Business Writing

A tip for writing better sentences

25. 1. 2016

In the past few posts we’ve looked at some common sentence problems. We’ve also looked at what makes a sentence and types of sentences. Now we’ll look at writing better sentences. This is a tip about style.

When you’re editing your first draft, it’s a good idea to check if you have used parallel structures. Checking this will help make sure that your sentences are grammatically consistent, and using parallel structures makes your sentences easier to read.

What is a parallel structure?

If your sentence has sections that have similar content and function, write them in a similar way.

For example, make sure verbs tenses are consistent.

  • He was researching, drafted and writing the report.

☑He researched, drafted and wrote the report.

  • Before the meeting we need to: draft the agenda, arranging the venue, setting up the refreshments, and invite the participants.

☑Before the meeting we need to: draft the agenda, arrange the venue, set up the refreshments, and invite the participants.

It’s also important to think about other types of words.

  • Small group meetings will take place both in and outside of the main conference hall.

☑Small group meetings will take place both inside and outside of the main conference hall.

Usually we make this kind of mistake when we’re in a hurry, so make sure you have time to read through your writing before you have to send or submit it.

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