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For Similar Sentence Patterns or Rhythms

Summary:

This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety.

Contributors:Ryan Weber, Allen Brizee
Last Edited: 2010-04-17 05:37:38

When several sentences have similar patterns or rhythms, try using the following kinds of words to shake up the writing.

1. Dependent markers

Put clauses and phrases with the listed dependent markers at the beginning of some sentences instead of starting each sentence with the subject:

after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while
Example: The room fell silent when the TV newscaster reported the story of the earthquake.
Revision: When the TV newscaster reported the story of the earthquake, the room fell silent.
Example: Thieves made off with Edvard Munch's The Scream before police could stop them.
Revision: Before police could stop them, thieves made off with Edvard Munch's The Scream.

2. Transitional words and phrases

Vary the rhythm by adding transitional words at the beginning of some sentences:

accordingly, after all, afterward, also, although, and, but, consequently, despite, earlier, even though, for example, for instance, however, in conclusion, in contrast, in fact, in the meantime, in the same way, indeed, just as... so, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, not only... but also, now, on the contrary, on the other hand, on the whole, otherwise, regardless, shortly, similarly, specifically, still, that is, then, therefore, though, thus, yet
Example: Fast food corporations are producing and advertising bigger items and high-fat combination meals. The American population faces a growing epidemic of obesity.
Revision: Fast food corporations are producing and advertising bigger items and high-fat combination meals. Meanwhile, the American population faces a growing epidemic of obesity.

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