Varied Syntax

| | Comments (2)

“Most writers strive for variety in their use of SYNTAX” (Hamilton 191)

There should be a mixture of sentences in writing. Writers try to mix simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, parallelism, loose sentences and metaphors. It gets boring to read the same style of sentence structure.

I like how Tim O’Brien’s memoir, The Things They Carried, is brought up. I had read the book in high school. It was like nothing I’ve read before. In his work, he purposely repeated a syntactical pattern. Hamilton explains that authors sometimes do this.

I learned about a periodic sentence. I had never heard of this. It uses a series of parallel clauses to create a picture of hope for the reader.


Maddie Gillespie said:

Writing varied sentences has actually become a goal of mine over the years. I know that as a fellow reader, I become easily bored with the same syntactical pattern and sometimes come close to screaming for a change! At least, that only happens if I don't simply put the book down (and never pick it up again) and walk away. I have even attempted to incorporate this concept into my writing of professional papers, though admittedly on a different scale as opposed to writing for myself. As for the periodic sentence...well, everyone needs some bit of hope at the end of the tunnel, even if it can be found at the end of a sentence. Nice job!

Greta Carroll said:

Angelia, using a mixture of sentences is very important. Of course, there are some exceptions; it just depends on what you are going for. As Hamilton showed, Hemmingway used many very simply, similar sentences is order to create a certain feeling. So you don’t necessarily want to vary sentence structure if you want to create a feeling of monotony or boredom, but generally it is good to change things up. I remember my senior year my teacher had us write an essay in which we had to include so many different types of sentences (the only I remember now off the top of my head is parallelism, next time I go home I need to dig out that worksheet she gave us with them on it). I found the assignment very frustrating at first, but once I went back through my paper and read it, and saw all the improvement from my first draft that the varied sentences had caused, I recognized the importance of not just writing the same type of sentence over and over and over again.

Leave a comment

Type the characters you see in the picture above.


April 2008

Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
    1 [2] 3 4 5
6 [7] 8 9 10 11 [12]
13 [14] 15 [16] 17 18 19
[20] 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30