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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    Types of Sentences

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011

    The structure of a sentence is simple, compound, complex, or compound-complex. This depends on the relationship between the independent and dependent clauses in it.

    Note: In general, varying sentence structure will enhance your writing style, making it more interesting and engaging. Remember, though, that clarity is still the single most important quality of good writing.

    For more business-writing tips, browse our blog or use the search box atop the page. Or purchase our handy Proofreader's Guide ebook or Write for Business handbook.

    Avoiding Shifts in Sentence Construction: Unparallel Construction

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Unparallel construction occurs when the kind of words or phrases being used shifts or changes in the middle of a sentence.

    All products must be tested, receive approval, and have labeling before shipment.
    (The sentence shifts verb forms from be tested to receive approval to have labeling.)
    All products must be tested, approved, and labeled before shipment.
    (All three verbs end with ed - they are consistent or parallel.)

    Avoiding Shifts in Sentence Construction: Shift in Voice

    Thursday, October 07, 2010

    Shift in voice is mixing active with passive voice.

    As we searched the warehouse for damage, a broken window was discovered.
    (Searched is in the active voice, while was discovered is in the passive voice.)
    As we searched the warehouse for damage, we discovered a broken window.
    (Both verbs are in the active voice.)

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 326, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 76)

    Avoiding Shifts in Sentence Construction: Shift in Tense

    Tuesday, October 05, 2010

    Shift in tense is using more than one tense in a sentence when only one tense is needed.

    We are currently replacing the regulators in the serial link boxes, even though these units operated satisfactorily.
    (Are replacing is present tense, but operated is past tense.)
    We are currently replacing the regulators in the serial link boxes, even though these units are operating satisfactorily.
    (Are replacing and are operating are both present tense.)

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 326, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 76)

    Avoiding Shifts in Sentence Construction: Shift in Person

    Thursday, September 30, 2010

    Shift in person is improperly mixing first, second, or third person within a sentence.

    Customers can pay for the items when ordering or when you receive them.
    (The sentence shifts from third person, customers, to second person, you.)
    You can pay for the items when ordering or when you receive them.
    (Both subjects remain in second person.)
    Customers can pay when ordering or when they receive the items.
    (Customers, a third person plural noun, requires a third person plural pronoun, they.)

    (From Write for Business, 2nd edition, page 326, and Proofreader's Guide PDF, page 76)