Why is it important to vary sentence structure?
Too many simple and compound sentences can make writing sound choppy, but too many complex and compound-complex sentences can make writing difficult to follow. Strive for a balance by combining sentences of various structures and lengths throughout your paper.
What are some common ways to structure a sentence?
Simple sentence: Contains a single subject and verb.
- Example: The cell phone rang right before class.
Compound sentence: Contains two complete sentences (independent clauses) joined by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
- Example: The cell phone rang right before class, so the student quickly turned off her phone's ringer.
Complex sentence:Contains an independent clause joined by one or more dependent clauses.
- Example: To avoid an interruption during class, the student turned off her phone's ringer.
Compound-complex sentence: Contains a combination of a compound sentence and a complex sentence.
- Example: In order to keep her attention focused on class activities, the student turned off her phone's ringer, and she put her ear buds in her backpack.