Long Sentences: How it can Improve Your Writing

Long sentences can be likened to mountains, where the top…

Long sentences can be likened to mountains, where the top of the peak is the sentence’s main idea. Every phrase that leads to that idea is a part of the main idea. 

The more you write in the mountain part of your sentence, the more the top of the peak will rise above the other mountains.

We often follow the advice to keep our sentences short. But when we write long sentences, we transcend the boundaries of language and community. 

Long sentences are hard to write — but they pay off handsomely in the world of novels, article writing, and research papers. 

 “Wait, they are still reading?” There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the satisfaction on your reader’s faces when they finally finish the sentence. The feeling is refreshing! 

Throughout literature, long sentences have been used to increase the intensity and create a sense of excitement at the end. 

Some of the longest respected sentences in literature work are so because they “commanded and carried the reader up and down the reader’s spine.” 

The best writers have learned to think fast and write deep. Here are some successful long sentences you can steal.

JANE AUSTEN, “NORTHANGER ABBEY.” 119 WORDS.

“Her plan for the morning thus settled, she sat quietly down to her book after breakfast, resolving to remain in the same place and the same employment till the clock struck one; and from habitude very little incommoded by the remarks and ejaculations of Mrs. Allen, whose vacancy of mind and incapacity for thinking were such, that as she never talked a great deal, so she could never be entirely silent; and, therefore, while she sat at her work, if she lost her needle or broke her thread, if she heard a carriage in the street, or saw a speck upon her gown, she must observe it aloud, whether there were anyone at leisure to answer her or not.”

MIGUEL DE CERVANTES, “DON QUIXOTE.” 200 WORDS. 

“About this time, when some rain began to fall, Sancho proposed that they should shelter themselves in the fulling-mill, but Don Quixote had conceived such abhorrence for it, on account of what was past, that he would no means set foot within its wall; wherefore, turning to the right-hand, they chanced to fall in with a road different from that in which they had traveled the day before; they had not gone far, when the knight discovered a man riding with something on his head, that glittered like polished gold, and scarce had he descried this phenomenon, when turning to Sancho, “I find,” said he, “that every proverb is strictly true; indeed, all of them are apothegms dictated by experience herself; more especially, that which says, “shut one door, and another will soon open”: this I mention, because, if last night, fortune shut against us the door we fought to enter, by deceiving us with the fulling-hammers; today another stands wide open, in proffering to use us, another greater and more certain adventure, by which, if I fail to enter, it shall be my own fault, and not imputed to my ignorance of fulling-mills, or the darkness of the night.”

ANNIE PROULX, “CLOSE RANGE.” 142 WORDS.

“But Pake knew a hundred dirt road shortcuts, steering them through scabland and slope country, in and out of the tiger shits, over the tawny plain still grooved with pilgrim wagon ruts, into early darkness and the first storm laying down black ice, hard orange dawn, the world smoking, snaking dust devils on bare dirt, heat boiling out of the sun until the paint on the truck hood curled, ragged webs of dry rain that never hit the ground, through small-town traffic and stock on the road, band of horses in morning fog, two redheaded cowboys moving a house that filled the roadway and Pake busting around and into the ditch to get past, leaving junkyards and Mexican cafes behind, turning into midnight motel entrances with RING OFFICE BELL signs or steering onto the black prairie for a stunned hour of sleep.”

These works of literature are forms of long sentences, sometimes with many, sometimes with few punctuation points. The long sentences are written in a style of diction that is distinct.

When these long sentences are broken up by a sentence not as long as the others, the reader senses a’ pause’ in the text. These are called “breaks.” 

To see a sentence break, take a long sentence from two different works of literature. Show how it is broken and how the writer uses punctuation to give it structure. 

A long sentence is a sentence where there’s at least one paragraph. That’s it. If it’s one paragraph, then you can’t be done. There are, of course, different ways to write a long sentence to make it interesting for the reader. How does one write flawless engaging long sentences?

Here are some ways to write better long sentences:

  • You could use a phrase, a series of phrases, or a series of words – that can make your point memorable. The first step, of course, is to make the sentence enjoyable.
  • It would be best to keep your subject and verb close together at the BEGINNING of a long sentence. The subject is the lead “actor” in the sentence, and the verb is the principal action or “doing” word.
  • Use Fact, Reason, Result, and Outcome to write long sentences. This structured method will produce meaningful long sentences in your writing. 

An example of this is: “My best color is black (Fact), I think it is such a happy and optimistic color (Reason); therefore, I have so many yellow accessories and furniture in my home (Result), which I believe it gives me lots of energy (outcome).”

4. Using unusual and unexpected words to create a more robust structure. It creates a connection between the speaker and the listener. It makes the listener think.

5. When using long sentences, the end of each one should be a complete sentence. 

Many scholars have argued that literature would be impossible to read without long sentences. Teachers often recommend writing lengthy sentences in their literature lessons and literature classes. 

Why do they recommend it? What benefits can a long sentence bring? 

  •  Long sentences are written so that the writer puts enough attention to details, which increases the reader’s interest. 
  • Long sentences create better flow. When we read shorter sentences, we are more likely to skip to the end and read the last sentence of the paragraph. 
  • As long sentences give many details, they enable the reader to grasp them better. 
  • Longer sentences increase the readability of your writing. If your sentence is short, the reader won’t get all the essential details and nuances that your sentence includes.
  • Longer sentences are more exciting and attractive. They allow a writer put more information into your work without having it cluttered. 
  • A long sentence can be written in a way that builds the scene and keeps the reader’s attention
  • Longer sentences create better suspense.

Authors routinely craft lengthy sentences in their work with daunting results–often stunningly good results.

A long sentence, when done well, is complex, interesting, deeply meaningful, and can resonate with readers. It can also be a powerful tool. 

Longer sentences express complex ideas sincerely, keep readers’ attention and direct them in different directions. They give extra meanings and serve as great pointers in a narrative.

Frequently asked questions

How can I improve my writing?

  • Write in direct tone. It is important to write in a clear and concise manner.
  • The wise choice of words.
  • You can use short sentences more effectively than long ones.
  • Write short paragraphs
  • Always use active voice.
  • Make edits to your work.
  • In a natural, conversational tone.
  • Read famous authors

Why is sentence length important?

Sentence length matters. This determines whether you will retain your writing and absorb what you have to say or move on to the next article.

How can students improve their writing skills?

  • Developing ideas
  • Finding the right focus and thesis.
  • Composing a draft
  • I am getting feedback and comments from others.
  • Revision of the draft through expanding ideas, defining meanings, and reorganizing.
  • Editing
  • Preparing your finished product for readers.

What do long sentences mean in literature?

This allows you to explore more deeply, give vivid descriptions, and develop tension with longer sentences.

What is one of the best ways to improve sentence flow in an essay?

You can establish a connection between events, stress important information, and create a smooth flow of ideas by combining two or more short sentences. In addition to improving your writing skills, your use of varied and sophisticated sentence structure will help you convey your message more effectively.

What is the meaning of long sentence?

The writer is more likely to read a long sentence in which his or her core has been delayed to the middle of the sentence or in which the core has to be broken up to remind readers how the sentence began.

What words can I use to make my essay longer?

  • Similarly
  • Moreover. Use “moreover” at the beginning of a sentence for extra information related to a point you’re making.
  • What’s more
  • Recall to remember one more thing.
  • Furthermore
  • Likewise
  • and also
  • As well as

How does sentence length affect writing?

Readers are less familiar with sentences that are longer. The number of long sentences (30+ words) is difficult to digest. However, short sentences often don’t make a message stick. A string of medium sentences (15-25 words) is monotonous.

How does sentence length affect tone?

In a sentence, altering the number of words affects how a piece is read. The rhythm is created by it. Writing fluency is all about how the story sounds. The number of words used for each sentence serves as an undercurrent for tone and message.

How can I improve my writing skills in English?

  • Take your time to read as much as possible.
  • Organize a dictionary of English.
  • Improve your grammar
  • Make sure your spelling is correct before and after writing.
  • Write a diary in English.
  • Learn how to turn your basic sentences into complex ones.
  • How to organize a paragraph.
  • Write an outline

How long a sentence should be?

Developing a magic number or formula for determining when a sentence is too long is difficult. A 12-word sentence that minces words can be too long, while a crystal clear, beautifully-crafted 22-word sentence can be perfect. In general, however, you should never exceed 30 words.

How do you write a long sentence?

When you’re writing a long sentence, keep your subject and your verb close together, and as close as possible to the beginning of the sentence. ..(If your grammar is a little dusty, all you need to know is that the subject is the main “actor” in the sentence and the verb is the basic action or “doing” word.).

How can I improve my long sentences?

Pairing shorter sentences with longer ones is a simple way of fixing short sentences that are choppy. You should avoid strings of short, vaguely related sentences with coordinating conjunctions (or, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). Subordinate conjunctions (after, since, while, because, etc.).

Are long sentences good?

The length of your sentence can ruin your writing. Clarity and comprehensibility mark academic writing. This is why long sentences are often discouraged. Never-ending sentences are both dull and make the paper look dull.

How can I improve my reading and writing skills?

  • Do a daily exercise with writing. This makes perfect practice!
  • Read, read, and read another book.
  • Be Succinct
  • It Is Never Underestimated to Define a Thorough Editing Session.
  • Create a clear message.
  • Write! Sit down and do it!
Long Sentences: How it can Improve Your Writing

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

Write longer essays with these tips

Almost all advice about how to make your essay longer tells you to do gimmicky things that will lead to…

May 14, 2022

Write a Unique 2000 Words Article in Record Time

Writing a 2000 words article in a short period can seem like an impossible dream for many writers. Are you…

May 14, 2022

The Ultimate Guide to How Long Should a Blog post be

How long should a blog post be is an often asked question. The answers are different according to whom you…

May 14, 2022

Interesting Basic Tips How to Make Your Essay Better

There might be a lot of tips you see online on how to make your essay better. An essay is…

May 14, 2022

The Longform Article: Why you need it

The longform article is meant to solve problems. But should you use long form pieces for every business problem? Keep…

May 12, 2022

How Many Pages is 3000 Words: A Key to Convert Word Count

To start, let’s define what a standard 3,000-word essay should look like. How many pages is 3000 words falls anywhere…

May 12, 2022

How Many Pages is 1200 Words: a Standard Guide

Your essay is due and despite your best efforts, you’ve left it to the last minute. Your teacher has given…

May 12, 2022

Essay extender techniques to try

Almost all advice about using an essay extender technique tells you to do gimmicky things that will lead to a…

May 12, 2022

A Guide to Use Adjectives to Start a Sentence

One of the easiest ways to improve one’s writing is to use adjectives to start a sentence. Teachers and professors…

May 12, 2022