Three Ways to Vary Sentences in Essays

Three Ways to Vary Sentences in Essays
Keep Readers Interested With Variety in Sentence Structure

Want to avoid writing a boring essay? Sometimes varying sentence structure can spice up an essay, making it a more exciting read.


Basic sentences really need only two things – a subject and a verb – to be a sentence. So how can a writer write an essay filled with lots of sentences and avoid sounding boring and repetitious? Simply adding variety to his sentences will make it more interesting to readers. This article focuses on some simple ways to vary sentences.
Introductory Phrases are a Simple Way to Add Variety to a Paragraph
Obviously, sticking with the same sentence structure can feel tedious to a reader rather quickly. For example, this paragraph feels staccato and almost repetitious:
• A twist ending is usually unexpected. A reader doesn't know how the story is going to end. A well-written twist ending makes sense but often changes the entire meaning of the story. Some genres are better suited to the twist ending than others. Horror and ghost stories are ideal. Other genres can support twist endings but are not known for having these sorts of endings.
Why not add some introductory phrases to change the flow of the paragraph? Introductory phrases often begin with words like if, when, as, while, although, and many others. Students can go through their papers and can often find easy ways to change around some of their sentences to incorporate an introductory phrase or two, and the difference it can make is amazing:
• A twist ending is usually unexpected. While a reader may not know exactly how a story is going to end, she has a fairly good idea. A well-written twist ending, though, does make sense but often changes the entire meaning of the story. Some genres are better suited to the twist ending than others; for example, horror and ghost stories are ideal. While other genres could support twist endings, they are not known for having these sorts of endings.
Obviously, not every sentence needs to begin with an introductory sentence to spice up the paragraph; in fact, if they did, the writer would be facing the same problem of a repetitious pattern.
Compound Sentences Can Change the Rhythm of an Essay
One independent clause makes a "simple sentence." All an independent clause is is one that can stand on its own (such as "A twist ending is usually unexpected"). A compound sentence is when two independent clauses are joined together with a coordinating conjunction (such as and or but). Here is the above paragraph changed to incorporate compound sentence structures:
• A twist ending is usually unexpected, and a reader doesn't know how the story is going to end. A well-written twist ending makes sense, but it often changes the entire meaning of the story. Some genres are better suited to the twist ending than others. Horror and ghost stories are ideal. Other genres can support twist endings, but they are not usually known for having these sorts of endings.
Varying the Length of Sentences Can Make a Big Difference
Sometimes simply varying the length of sentences is all that's needed to jazz up an essay. For example, a small sentence, followed by a long compound sentence, followed by another medium-length sentence can be enough to make a paragraph interesting:
• Twist endings are unexpected. Surprise! Stories with twist endings don't always end the way other stories do. Readers don't know how the story will end, but they have some ideas. A well-written twist ending makes sense, but it often changes the entire meaning of the story. Some genres are better suited to the twist ending than others. Horror and ghost stories are ideal.
Adding Variety to Essays by Switching up Sentences Can Keep Readers Interested
It's not always easy for students to know how to make their essays more interesting, but by just adding a little variety, it's amazing how much better their essays can be. Simply by adding introductory phrases, creating compound sentences, and varying the length of all sentences, an essay can be much more exciting.


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