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12 ways to write better sentences

Last updated on 22/06/2023

There are many ways in which you can write better sentences and these are 12 of the tips that I have found that seem to work all the time.

Vary your sentence length

While varying sentence length can add rhythm and interest to your writing, it’s important to use it intentionally. Short sentences can be used for emphasis, to create tension or to show urgency. Longer sentences can be used for description or to create a sense of calm. Experiment with different sentence lengths to see what works best for your writing.

Use active voice

In active voice, the subject is doing the action. This creates clear and concise writing that is easier to read and understand. Passive voice, on the other hand, can be confusing and indirect. Using active voice also makes your writing more engaging, as it places the reader in the middle of the action.

Avoid excessive adverbs

While adverbs can add detail to your writing, using too many can weaken your writing. Instead, choose strong verbs that already convey the meaning you’re trying to convey. For example, instead of saying “She walked slowly,” say “She sauntered.”

Pay attention to rhythm

Rhythm is created through sentence structure, word choice, and sentence length. Varying these elements can create a pleasing rhythm that draws the reader in. Experiment with different sentence structures and word choices to find a rhythm that suits your writing style.

Use concrete nouns

Concrete nouns are specific and tangible, which helps readers visualize your writing. Use specific, descriptive nouns that help convey your meaning. For example, instead of saying “car,” say “red Ferrari.”

Avoid unnecessary repetition

Repetition can be useful for emphasis, but too much repetition can become tedious. Use synonyms or alternate phrasing to convey the same idea without repeating yourself.

Use active verbs

Active verbs create a sense of energy and urgency in your writing. Instead of using passive verbs like “was” or “has been,” use active verbs like “run” or “swim.” This creates more engaging writing that draws readers in.

Write with specificity

Specificity helps readers visualize your writing and makes it more memorable. Use specific details to create a vivid picture in the reader’s mind. For example, instead of saying “she ate lunch,” say “she ate a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bread.”

Use punctuation effectively

Punctuation helps to clarify the meaning of your writing and makes it easier to read. Use punctuation marks like commas, semicolons, and colons to separate ideas and create rhythm in your writing.

Avoid cliches

Cliches are overused phrases that have lost their meaning and impact. Avoid using cliches and instead try to find more original and creative ways to express your ideas.

Use parallel structure

Parallel structure involves using a consistent grammatical structure to create balance and clarity in your writing. This can be used with lists, clauses, or phrases. Using parallel structure creates writing that is clear and easy to read.

Keep it simple

Simple writing is often the most effective. Use clear and concise language to convey your ideas without adding unnecessary complexity. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that may confuse readers who are not familiar with your subject matter.

In conclusion, the ability to write better sentences is within your reach. By implementing these 12 tips, you can enhance the quality of your writing and captivate your readers. Vary your sentence length for rhythm and impact, embrace active voice to engage your audience, and be mindful of excessive adverbs. Pay attention to the rhythm of your sentences, use concrete nouns to create vivid imagery, and avoid unnecessary repetition. Activate your verbs, write with specificity, and master the effective use of punctuation. Steer clear of clichés, employ parallel structure for balance and clarity, and remember the power of simplicity.

By applying these techniques, you will elevate your writing to new heights, leaving a lasting impression on your readers. Start incorporating these tips into your writing practice and watch as your sentences come alive with clarity, precision, and impact. These are just some of the ways to write better sentences and they can help your writing journey. Keep striving to improve, and your writing journey will continue to unfold with endless possibilities.

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