Write for Business - Blog

UpWrite Press understands the importance of writing skills in business: We're business people just like you. On this blog you'll find tips to improve your writing, along with topics of interest to our staff.

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    Working Out Strong Sentences

    Thursday, May 06, 2010

    Want your writing to not only present information but also make it sing (and sell)? Then strengthen your sentences. If they engage your reader, and keep your reader engaged, you can be assured your message will get across. Here are some tips for strengthening your sentences by varying their construction.

    • Vary sentence length. Use short, punchy sentences to grab your reader's attention or make a quick point, while letting longer, more complex sentences carry the meat of your message.
    • Vary sentence openings. Avoid the plain old "subject-verb" habit and enhance impact and interest by using modifying words, phrases, or clauses to open your sentences.
    • Vary sentence types. Make your point with declarative sentences, but pique the reader's interest with questions, commands, and conditional statements. On occasion, pepper in a few fragments and exclamatory sentences to add impact.
    • Vary sentence arrangements. Place your main point at different places within the sentence. Beginning with the main point gives it direct importance, while ending with it allows you to build up to it. Or, if you would rather cushion or elaborate the point, surround it with modifiers, tucking it somewhere in the middle of the sentence.

    They say variety is the spice of life, and it can certainly invigorate your writing.

    You can learn more about creating sentences beginning on page 255 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing and Communicating in the Workplace, just one of the many helpful business-writing materials from UpWrite Press.

    - Joyce Lee