01 Jun 09
05 Jan 11 3:26 am
Article Writing: Sentences
Here I am again with advice that I hope at least a few will find useful :)
When writing web content we want our output to be easy for our site visitors to read. With this goal in mind, it is in our interest to keep our sentences short and simple. Long, complex sentences can obscure our intended message and confuse our readers. We need to go straight to the point. As mentioned in the blog post Why it's bad to assume your visitors are smart - Dealing with "The 30% Brain"
:"Basically, when we're browsing the internet, our brains aren't really at full capacity. (And when I say we I mean the internet-using population in general.) We might be just wandering around, browsing on our lunch break. We might just be looking for a quick answer. We might have stumbled upon something by accident.
We have a very limited attention span, and if something doesn't grab us, or make complete sense within the first few seconds, we're probably going to shrug our shoulders and go somewhere else."
So we should make our sentences so that our complete thought is conveyed in a few, simple words. Note complete thought
. That means that you must construct your sentence so that it has all the necessary elements to express your ideas.
A sentence must have a subject
and a predicate
. The subject names what the sentence is about. The predicate states what the subject is or does. In some cases the predicate cannot complete the meaning of a sentence and need to have a complement
. Complements are a word or group of words that complete the thought of a sentence.
A group of words that starts with a capital letter and ends with a punctuation mark, has a subject and predicate but does not express a complete thought is called a sentence fragment
. We must avoid sentence fragments because they confuse readers and interfere with our ability to get our message across. We need to write complete sentences, adding complements where needed.