Diagram This Headline in One Minute, if You Can

Say "sentence diagramming" to people of a certain age, and you get reactions ranging from, "Oh, I was really good at that in eighth grade," to "Mrs. Green made us diagram The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I hated her." Say it to most college students, and you get a blank look.

But not from the 24 students in Lucy Ferriss's "Constructing Thought," a half-credit course this spring in the English department here at Trinity College. They know how to diagram a sentence—and