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Skidmore College
The Skidmore Guide to Writing

Awkward Sentences (awk.)

Because of awkward sentence structure or word choice, the meaning of a passage can be hard to follow.

If you find that your writing is awkward

  • make sure that your verb follows your subject, without any clauses in between
  • include transitional words to help your reader follow your logic
  • use direct, concrete words rather than high-flown language; your instructor cares about your ideas, not about your ability to use a thesaurus
  • use active rather than passive construction
  • if appropriate, make your subject a concrete noun
  • use vivid, active verbs rather than forms of "to be."

Click here to read about other terms you may find in professors' comments.