don't label each part of the sentence--instead, different diagram structures are used for words that have identical functions but different forms.
  • Traditional diagrams can't represent every structure, because traditional grammar was incomplete.
  • Traditional diagrams don't preserve the word order of the sentence.
  • Traditional diagrams can get very complex, even when sentences aren't terribly complex.

Instead, many linguists prefer tree diagrams. Still, Reed-Kellogg diagrams have several advantages:

  • The different shapes of Reed-Kellogg diagrams help demonstrate the differences between sentence patterns
  • Some people are familiar with Reed-Kellogg diagrams from their own schooling
  • Some people will be required to teach Reed-Kellogg diagrams to their own students
SenDraw Project • Department of English • College of Arts & Humanities at the University of Central Florida
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