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The importance of sentence structure for good essays

Last updated on April 23rd, 2018 at 05:17 am


Good sentence structure and form is prerequisite for a good essay

The chief ingredients of a good essay include not only the content and your arguments, but also the sentence structures and grammar that bind them together and make the presentation as delightful to the reader, as a good dish is to a connoisseur foodie.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, then 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 a 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.

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How to structure the essay

importance of sentence structure

The essay should reflect the organization 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 organization 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 to issue
  • Pros of issue
  • Cons of issue
  • What is your position and why?
  • Future implications

Or you can structure it this way:

  • Introduction to a 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 in 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 fewer 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 semicolons, 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.Subordinate clauses should be used sparingly. This will avoid confusing the reader and render more clarity to the thought. Make sure to read the longer sentences aloud or in your mind, to see that the meaning is brought out succinctly without any ambiguity.

Use Active voice as compared to passive voice, where possible. That increases the clarity and cohesion as well as directness of the sentences. Using active verbs is preferable, especially when writing to interest the audience. You also have to make appropriate use of noun and adjective clauses, articles, conjunctions, transition words to link sentences together and create a flow.

Types of sentences that are effective

In order to make interesting reading the sentences that make up a paragraph should have different formative structure. The beginning of the sentences should be as varied as possible to avoid boring the reader and keep the interest alive. Different forms of like:

  • Declarative sentence
  • Imperative sentence
  • Interrogative sentence
  • Exclamatory sentence

On a note of caution, it should be noted that the imperative and exclamatory sentences are seldom used in normal assignment papers and the interrogative form should only be used in the rhetorical format. Rhetoric constructions serve to incite the interest of the reader and make the meaning more clear and comprehensive, using the least number of words. For instance, how can we improve our essays with good sentence structures?

Assignment papers and tests are usually written in formal language, avoiding colloquialisms, texting abbreviations and slang. However, care should be taken that the language does not get overly pretentious or dry. the trick is to use as simple a sentence structure and vocabulary as possible, underpinned with impeccable grammar and usages.

Using Transitional Words to link sentences

One of the most important structural aspects of the sentences in a paragraph is the linking word or transitional word that leads from one sentence to another in a logical form, without interrupting incomplete or abrupt thought process. Words like additionally, also, furthermore, moreover etc. add to the thought of the previous sentence. To introduce a different tack on the thought, linking words like however, on the other hand, though, nevertheless etc. can be used. Use of words like in fact, actually, essentially, etc. serve to add stress to what is expressed.

To summarise, make sure that the content of the sentence is brought out by using the appropriate vocabulary and sentence structure. Use structures that are varied, to keep the interest of the reader. Writing short sentences and linking the subsequent sentences with transitional words renders the meaning more clearly to the reader.Transitional words, active voice, and active verbs are used in creating and maintain the coherent thought. Lastly, it all depends on grammar, grammar, grammar!!

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