Kathy Edens
Copywriter, ghostwriter, and content strategy specialist
Published Jun 20, 2019

Person writing

What’s one of the smartest things you can do when you’re starting your writing career? Study how others do it, especially those who do it well.

Many gurus and experts suggest you copy brilliant writing by hand and word-for-word. There’s a scientific connection between the physical elements of writing by hand on paper and learning. Since handwriting is slower than typing, you have time to think about each word more in-depth as you write. It gives you an opportunity to understand why the author chose that specific word over others.

At ProWritingAid, we also believe in helping you learn from published works, so we created the Sentence Structure Check.

Contents:
  1. What is the Sentence Structure Check?
  2. Why is this report useful?
  3. Final thoughts

What is the Sentence Structure Check?

Wouldn’t it be great to compare how you’ve structured your sentences to experts in your field? You can do that with ProWritingAid’s Sentence Structure Check. It analyzes each sentence in your manuscript and tallies up how many start with a subject, an adverb, a gerund, an infinitive, and more. Then it shows you the percentage of your sentences that start that way compared to published works.

Let’s look at an example.

Sentence Structure Check

The report summary on the left-hand side of the screenshot shows the percentage of your sentence constructions and the percentage of published works with those constructions. The first sentence structure is the classic one that starts with a "subject" and the report shows you’ve hit 72% as compared to 72% in published writing. Good job!

Also notice in the green menu at the top right-hand corner, you can select "Writing Style." Change this if you’re writing General, Academic, Business, Technical, Casual, Creative, or Web content, and you’ll see results for those styles.

Why is this 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.

Final thoughts

You can’t make any changes in the Sentence Structure Check. It’s just a guideline to help you see where your work stands compared to others. This report is one more way we can help you write like the greats out there.

So, don’t try to analyze each sentence in someone else’s work to see how many sentences start with a subject. Who has time for that? ProWritingAid does it for you with the click of your mouse.

Isn’t technology great?

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Kathy Edens
Copywriter, ghostwriter, and content strategy specialist

Kathy Edens is a blogger, a ghost writer, and content master who loves writing about anything and everything. Check out her books: The Novel-Writing Training Plan: 17 Steps to Get Your Ideas in Shape for the Marathon of Writing and Creating Legends: How to Craft Characters Readers Adore... or Despise.

Hi Kathy, When I try to use Sentence Structure Check, sentences and paragraphs change to varying colours, but there is no explanation what those colours mean, or how to use the function other than some text that makes no sense to me, such as "56% of sentences start with a subject" does it mean that that sentence does not start with a subject? If so, which sentence? Because it does not seem to link to a sentence. Can you help me out? Rob
By kenrob2037 on 03 July 2019, 06:13 AM