The importance of sentence structure for good essays
Good sentence structure and form is prerequisite for a good essay
A good essay is judged not just by the kind of content you use in the essay but how it is presented to the audience. If you think that minding your P’s and Q’s are not essential as long as you have researched good material, think again; your sentence structure, use of grammar and vocabulary are just as important in helping you get the desired grades.
In addition, there should be logical presentation of the arguments so that the reader is aware of the way in which the issue is discussed. Producing an effective essay is just like solving a jigsaw puzzle- all the pieces of the puzzle have to be in the right order to make sense. Let us look at some ways by which this can be done.
How to structure the essay!
The essay should reflect the organisation of your thoughts. If you have a methodical and logical way of presenting your thoughts, the same should reflect in your essay. While the introduction and conclusion are fixed in their position and their content, the rest of the essay body need not always display the same organisation of content. However, there has to be a methodical way of representation of the thoughts. For example, you can tread along an issue in the following way:
- Introduction of issue
- Pros of issue
- Cons of issue
- What is your position and why?
- Future implications
Or you can structure it this way:
- Introduction of position you are taking on a topic
- Arguments (say 1-3) justifying your position with support from literature or research
- Counterargument and why you feel that it lacks merit in comparison to the arguments presented. The position of this part can be flexible- it can be placed as a separate paragraph. Or, it can be introduced in one of the paragraphs related to the supporting arguments. It can be introduced with a “however” phrase.
While writing an essay, it is vital to pay attention to the technical aspects of writing. This includes paying careful attention to the sentence structure. Carelessly thought-out sentences do not create impact and hence will lead to your scoring less marks on the language section. Use complete sentences with appropriate use of punctuation.
Avoid incomplete sentences such as sentence fragments. They interrupt the smooth flow of the write-up and do not reflect well on an essay, which is going to be judged on its academic and literary merit. Use pauses such as commas, colons and semi colons, where required, to incorporate pauses to pace the expressed thoughts appropriately.
Do not use long sentences, if you are not able to handle them well. Try to avoid run-on sentences. Improperly constructed long sentences may lead to unclear expression and difficulty in comprehension.
Use Active voice as compared to passive voice, where possible. That increases the clarity and cohesion as well as directness of the sentences. You also have to make appropriate use of noun and adjective clauses, articles, conjunctions, transition words to link sentences together and create a flow.
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