BlogHow to Use ProWritingAidAll About the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure Report

All About the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure Report

Varied sentence structures help you better emphasize words and ideas and keep your reader engaged.

Our Sentence Structure report analyzes how you start each sentence in your text and compares your usage of different sentence structures to published texts in your genre.

It's important to learn how you start and structure your sentences. You might not realize that you consistently start your sentences with adverbs, for instance. When you use the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure report, you can see if you strongly prefer one form over another.

It's also useful to know how your work compares to averages in your genre. While every author obviously has a different voice, knowing the averages for your genre can help you make sure you're matching up to industry standards.

Contents:
  1. How to Use the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure Report
  2. Why Is The Sentence Structure Report Useful?

How to Use the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure Report

To use the ProWritingAid Sentence Structure report, head over to your desktop app. Once your file is pulled up click on the "Structure" icon.

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You'll see the report pop on the left.

Sentence Structure Sidebar

You'll also see your sentences underlined on the right. The colors of the underlines correspond to the different types of sentence starters you see on the left.

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The report on the left shows you the breakdown of how you start each of your sentences. The report shows how many sentences you start with a subject, with an adverb, with a subordinate conjunction, and more.

Next to the number, you'll see how your percentage matches up with other work in your genre. You can see if your percentage is higher or lower.

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You can't make any direct changes to your work using the sentence structure report. Rather, this report is important for you to see how your text compares and what changes you should consider making. Remember, any changes you make to your text are optional - be sure to weigh whether the solution works for you and your work!

Why Is The Sentence Structure Report Useful?

It’s true what they say: "Variety is the spice of life." There’s a reason these axioms are still around today. When you vary your sentence structures, readers will be more engaged.

Think about those boring teachers in school who only spoke in a monotone with dull language. Seriously, you fell asleep in those classes, didn’t you? But those teachers who kept your rapt attention mixed it up a bit to keep you awake.

Beyond mixing up your sentence lengths, start your sentences differently. Begin some with gerunds or a subordinate conjunction. Be brave and start sentences with a past participle or an adverb.

The beauty of the Sentence Structure Check is that it shows you how your writing compares to already published works. If you’re interested in learning from others, this is an easy way to see how your work stacks up.

Have you tried out the Sentence Structure report yet? What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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When a reader sees a grammar error, they start to lose faith in the writer who made it.

ProWritingAid is one of the best grammar checkers out there – but it’s far more than that! The editing tool also looks at elements of structure and style that have an impact on how strong and readable your writing is.

More, it helps you learn as you edit, making you a better writer every time you use the program.

The best way to find out how much ProWritingAid can do is to try it yourself!

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Hayley Milliman

Hayley Milliman

Content Lead

Hayley is the Head of Learning at ProWritingAid. Prior to joining this team, Hayley spent several years as an elementary school teacher and curriculum developer in Memphis, TN. When Hayley isn't hunched over her keyboard, you can find her figure skating at the ice rink or hiking with her dog.

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What does the underline colors means?
I would like to know what the colours mean. At the moment it's somewhat daunting to say the least.
I love this idea. One small nitpick though; it would be useful if you could add the percentage in published writing to those sentences which have 0% starting rate. It would be a great gauge to evaluate where my document is in regards to other literature.
I need to question the value of the structure report because the percentages do not add up to 100. What do the other sentences begin with?
Pretty useful report. It may be a bit more useful if I can also understand why. For example, in one sample writing, 57% of my sentences start with a subject compared to 8% of industry publications. I will check with more documents but I want to understand why 8% is the industry standard? How was that standard derived? What sources were used for the standard? Blogs? Newspaper articles?
Hi there, we compile these results based on several published texts of each genre. Thanks for commenting!
The sentence structure report seems weird. 8% of sentences in published writing start with a subject???? My draft ran over 40%. And checking samples of multiple published writers, including Jane Austen and Robert Heinlein, I got 40%+ for every one. 8% seems weirdly low.
I don't have this on my program. How do I get it?
Hi there, the Structure report can be found on the desktop or web apps only. Hope that helps!
Hi there, the Structure report can be found on the desktop or web apps only. Hope that helps!
I've just checked that my Word Add In is up to date but there's no Sentence Structure Report between Echoes and Sentences. So where is it please?
Hi there, the Structure report is only available on our desktop and web apps at this time. Feel free to try them out!
I assume the numbers vary from genre to genre. Is there a way to specify the genre used? If not, is the statistics for fiction or non-fiction as those would differ. Finally, is there an inventory of the all the possible styles and an example of each?
Hi there, we do not have sentence structure reports based on genre, but it's something we could try for the future. Thanks for the suggestion!
I agree with this suggestion wholeheartedly. It would be great to see genre subcategories under "Creative". Also, I noticed the percentages in the creative category just changed drastically. How did you arrive at these numbers? Were new texts analyzed? Which ones? I would love to see these stats.
Nice idea, but I don't know what most of the structure comments mean. There are no examples either.
Being new at this, it would be helpful if when the Sentence Structure report gives your percentage compared to published writing we could see in the How to Use blog above whether a higher or a lower score than the published writing percentage is good or bad. You have so many good suggestions in other analysis reports, I'd like to see the same in this How To Use blog above or in the report itself. For example: if my score is higher than the average, should I work toward a lower percentage or if I have a low percentage should I adjust the sentences toward achieving a score closer to the average? This would give me some idea of what I should do. A good example of the kind of suggestions I'm talking about is when comments come up regarding how many adverbs or words ending in ing you should have, then it tells you how many of the total to delete to be okay. That way I know, the score I should strive for.
Should we change the sentence structure to match more closely to other writers in our genre? Mine my be off around 1/2 to the lowest 2%.
What do the colors mean
Hi there! The different colors highlight different aspects of your writing that you may want to take a closer look at, and correlate with whichever report you are running. There isn't a specific "color code." They really just help point out where the user can focus their attention. :)
Perhaps there should be some colour focussing to help people get the most out of the reports, because to be faced with entire paragraphs underlined with no indicator makes my brain run away and hide.
Great feedback! Thank you very much for your candid opinion - we will give your suggestion some thought!
This is hard to follow. 1) Most of my writing is underlined in blue. Does it mean I have started too many sentences with a SUBJECT and so should change my work TO VARY how I start my sentences? 2) Which is right and which is wrong on that list on the left of the page?
Hi there! Thanks for the feedback. Let's see if I can help clarify. 1) Yes! Exactly. 2) The table on the lefthand side of the page does not alert you to "right or wrong" sentences. Rather, the numbers provided give you insight into your writing patterns so that you can go back to your work and have a goal in mind when revising your sentences.

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