You aren't writing in proper sentences....
This is a common criticism of student's essays. Lots of tutors have definite ideas of what is a proper sentence and what isn't. Other comments might be:
- This is badly written...
- This doesn't flow from one idea to the next...
- This doesn't make sense.
It all adds up to the fact that if you don't use the right kind of sentences, then lots of tutors are going to think that you are writing badly. Not writing proper sentences is a serious fault. It's like getting apostrophes wrong, or spelling a word wrong in the title of the essay. You can lose marks for it.
What is a sentence?
A sentence needs a subject (the person or thing that is doing something) and a verb that relates to it (the action that the subject is carrying out). For example, "I slept" is a sentence with "I" as the subject and "slept" as the verb.
Two tips for writing clear sentences
- Put the subject near to the start of the sentence. This makes it clear what the sentence is going to be talking about.
- Keep the verb near to the subject. If the subject and verb are too far apart, this makes the sentence difficult to follow.
On the next page, we're going to look at some common mistakes in sentences, and work out ways of spotting them and putting them right.