Essay On Sentence Length

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Effective Use of Sentence Length The issue of sentence length leaves many writers scratching their heads. Short, long, medium length sentences - which are better? Does it make a difference? Why should we pay attention to sentence length anyway? For one, it adds as much meaning to a text as the words you choose. Sentence length conveys a specific mood and rhythm and matches the actions being described. For example, if you were writing a tense car race, shorter sentences may help heighten the suspense of the scene. On the other hand, longer sentences may work better when writing about complex philosophical abstractions. Let’s look at a couple examples. “As the number one car slammed its brakes around the turn, my foot hit the gas, and I…show more content…
My foot hit the gas, and I swung around him. I crossed the finish line, winning the race.” We find that shorter sentences help tighten the action, accentuating the descriptions of “slamming the brakes,” “hitting the gas” and “crossing the finish line.” Other texts may demand longer sentences: “Descartes stated that the mind is mental. The body is physical. Mind and body are, therefore, not identical. This is the mind-body problem. Philosophical problems are often complex and may work better with longer sentences and more description: “Descartes stated that since the mind is mental and the body physical, the two cannot be identical. This dilemma is known as the mind-body problem.” See how much clearer this version reads? The longer sentence length creates a nice, flowing structure that leads logically from one idea to the next. Let’s look at more examples in which short and long sentences can be problematic, followed by some strategies for correcting them. SHORT SENTENCES Short sentences are useful for supplying small bits of information. They cut to the chase and emphasize one, maybe two, points. But, their stop-and-start rhythms can make them difficult to

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