Sentence Variety in Writing – The Reformation

by Helmut Eder

When writing extended paragraphs our students should learn to write a variety of sentences: Simple, Compound and Complex sentences all have a place in mature writing. Students begin by writing the simple sentence – Subject + Verb and sometimes + Object – one complete thought. These provide a good beginning for students, but as students mature they need to expand to using Compound Sentences (Independent Clause + conjunction + Independent Clause). Later, Complex sentences (Independent Clause + one or more Dependent Clauses with coordinating conjunctions (in either order) enter the student’s writing. Extended paragraphs should have a variety of these types of sentences. Too many simple sentences make for an elementary, stilted paragraph. While, a good beginning, our end goal is for variety. Likewise, too many of the compound or complex sentences can lose the reader. *

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