The Grammar Doctor

Effective Sentences

An effective sentence is like a
skilled athlete moving toward a goal.
Effective sentences have a quality that enables them to convey an idea with clarity and style. They have a ring to them. They give the reader a sense of what in them is most important. They do all this with a minimum of words.

An effective sentence is like an athlete jumping over a hurdle. As you watch him run toward the hurdle, you have no doubt about where he is going. Every movement of his body is directed toward his goal. There is no wasted action. You admire his gracefulness as he approaches the hurdle and sails over it with apparent ease.

Like an athlete, an effective sentence moves toward a goal, wasting no motion. It focuses on what is important. It has rhythm. In a skillful athlete we admire the unity and clarity of his purpose, the economy, focus, and rhythm of his movement. These are also the qualities of effective sentences.

Clear Sentences

Clear sentences are unified, economical, clear, and coherent.

Sentences that Flow

Effective sentences flow. They capture the reader's attention. They echo in his mind and brand themselves in his memory. They achieve these effects through sharp images, compelling logic, and musical language. They have variety, emphasis, and rhythm.