Improve Your Writing Tip #17: Don't repeat sentence starts

The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.
Published Jan 03, 2019

Improve your writing

Generally speaking, writers should vary their sentence starts. Otherwise, things become unreadable. Just imagine the following paragraph:

I went on vacation. I got lost on the way to the hotel. I got a key card but the key card didn't work, so I got another one. I liked my hotel room. I took a nap. I watched the football game after that.

This is fine for a five-year-old, but otherwise unacceptable. When we start each sentence in the same way (in this case, "I" followed by a verb), we create monotony. It sounds a bit like a laundry list, doesn't it? And nobody wants to read a laundry list.

Thankfully, repeated sentence starts are pretty easy to spot. You'll likely catch them as you proofread. For additional help, you can also read your work aloud. If for some reason you don't see those repeated sentence starts, you'll likely hear them.

Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. For example, anaphora is a linguistic device in which the writer deliberately repeats sentence starts for literary effect. A classic example: "She did this. She did that. She did the other thing." As we can see, anaphora is best used to imply repetition. Just don't overdo it.

Want another way to catch repeated sentence starts? Our writing improvement software is perfect for the task. It highlights all repeated sentence starts so you can vary them when needed.

That's the last of our writing tips! We hope they've helped you.

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The ProWritingAid Team
ProWritingAid: A grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.

The most successful people in the world have coaches. Whatever your level of writing, ProWritingAid will help you achieve new heights. Exceptional writing depends on much more than just correct grammar. You need an editing tool that also highlights style issues and compares your writing to the best writers in your genre. ProWritingAid helps you find the best way to express your ideas.

or even vary it

By jacquie wyatt on 24 August 2014, 08:26 AM