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Mastering Sentence Structure

Tips, Techniques, and Resources to Fix Awkward Sentences

Awkward sentences can make reading hard work for your audience. If they have to re-read sentences multiple times just to understand the meaning, chances are high that they will lose interest in your piece quickly. To avoid this scenario, it's essential to learn how to identify and correct awkward sentences effectively.

In this article, we will cover various techniques for identifying and fixing different types of awkward sentences. We will also provide practical tips and resources to help you enhance your writing abilities further.

Identifying Awkward Sentences

The first step in addressing awkward sentences is learning how to identify them effectively. Here are some methods writers can use:

  1. Read aloud: Reading your work out loud allows you to hear any parts that sound unnatural or choppy, which may indicate an issue with sentence structure or word choice.
  2. Use online tools: Tools like Linguisity can help identify grammar issues, readability problems, and style inconsistencies in your writing.
  3. Ask for feedback: Share your work with a trusted friend, mentor, or editor who can offer constructive criticism on areas where you might need improvement.

Once you've identified the problematic sentences, it's time to address them using appropriate techniques based on their specific issues.

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Common Types of Awkward Sentences

Awkward sentences often fall into one or more categories:

  1. Redundancy: These are sentences that contain unnecessary words or phrases that don't add any meaning. For example, "The man who was wearing a red shirt walked into the room" can be simplified to "The man in the red shirt walked into the room."

  2. Fused sentences: This occurs when two independent clauses are connected without proper punctuation or conjunctions. An example would be: "I went to the store it was closed." The correct version should either use a period (or semicolon) between the two clauses or add a coordinating conjunction like "and" or "but": "I went to the store, but it was closed."

  3. Comma splices: Similar to fused sentences, comma splices involve connecting two independent clauses with just a comma instead of using proper punctuation (e.g., period, semicolon) or conjunctions: "She likes reading books she reads every day" should be revised as either "She likes reading books; she reads every day" or "She likes reading books because she reads every day."

  4. Unclear or obscure language: Some sentences may contain vague, unspecific, or overly complex words and phrases that make it difficult for readers to understand the intended meaning.

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Practical Tips for Fixing Awkward Sentences

Here are actionable strategies you can use to address each category of awkward sentence:

  1. Simplify by removing unnecessary words: Review your writing and look for any redundant phrases or superfluous details that don't add value to the sentence. Remove them to create a more concise and clear statement.

  2. Break up long sentences: If you have a lengthy sentence with multiple ideas, consider breaking it into two (or more) shorter sentences. This will make your writing easier to read and understand.

  3. Combine short, choppy sentences: On the other hand, if you find yourself using too many short sentences in succession, try combining some of them using appropriate conjunctions or punctuation marks like semicolons.

  4. Replace unclear or obscure language with more precise terms: Whenever possible, opt for simpler and more concrete words that convey your intended meaning clearly. Avoid jargon, technical terms, or overly complex phrases unless they are necessary for the context of your writing.

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Advanced Techniques for Improving Sentence Structure

For writers looking to further refine their sentence structure skills, here are some additional strategies:

  1. Place the subject at the beginning of a sentence: Long, complicated sentences can often be improved by placing the subject closer to the beginning. This makes it easier for readers to follow along and understand the main idea being conveyed.

  2. Ensure logical consistency within sentences: Make sure that each part of your sentence logically connects with the others so that there are no disconnects or contradictions in meaning.

  3. Replace abstract noun subjects with human subjects: Abstract concepts can sometimes make it difficult for readers to visualize what you're trying to say. By replacing these abstract subjects with more concrete, relatable ones (e.g., people), you can create a stronger connection between your writing and your audience.

Practice Exercises and Resources

To help you hone your skills in identifying and fixing awkward sentences, we recommend the following resources:

  • Purdue University's Grammar Exercise: This interactive quiz tests your ability to recognize and correct various types of grammatical errors, including those related to awkward sentence structures.
  • Linguisity: Linguisity can analyze your written work and promptly recommend more polished alternatives using a range of tones.

By practicing these exercises regularly, and using the recommended tools, you'll become more adept at identifying and fixing awkward sentences in your writing - ultimately leading to a higher level of polish and professionalism across all your content pieces.

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In this article, we have discussed the importance of addressing awkward sentences in your writing and provided practical tips for doing so effectively. By following the techniques outlined above and utilizing helpful resources like online tools and practice exercises, you can improve your sentence structure skills significantly over time.

Remember that writing is a skill that requires constant practice and refinement. So keep honing your craft, experiment with different strategies, and don't be afraid to seek feedback from others as you continue on your journey toward becoming a better writer.

Linguisity: Your AI-Powered Writing Assistant

If you're struggling with identifying or fixing awkward sentences in your work, consider using our AI-powered language mastery tool - Linguisity. With its advanced algorithms and personalized feedback system, Linguisity can help you refine your writing style by addressing issues related to redundancy, fused sentences, comma splices, unclear language, and more. By incorporating this powerful tool into your writing process, you'll be able to create smoother sentences that flow naturally and engage readers effectively.

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Linguisity is designed to work seamlessly with various applications and systems, including iOS devices (via a custom keyboard), Android devices, Chrome extensions, Microsoft Office add-ins for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Google Workspace add-ons for Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This ensures that you always have access to the tools you need when writing in different environments.

With support for more than a dozen languages and multiple tones (formal, informal, playful, authoritative, friendly, persuasive, neutral), Linguisity empowers users worldwide to communicate more effectively across borders.

Whether you're a non-native writer looking to enhance your language skills or an experienced professional seeking to refine your writing style, Linguisity has something to offer everyone.

So why wait? Start using Linguisity today and take your writing abilities to new heights!


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