How to use... The Sticky Sentence Report

by ProWritingAid Apr 25, 2016, 4 Comments

How to use the sticky sentence report

A sticky sentence is one that is full of glue words.

Glue words are the empty space that readers need to get through before they can get to your ideas. Generally, your sentences should contain less than 45% glue words. If they contain more, they should probably be re-written to increase clarity.

What are glue words in sticky sentences?

Let’s look at some examples.

  • ORIGINAL: Dave walked over into the back yard of the school in order to see if there was a new bicycle that he could use in his class. Glue index: 60.7% - Sentence length 27 words

  • REDRAFT: Dave checked the school’s back yard for a new bicycle to use in class. Glue index: 42.8% - Sentence length 14 words

The second sentence is much easier to read. Unnecessary information has been discarded, and the wording is more concise. The point of the sentence comes across clearly.

  • ORIGINAL: I was able to use the information that I have in my files and spoke to a number of people about the problem and managed to resolve it. Glue index: 57% - Sentence length 28 words
  • REDRAFT: I resolved the problem using my contacts and the available information. Glue index: 36% - Sentence length 11 words

Like many of the tips in this guide, you need to use your own judgement as the author. Sometimes a sentence will be sticky and it’s the only way that it works. That’s fine. But statistics show that published writing has a low percentage of glue words, so always go back and reassess your sticky sentences.

This and other great tips for using ProWritingAid are included in our ebook: 20 Editing Tips From Professional Writers. Download it for free now!

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Comments (4) Add Yours

  • radiantsharon says
    A quick exploration of this tool impressed me. My writing needs it. Sharon Sterling, Author
    Posted On Apr 26, 2016 | 05:32
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  • redshadow47 says
    ghost writing quickly can enhance bad habits over time, so a tool like this is great to keep yourself in check sometimes, make sure you're not using glue words just to get the word count or otherwise slacking. Although I must say I don't want to run some of my comedic, cliche-riddled work through that thing or I might break it!
    Posted On May 24, 2016 | 10:47
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  • locdang54 says
    Tips on writing support writing very much, especially for those learning and practising writing.
    Posted On Aug 08, 2016 | 08:10
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  • pauln08 says
    The sticky sentence check is great but currently the MS Word ad-on does not highlight the glue words that are not in sticky sentences. It would be nice if be nice if you provided an option to highlight the words in the future, Paul Nieto, Blogger
    Posted On Nov 04, 2016 | 04:06
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