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Reviewing the Sentences

Each sentence of your essay should communicate its central idea clearly and hold the reader's attention. Review each sentence of your draft for problems of structure, grammar, or punctuation that might detract from these goals.

Roll your cursor over the following general suggestions for reviewing and revising individual sentences.

Read your essay out loud.

Review each sentence in context of the purpose of the paragraph.

Review the length and complexity of your sentences.

Review for unnecessary repetition of words and phrases.

Read your sentences specifically for spelling and grammar errors.

Read your essay out loud:

Pay close attention to any places where you stumble in your reading. Examine what it was about the sentence that led you to stumble and revise accordingly. Reading aloud can highlight awkward phrasing and weak transitions.

Review each sentence in context of the purpose of the paragraph:

Does each sentence have a clear relationship to the purpose of the paragraph? Problematic sentences might fit better in other paragraphs or can be used as the basis of a new paragraph. Also make sure that each sentence connects clearly to the sentences before and after it.

Review the length and complexity of your sentences:

Effective writing typically features sentences that vary in both length and complexity. If you find too many brief, simple sentences, look for ways to join some of these to a surrounding sentence. If all of your sentences are long and complex, look for ways to break a few of these into shorter ones.

Review for unnecessary repetition of words and phrases:

Revise with appropriate substitutions.

Read your sentences specifically for spelling and grammar errors:

Watch particularly for those errors you know you are prone to making.

The Essay Editing module describes sentence level revision in more detail.

Completed!