The educational purpose of all the college essay writing assignments is to get you to deliver your opinion through writing. Some forms in academic writing may seem old-fashioned or outdated. But the traditions remain for a reason. The academic writing gives you perfect practice with various forms of the formal sentence patterns. After that, mastering the art of business emails, written pitches, business plans, official papers will be a piece of cake for you.


In this article you’ll find:


  • the common sentence structure mistakes to avoid
  • classic sentence frameworks to follow
  • ten fancy patterns that will add class to any topic you’re covering


Common sentence structure mistakes to avoid




Fragment is a structure which lacks the proper subject-predicate core. It fails to deliver the message, and cannot function in the text as a result. To fix the problem, you need to make it a part of complete sentence or rewrite so it has the subject-predicate unit in it.


Wrong: Difficult to research the matter.

Right: Scholars find it difficult to research the matter.


Run-on sentences


Run-on sentence contains more than one subject-predicate units in it but fails to join them accurately. Without a suitable conjunction or punctuation, the message becomes unclear for the reader. To fix the run-on sentence, you can break it down, or use the right punctuation to divide the subject-predicate units.


Wrong: Scientists find it difficult to research the matter since there are too few case studies to rely on.


Right: Scientists find it difficult to research the matter. There are too few case studies to rely on.


Too long


Sentences that are too long and complicated can hurt the readability of your essay. Structure your thoughts into well-constructed logical units. Make sure each conveys exactly the idea you put in it. Avoid the temptation to look sophisticated through the number of words. Instead, make each sentence perfectly clear.


Wrong example: Sentences which are too long will demand hard efforts from the reader to get in all the details, see through the meaning, and get the right picture that the named sentence aims to deliver.


Right example: Sentences which are too long are hard to read. They might not deliver the meaning efficiently.


Too short


Sentences that are too short make a bumpy, unsatisfying reading. They rarely can hold complex thought. While for the academic writing, you need to prove your ability to relate facts. Avoid short sentences for the sake of well-balanced juxtapositions. Wrap them into nice structured 20-25 words phrases.


Wrong example: Short sentences are simple. Avoid mistakes. Write short sentences. They aid clarity. They are intense.


Right example: The simplicity of short sentences helps to avoid the mistakes. Use them to deliver a clear and intense message.


Starting several sentences with similar conjunctions


Starting sentences with conjunctions is actually ok. Yet, several look-alike sentences in a row will make your writing monotonous and amateur. Fix this mistake by rewriting them and eliminating excess wording.


Wrong example: The sentences were pretty similar. And that fact was obvious to the researchers. And that’s why they pointed it out in their reports.


Right example: The sentences were pretty similar. Researchers pointed out this obvious fact in their reports.


Frameworks to help you compose well-written sentences


Cumulative sentences


The main idea comes first, details and illustrating facts follow.


Example: Oprah Winfrey became a show producer because she wanted to open minds, break the stereotypes, and inspire the audience with her values.


Periodic sentences


Details build up from the very beginning, finalized with the main idea.


Example: Breaking the shop windows, marauding the stores, and setting cars on fire, the rioters caused severe damage.


Another option to try: subject, details, predicate.


Example: Oprah Winfrey, who has always been focused on the goodness of life and never dwelled on failures, paved her own road to success.


Balanced Sentences


Two main ideas with similar structure are juxtaposed in one sentence. This method works great for clauses with opposite meanings.


Example: A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. (Winston Churchill)


Semicolon using a transition word


Makes life easier for you and for the reader as the transition word clarifies how the two parts of the sentence are related.


Example: Oprah Winfrey was nominated for Oscar for the best supporting role; however, it was her groundbreaking media accomplishments that made everyone recognize her talent.


Fancy openers and transitions to sprinkle your text with


There is a hot debate over…


Use this pattern to introduce your topic.


Example: There is a hot debate over whether the automated driverless cars should be allowed to roam freely on the streets.


There is no doubt/denying that…


This opening is a nice twist to describing a fact or a phenomenon.


Example: There is no doubt that literacy is a staple skill for the modern human being.


X and Y share a common denominator...


Use this fancy math term when referring to common characteristics in anything.


Example: Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart share a common denominator-they both have built successful media empires on their personal brand.


Further evidence supporting/against X may lie in the findings of Y, who...


Use this pattern to make a fancy introduction to the citation.


Example: Further evidence supporting the addictive character of unpacking videos for toddlers may lie in the findings of David A. Craig, who researched this phenomenon in 2017.


There is a rapidly growing literature on X, which indicates that…


Use this pattern to point out an important argument or subject in your essay.


Example: There is a rapidly growing literature on inclusive programs, which indicates the raise in teachers enthusiasm to work with the autism disorders.


With this in mind...


Use this when you want to shift your arguments to another field of knowledge.


Example: We’ve seen that the Beat generation poets overthrew the values of the society they dwelled in. With this in mind, let’s look at a Rimbaud’s thrusts at the ethics of the 19th century France.


To that end...


Use it when you can’t beat the desire to write “So...”


Example: The scientists were puzzled by the calculations behind the Mayan calendars for decades. To that end, a new computer program was developed to analyze all the massive of data the ancients had to process.


A point often overlooked...


Use it to focus the reader’s attention on an important argument.


Example: Point often overlooked is that Oprah Winfrey was the first to popularize the intimate form of a talk show, adopted by all channels ever since.


Proponents of X, have also suggested that Y...


Use this to highlight the connection between the two arguments.


Example: Proponents of the unpacking videos ban, have also suggested that the screen time for the toddlers should be limited to 30 minutes a day.


From what has been discussed above, we may conclude that…


This sentence is a great opening for the conclusion of your paper, where you have to restate your thesis.


Example: From what has been discussed above, we may conclude that the poetry of the Beat Generation was massively influenced by the French Symbolists.


Wrap it Up


Congratulations! Now you know how to avoid sounding too long, too short, or too complicated. You also know how to build up your topic on well-written balanced sentences.


Furthermore, with these classy openers and transitions, your academic and formal writing will progress to the next level in no time. Make sure to use one of these awesome patterns today to impress your professor.


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