Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Syntactical Qualities of Strong Writing

This is a list of characteristic to which strong writers adhere. I'm reading them for homework (Writing Poetry by Michelle Boisseau, Robert Wallace, and Randall Mann) in my Poetry class and thought they would be helpful to other writers.

1. Place main ideas in main clauses and subordinate ideas in subordinate clauses.

2. Use parallel structures for parallel ideas.

3. Put modifiers next to the nous they modify

4. Use active voice. ("The dog bit the boy" vs. "The boy was bitten by the dog.")

5. Vary sentence structure.

6. Set the most significant part of a sentence at the end.

7. Use unusual syntax only when appropriate to meaning.

8. Break any rule that makes you sound ludicrous.

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