Cut long sentences to announce what you want to say
On page 93 of Joseph Joseph Williams' Style, William's begins his section "Revising Long Openings." I feel that this section (aside from the repeated reminder to revise) again ties to how fledgling writers of term papers may operate when beginning new paragraphs.
Yes, some students don't write enough at the beginning of a paragraph. This leaves readers wondering exactly where the writer was going or what subject might have been referred to. However, other writers attempt to pack as mush information as possible into their beginning sentence. Sometimes this may be done to stuff each sentence to its fullest with information (or what information the writer thinks is absolutely important). Other times long opening sentences are created to give an impression that the writer knows what he or she is writing about. I'm not an expert on the reason why long opening sentences take shape, but Williams is an expert on how to shorten long openers.
Williams offers to main solutions to long openers:
1. Get to the subject of the main clause quickly.
2. Get to the verb and object quickly.
And once again these two solutions can be best served in the revising process. But keeping them in mind while you're writing is a good idea as well if you can manage more than one mental process at a time. Don't bore your readers (or maybe worse: try to impress them) by long, overly long sentences whose shapes ultimately become unrecognizable when your readers are looking at the page or screen. It's kind of scary actually if one thinks a sentence is never going to end!