New Hartford Online Writing Lab Sentence Variety

Sentence Variety Skilled writers combine clauses and phrases in an infinite array of structures. Developing writers can do the same if they take the time and effort to do so. Spend quality time revising your sentence structure to optimize variety and cohesiveness. As you combine and restructure the sentences in your essay, use the sample structures listed below for inspiration. The more you do this in the revision phase of writing, the more you will find it happening naturally as you compose. Use a participle phrase (use a verb form in a modifying phrase; end with a comma) Brought up on the legend of the City to which the world paid tribute, he recognized in the present London much more than in contemporary Rome the real dimensions of such as case. Peering closer through the rusted spokes of the gate, I saw that the lodge was uninhabited. Having explored the theme of diversity , he turned to . .

Use an appositive phrase (restate a noun to provide more detail; place within commas) The writer, an old man with a white moustache, had some difficulty in getting to bed. St. Botolphs was an old place, an old river town.

Use a non-restrictive clause (place extra information following which/who/whom/where/when between commas) I vividly remember the weather, which was sunny and mild, flower-fragrant, almost as if the days had been arrested in a seemingly perpetual springtime.

  Move adjectives out of their expected order My eyelids are coins, heavy and leaden; I cannot go on.

  Join two independent clauses with a semicolon or a semicolon with a conjunctive adverb I am ill; I am full of spleen and repellent.       

I admire true grit; however, I despise brutality and bullying.

Use a colon or dash as an equals sign in a sentence One essential dislike, formidable in its simplicity, pervaded his dull soul: he disliked injustice and deception. It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love. It was inevitable—the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.

Use a dash as an interrupter in a sentence It is now many months—over a year, in fact—since I wrote to Georgetown announcing my intention of publishing.

OWL Sentence Variety.pdf

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