Beware of long sentences

Long sentences can muddy your writing.

Long sentences can muddy your writing.

Good academic writing is marked by clarity and comprehensibility. That is why using long sentences is often discouraged. Never-ending sentences not only make the paper dull, but also lead to mistakes. To be safe, use sentences that are short and to-the-point.

Advantages of short sentences

There are three main reasons for using short sentences.

  1. Fewer mistakes: When using long sentences, you could end up making more mistakes. This is especially true for non-native speakers of English. A better approach is to break up your ideas and divide them among several sentences. This will make your points more pronounced and leave your writing error-free.
  2. Easier correction: Revising your work is very important. When you have shorter sentences, editing becomes easier. Errors can be identified quickly and the text corrected without much difficulty.
  3. Better readability: When dealing with a complicated topic in your thesis paper, writing short sentences helps. Ideas are expressed better and more clearly when the sentences are brief, which promotes understanding for the reader.

Keep it short and sweet

Even good writers can lose their way within a long sentence. A short sentence is both easier to write and more effective. It addresses the issue right away and makes it stand out. Shorter sentences also quicken the narrative pace, making your paper interesting for readers.

Since a cluster of short sentences will have a cluster of full stops, the reader is forced to pause at the end of each sentence. This makes it simpler for the reader to understand the points you are trying to make.

Let us look at an example:

‘The lecturer asked us to use short sentences because he fears longer sentences will lead to errors in our writing and he does not want us to convey the wrong impression to the reader.’

The same sentence could have been written as:

‘The lecturer asked us to use short sentences. He fears that using longer sentences will lead to errors in our writing. He does not want us to convey the wrong impression to the reader.’

The longer sentence may be confusing for the reader. But the energy and forcefulness of the shorter sentences give life to the idea.

In conclusion…

Keep your writing terse and crisp. Avoid using long sentences in order to enhance reading comprehension. Keep this simple tip in mind and you will be amazed at the difference it makes to the flow of your paper.

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