Good writing respects the rules and applies the knowledge and the tools that’s been taught to it, but writing that stands out does more than follow the rules. If you’re interested in learning advanced techniques and tips to make your writing more attractive, then you’re in the right place.
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Moving along, here are our tips.
Alternate between Long and Short Sentences
Let your writing demonstrate your skill. Using the same sentence length for all of your sentences will make your essay look and sound rigid. Alternate between using short sentences and long sentences to balance it out. Here’s an example:
- “The war-torn nation had no means of rebuilding their economy with their resources since there were almost no resources left to begin with. It was just a matter of time before its collapse. It was inevitable.”
Notice how we used a longer sentence followed by two shorter ones. Alternating between two lengths makes your whole essay more harmonious and less rigid.
Use Complex Sentences
Use complex sentences to demonstrate your skill level in the creation of sophisticated sentences. This will also help your essay avoid sounding overly simplistic and dull. You can write non-complex sentences as well but should mix it up.
In the English language, there are three main categories of sentences.
- Simple sentences: This type of sentence has one independent clause. It is whole on its own. It presents a subject and a verb.
Example: “John walked the dog.”
- Compound sentences: This one has two joined independent clauses.
Example: “She bought a shortcake, and then she took it home.”
- Complex sentences: This one has one dependent clause and one independent clause. The dependent clause starts with a subordinating conjunction word (e.g., because, since, for, whenever, wherever, while, before, after, etc.)
Example: “Before she could even discuss what was weighing on her mind, the telephone rang, cutting her off mid-sentence.”
Balance out your essay by utilizing all three of them.
Check Your Writing’s Cohesion
In high-level writing, sentences should be cohesive. This means that all sentences must have harmony within themselves and are all parts of a whole and are not redundant. There’s nothing worse than having good grammar, spelling, and vocabulary but no actual cohesion in your writing. Everything will seem random, out of place, and disorganized.
Don’t allow your essay’s writing to end up as a mismatched jumble of ideas. To make sure that there’s cohesion, make sure that the arguments are backed up by relevant ideas and that every idea is connected to another idea that’s been stated. They must support each other.
Moreover, you should look over your use of pronouns, repetitions, synonymy, antonymy, parallelism, and transitions. By reviewing all of these factors, you can see if there is an overall harmony in all of your paragraphs.
While it’s important to use a rich vocabulary and to use complex sentences, do not overdo it to a point where your essay is too wordy. Be concise with your writing. Try to express complex ideas in a straightforward manner that is easy to understand.
One way you can help yourself is to learn new words that express whole meanings. You can use these words instead of writing lengthy sentences to explain a concept or idea. Here’s an example of what we mean:
- Wordy writing: “An owl is a creature that prefers to take action during the nighttime. Perhaps this is why it’s been used time and again in the past to represent all that holds some level of mystery and intrigue…”
- Concise writing: “An owl is a nocturnal creature. Perhaps this is why it’s been used in the past to represent enigma…”
Use Different Grammatical Forms
Before sitting down to write an essay, try to put aside a day or two to practice writing using different grammatical forms. This will help demonstrate your flexibility and skill. Try writing by using some of the following:
- Modal verbs
- Participle clauses
- Cleft sentences
- Relative clauses
The point is not to use advanced grammatical forms at every chance you get but to understand how to use them properly. And to do that, you have to learn how to integrate them into your writing first. Once practice has been done, using these will come naturally, and it will benefit most of the essays you will write in the long run.
Good Editing & Proofreading
Good writing can become great with editing. Even if you started with a rough draft, you would still need to finalize your essay and put it all together through the editing process.
Are the sentences cohesive? Are they concise? Did you alternate between longer and shorter sentences? Did you use literary tools at your disposal or not enough? Once you’ve edited your paper, you can proofread it just to make sure you didn’t miss any minor errors. Then voila, your essay is ready and raring to go. Use websites like Grammarly if you can.
Go over these techniques as many times as is needed until it’s clear as day and easy to understand. Some pointers might be easier to apply than others, but just like everything in life, practice makes perfect. We hope this has helped shine some light on your essay writing, and we wish you a plethora of creativity and the best progress.