Constructing Clear Sentences and Paragraphs Linguistic Essay

Correct wording is vital in developing well-structured sentences and paragraphs. If one wants to make communication clear, he or she must arrange words properly to develop clear sentences and well-developed paragraphs. It is crucial to make sentences and paragraphs understandable to readers or listeners. After building correct sentences, the next thing in the process of designing well-written articles is to join the sentences into perfect paragraphs. This is essential if the writer wants to communicate his/her ideas in an organized manner. This has to be done in order to convey a complete topic or idea. There is not any formulae to determine the number of sentences that should be in a paragraph, and this only depends on the complexity as well as the depth of the logic used. The harmony as well as the way ideas are related among the laid down sentences determines the constituents of a paragraph. Each sentence in the paragraph should at least have a relationship with the primary idea in a clear manner. This essay provides ways and various steps in designing clear sentences and organizing paragraphs from them.

First, the ways of creating good sentences include: content limit, short sentence method, word-economy method, determining emphasis in a sentence, provision of unity, and, lastly, arrangement of sentences to provide clarity of thought. Second, the various ways of designing a paragraph that is clear and precise include: providing unity in the paragraph, keeping it short, providing a topic sentence, shun unnecessary details, and, lastly, issue paragraph movement (Bell & Farkas, 2001).

Ways of Designing Clear Sentences

When designing clear sentences, one should ensure that they are not wordy. Bell and Farkas (2001) state that short sentences are attractive to many readers arguably because of human mind limitations. The researchers also state that most readers are rather busy, and writing short and precise sentences saves time. Short sentences, in most cases, range from sixteen words to eighteen words. However, the excessive usage of short words proves to be less attractive. The two ways of shortening sentences and making them clear include limiting the content of the sentence and word economy.

Limiting the content of a sentence is whereby one is supposed to select thought units first and then develop separate sentences. It is important to avoid de-emphasizing content if the thoughts are closely related. One should avoid excessively using short sentences, since it presents variable effects according to Kelly (2014).

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Word-economy refers to seeking shorter alternative means of saying things and suggestions, and it includes:

  • Cluttering Phrases

One should shun avoid cluttering phrases and substitute them with shorter expressions, for instance, while someone is trying to mean ‘at the present time,’ he/she should just indicate ‘now.’ Besides, if the writer is trying to mean ‘in the meantime,’ he/she should avoid writing such long phrase and write a short and a precise one as ‘meanwhile.’ Instead of writing ‘in the near future,’ just indicate ‘soon’ (Kelly, 2014)

  • Surplus Words

One should avoid using surplus words. These are words that do not add any information to a sentence. Most writers often employ meaningless words or phrases as a matter of their habit. This includes such phrases as, ‘The secretary requested chairs that are of executive class,’ This sentence should be written precisely as, ‘The secretary requested executive-class chairs.’ The latter is a short and precise sentence that does not contain surplus words (Kolin, 2013).

  • Construct Sentences Directly to the Point

A good writer should describe or tell about something as it is. Direct manner at all times in the best way of communicating a message. For instance, instead of saying or writing a sentence as, ‘She looked at anyone she came in contact with,’ a good writer should paraphrase it as, ‘She looked at everyone she met.’ Another example of an indirect sentence is, ‘The national budget can be observed to be increasing each decade.’ It is better to avoid the aforementioned structure and write, ‘The national budget is increasing each decade’ (Campbell, 1999).

  • Unnecessary Word Repetition

Words can be repeated only while emphasizing something or with an aim of creating a certain effect on the recipient. Instead of writing a repetitive phrase as, ‘the children should assemble together at 2:00 pm in the afternoon,’ just indicate, ‘the children should assemble at 2:00 pm’ (Kolin, 2013).

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The other method of constructing clear and precise sentences is to determine their emphasis, whereby the writer is supposed to provide each item with the due emphasis it requires. That is, by showing the importance of an item in the sentence. Short sentences, in most cases, emphasize the content, but the long ones de-emphasize the same. Determining the emphasis is an issue of fine judgment, for instance, the following sentence only emphasizes on the gained money, ‘Although their business suffered record loss last month, it gained a lot of money.’ The following sentence, on the other hand, emphasizes on the record loss only, ‘Their business suffered record loss last month although it gained money.’ However, the sentence, ‘Their business gained money last month. The gain occurred despite record losses’ has equal emphasis (Kolin, 2013).

The Importance of Unity in a Sentence

All parts of a sentence should possess a similar thought and have unity. The three causes of error of unity are: unrelated ideas, excessive details, and illogical constructions (Bell & Farkas, 2001).

  • Unrelated Ideas

Though a sentence may be grammatically correct, placing unrelated ideas together distorts the sentence unity. Kelly (2014) argues that one can, however, avoid such errors by placing unrelated ideas in different sentences. Besides, one should also exercise subordination of ideas. Adding a word, or words, that may present some relationship may reduce this error. For instance, a sentence, ‘Mr. Smith is the overall manager, and he has a certificate in computing’ may be changed to the following one, which shows subordination of ideas, ‘Mr. Smith, our overall manager, has a certificate in computing.’ However, another sentence may be constructed to show separate ideas, ‘Mr. Smith is our overall manager. He has a certificate in computing.’

  • Excessive Details

Excessive details lead to the elimination of a sentence unity. However, if details are important, a writer should put them in a different sentence. This again means employment of short sentences leading to precise writing (Campbell, 1999).

  • Illogical Constructions

Illogical construction can deprive a sentence of its unity. If a writer includes active and passive voice in the same sentence, it distorts unity. For instance, ‘First he reduce price, and then the quantity was reduced’ in this sentence, there is no unity. However, such sentence can be rewritten as, ‘First, he reduced the price, and then he reduced the quantity.’ This one, on the other hand, brings unity (Campbell, 1999).

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Methods in Designing a Good Paragraph

Clear writing requires correct grammar use and following all rules based on logical relationships and custom. Proofreading is paramount if the writer wants to provide a well-written work (Bell & Farkas, 2001). The four basic steps that should be considered while developing clear paragraphs include unity, order, coherence, and completeness (Wingersky et al, 2009).
Unity

Each paragraph possesses a particular controlling idea. The topic sentence introduces the main idea of a paragraph. Unity may vary, but unity in a paragraph only concerns its topic. A paragraph is summarized by taking into account the idea presented in the topic sentence. Depending on the writer’s decision, the topic sentence can be the initial sentence or any other sentence in the paragraph. This topic sentence in a paragraph directs the reader to the writer’s main idea he/she wants to express. It is a general sentence in the paragraph. The writer should make clear judgment while creating a topic sentence and consider all the points and themes intended to be put in the paragraph. The other sentences in a paragraph are known as supporting sentences, and they provide extra details of the topic sentence. They may include examples, facts, and some further details. They issue a clear explanation why the main idea is true. A paragraph can have several supporting sentence in order to corroborate the central idea (Kolin, 2013).

  • Order

Order in designing a paragraph refers to the manner in which a writer organizes his or her supporting sentences. The manners include: a) chronological, which refers to time order or order of events; b) spatial, which refers to understanding of the way things are organized in space; c) emphatic, where the writer has to present details in their order of emphasis or significance; d) cause and effect, where the writer has to indicate a specific situation; and e) comparison and/or contrast, where the writer examines differences and similarities of things (Wingersky et al, 2009).

  • Coherence

Coherence is a quality that enables a written work to be understandable. The sentences placed in a paragraph need to have connection, and they should work together. The best manner to achieve this is to employ transition words. A writer may employ transition words that show order, e.g. ‘first,’ ‘second.’ A writer may also show spatial relationship, for instance, by using such words as ‘below’ and ‘above.’ The writer may demonstrate logical relationship, for instance, by using such transitions as ‘in addition to’ and ‘furthermore.’ The other different means of maintaining coherence is the employment of constant verb tense. In addition, it is important to be consistent with the presented point of view (Kelly, 2014).

  • Completeness

Completeness refers to a good development of a paragraph. That is, if all sentences in a paragraph support the central idea sufficiently and clearly, then the paragraph may be regarded complete. A paragraph is incomplete if there are not enough sentences that elaborate the main point. In most cases, for a paragraph to be declared complete, it must have at least three sentences supporting the main idea, a topic sentence, and a concluding sentence. The concluding sentence gives a summary of the key idea through offering reinforcements to the topic sentence. This concluding sentence finishes the paragraph and prepares one to perceive the information presented in the following paragraph (Kelly, 2014).

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  • Transition

In other cases, the writer may opt to begin a paragraph with a reference to the previous paragraph, and this is termed as paragraph transition. Transitions are vital in providing clarity. Transitional words demonstrate to the reader of the article all possible shifts in the sequence of thoughts. Besides, they assist in giving ideas in an organized and clear manner. Some of the transitional words assist in presenting the sequence of ideas, whereas others are employed in clarification of the relationship that is present between these ideas (Kelly, 2014).

  • Editing

Editing belongs to the last stages of writing, where a writer is expected to proofread the paper’s content and check each paragraph for mistakes and rectify them. In this stage, the writer checks spelling mistakes and grammar. He or she also ensures that there is a subject in each sentence and that the verbs and the subject correlate. In each sentence, the writer also verifies verb tenses and makes sure each sentence is meaningful. Moreover, when editing, the writer has to ensure that all paragraphs have a topic sentence and that the supporting sentences refer to the key idea. It is crucial to check if the paragraph has a concluding sentence. In addition to supporting sentences, a writer should also ensure that all sentences relate to the central idea. Afterwards, it is crucial to check the usage of transitional words and, finally, verify that the paragraphs are interesting (Bell & Farkas, 2001).

  • Tone

While writing formal essays, one should eliminate the usage of first and the second person, which means avoid using ‘I’ or ‘you.’ Besides, in formal essays one should not use contractions, for instance ‘aren’t’ or ‘don’t.’ It is preferably to use the full version of the words, ‘are not’ and ‘do not’ respectively (Kelly, 2014).

  • Length of Paragraphs

An article is considered perfect, when its paragraphs are short and precise. Short paragraphs present some organization in the work, while the long ones become complicated to the reader and show some disorganization in the written work. Arguably, most readers would prefer written work that contains short paragraphs than the one with long paragraphs. Short paragraphs are written on average in eight lines (Campbell, 1999).

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Ensure Perfect Employment of the Topic Sentence

Topic sentence assists in developing good paragraphs. However, not all paragraphs carry a topic sentence. This highly depends on whether the writer wants to place a topic sentence (Kelly, 2014).

Eliminate Unnecessary Details

Unnecessary information should not be included in the paragraph. One should include only the information that the reader wants, and this is after the writer has studied the readers and determined what they want to know. This is a matter of judgment (Kelly, 2014).

Provide Movements in the Paragraphs

For a written article to be considered of high quality, movement must be included in the paragraphs. Movement refers to the quality of writing that moves the reader towards the writer’s goal by implementing logical steps (Wingersky et al, 2009).

In conclusion, it is paramount for a writer to follow the aforementioned steps in order to make his or her work attractive. A writer should also keenly study the behavior of the intended readers, that is, what the readers know and think. After obtaining this information, one can develop a design of what is required in a sentence. In particular, the writer should employ simple sentences while targeting people with fewer communicative abilities and employ complex sentences while targeting knowledgeable audience. Writing communicates optimally if it is not taxing the comprehension of readers. Emphasis should be managed while designing sentences. Designing of sentences should be done in a manner that is expressing the key point or idea. One should construct a manner with which to merge content into a chain of sentences. If one is presented with particular information, he or she should decide what information to use in forming a clear sentence, considering the order and the form to follow. Fostering awareness of separate sentence types as well as elements will assist one to become a good writer.