I'm still learning grammar. I'm trying to figure out the steps to break down a sentence. My process now is to look at the sentence as a whole first. Then I classify it as either simple, compound, complex, etc. Then I classify it again as either declarative, imperative, etc. Then I work out the subject and predicate and label them by clause type; main, subordinate, adjectival, noun. Then I break the clauses into structures like subject+verb, subject+transverb+direct, etc, etc.
Now I'm trying to identify all the phrases and I'm getting stuck. So I'm moving to a bottom-up approach by looking at words on their own to see if they are nouns, verbs. phrases, whatever. So that I might make phrases out of them. But I'm getting stuck at this point.
Anyway, my question is what is the best way to break down a sentence into all its levels, from the words/parts of speech all the way up to the clauses and sentence?
Should you start with the sentence and begin chopping it into smaller and smaller chunks (clauses, phrases, etc), as I've been trying to do, or should you identify the word types first and then build them up (bottom-up approach)? Is there a formula I can follow like a recipe to accomplish this?