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How to write your essay properly: sentence length and transition


Whatever you are writing it needs to follow a specific format:

  • An Introduction.
  • A Body or Discussion section.
  • An End or Conclusion.

It also needs:

  • Each paragraph to have its own introductory sentence.
  • Each paragraph need follow a logical progression of ideas. Ideally a body paragraph should have about 150- 200 words. Note here that the average page word count is between 275 and 425 words.
  • There should be good transition from one paragraph to another, and a good transition from one sentence to another. The work should flow. Your reader should not be thinking half way through reading your essay, ‘did I miss something?’, ‘how did we get to this idea?’

Rules for Sentences

High-quality writing is made up of short and long sentences.

  1. Short sentences.
  2. If you continually write short sentences it gives the impression that your writing is child like and makes your writing (and your thoughts) seem broken and jerky.

    If you are continually writing in short sentences, could your sentences be replaced by using bullet points?

    Suggestions to improve.

    Use joining words. Practice by making a few very short sentences or use a short section of bullet points and try to join up the ideas by using joining words. Have you been able to connect the ideas? Now look to see if you have lost any of the meaning of the short sentences. Does the writing and the ideas now flow?

    Using other people’s work practice joining two or three of their sentences together, have you improved the flow and transition of ideas? Now you are reading and writing in a critical manner that can only add to your own writing skills.

    Some useful words to use when joining sentences - although, as if, because, before, since, than, that, though, unless, until, where, whether, which.

  3. Long Sentences
  4. These can be hard to read. Try reading them out aloud, can you get all the way through without pausing for breathe?

    A sentence may be grammatically correct, but do you lose the reader half-way through because it does not flow well? Again try reading it aloud. Not only do you need to take a breath but you brain needs to take a few moments to absorb the information.

    Suggestions to improve

    Break up the sentences. Make sure that there is only one idea that is tackled in each sentence.

    Make sure that the ideas flow well and that the words are connected. Loose words that are surplus to requirements . v

End Note

Good writing style encompasses both short and long sentences, but not in extremes.