Varieties of Sentences

Why is Sentence Variety Important?

One of the commonly ignored factors that influence the quality and comprehensibility of an essay is sentence variety. Many writers, especially amateurs, do not pay proper attention to how their writing sounds in general; as a result, it may turn out that a text is monotonous, or precipitous, or too vague. Sentence variety is a nice way to make your writing readable and engaging, and avoid all the aforementioned flaws.

Types of Sentences

The most basic thing to remember about sentence variety is that there are four types of sentences:

1. Declarative
e.g. Dogs bark and chase their tails.

2. Interrogative
e.g. What is the meaning of all this?

3. Exclamatory
e.g. Wow, that cloud is huge!

4. Imperative
e.g. I demand that you look over the documents.

Remember to reread the final version of your text a couple of times: this will help you understand what kind of the following techniques you might use to improve it.

Techniques to Make Your Writing Versatile

1. Changing the rhythm of your text. Regardless of whether you write in long complicated blocks of text, or in short “instant” sentences, if the whole text consists of sentences of the same length, it will become uncomfortable for reading and understanding. So, reread your writing for sentences that could have their length increased (by adding more details, for instance), or cut, like in the case when you feel that the sentence is too vague.

2. Vary the openings you use to start sentences. If you take a close look at your writing, you may notice that you tend to start almost every sentence in a certain way. Change this! There are multiple ways to start a sentence, be it in a declarative, interrogative, or other ways. However, mind that it can alter the meaning of the whole phrase. Here are just a couple of ways to start the sentence, “To my surprise, Jane called me herself on the next day after we met.”

– Surprisingly, Jane gave me a call herself the next day after we met.
– Receiving Jane’s call the next day after we met was a surprise.
– Was receiving Jane’s call, the next day after we met, a surprise? Definitely.
– It was a surprise for me that Jane called the next day after we met.

3. Try to play with your writing: change the structure of your sentences and/or experiment with the words and punctuation you use.

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