Monday, January 26, 2009

Editing Tip of the Week: Structuring Sentences

Structuring your thoughts into concise sentences is a good idea. Using the same sentence structures to do so is not. Sometimes it’s easy to get into a pattern when the main goal is just to get the words onto paper. But once the writing is finished, pay attention to sentence structures. In Sharon Schuman’s Ten Tips for Effective Writing, she points out that repetitive writing will alienate readers as quickly as incoherent writing. Repeating vocabulary can also undermine the quality of your work.

If you constantly start sentences with She, alternate using the character’s name or begin with the action of the sentence instead of the name or pronoun. When writing a research paper that refers to the data gathered, watch out for sentences that begin with The research shows or any variation thereof. A neat trick is to use the Find feature in the Word document to locate oft-repeated words or phrases. Not only will it keep your writing from sounding dry and brittle, it will allow the concise ideas to take center stage.

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1 comment:

  1. Great tutorial! Very informative in how well worded and descriptive you were! You know they say that if one knows how to describe what they want really well, then life is just as good as how you describe it :)
    Its great for people who feel like time is running against them and then land on your blog and feel like a whole burden was just lifted off of their shoulder.. I admire and respect people who take time to make it easier for others.. Thanks a bunch! :)
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