Friday, 10 June 2011 12:20

What makes a good sentence?

Written by  Helen Batziris

Sentences are elements of thought that make up a paragraph. Besides the obvious language, spelling and grammatical components of text, I believe there are three definite rules for sentence construction. For a sentence to be effective in communication, it must have have a clear meaning (clarity), be succint (concise) and keep the action of the paragraph going (livelieness).


The meaning of the text must be clear and not disguised with complicated or flowery language. The intent of the sentence should be written using only as many words as needed to get the message across and should be structured as simply as possible, to avoid reader confusion.


A sentence that is too wordy loses the reader and may confuse the intent of the sentence. That does not mean that a sentence must be brief (which may be perceived as abrupt); rather ensure a better choice of words. Short sentences assist the flow of a paragraph and retains the reader's understanding and interest.


Sentences written in the active voice retain reader interest. When the sentence subject is in control, their actions move the reader easily through the text. Clever use of phrases and clauses helps to paint a better picture when writing descriptive text.

Last modified on Friday, 10 June 2011 13:05

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