Help with too many “and” and “or”

I have written this. However I am unhappy with the last sentence. Because it is hard to see how to read it properly, because of the “and” and “or”.

“It became apparent that for some pupils, they also need extrinsic motivation. Both consequences and praise of effort or process.

  • It should read: “Both consequences and praise of (effort or process).
  • Not “Both (consequences and praise of effort) or process.
  • or any other combination.

How can I rewrite it to make it clear?

Answer

The question of how to indicate doing two actions to two different things is interesting.

First, the initial sentence needlessly restates "they". It should be simplified: "It became apparent that some pupils also need extrinsic motivation." That is straightforward.

It’s difficult to see what you intend by the second phrase, though. It looks as though you want to praise and assess the consequences of both their process and the effort the pupils put in. That is, to do two actions [assess consequences of, and give praise for] on two things [effort or process].

The consequences must stem from the effort put in or the process employed, and both effort and process can be praised.

This [motivation] was provided by examining the pupils’ effort and process in order to praise what they did and assess the consequences [of what they did].

Here, "effort and process" is "what they did" and can be praised, and "effort and process" also has consequences which can be assessed.

In concrete terms, we redefine the pair of things to be one item which we can then do the two actions to. This eliminates one of the conjunctions.

It’s legitimate to define both "effort" and "process" as "what they did," because if the process is right but the effort wasn’t enough then the results will fall short of expectations; conversely if the pupils put a lot of effort into the wrong process, then the result will also be sub-optimal. But process and effort can each be praised, as appropriate.

Your fragment needs to be made into a sentence by saying what you did (examined the pupils’ effort and process), what the outcome was (praise and assessment of consequences), and why you did it (to provide the motivation needed). Because doing two actions to two things is quite complex, it takes quite a number of words to express.

It became apparent that for some pupils, they also need extrinsic motivation. Both consequences and praise of effort or process.

It became apparent that some pupils also need extrinsic motivation. This was provided by examining the pupils’ effort and process in order to praise what they did and assess the consequences.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : ctrl-alt-delor , Answer Author : Andrew Leach

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