“Writing and rewriting are a constant search for what it is one is saying.”

—John Updike

A photograph of a young man looking confused or wary

Source: Huh, Mathiieu Oliveri, Flickr

One of the things you can do to make your writing more interesting and captivating is to vary the types of sentences you use in a paragraph or essay. It’s also important to pay attention to how you begin each sentence to ensure sentences don’t sound alike. Revising your writing can be both the most difficult part of writing and the most rewarding.

By revising your sentences, you will make your writing more interesting. You can see how this works in the paragraph below.

A photograph of a sign in the shape of Texas with the word “Texas “carved into it. There is a baby standing in front of it wearing a diaper, a cowboy hat, boots, and wearing a toy pistol belt.

Source: Texas line, alan berning, Flickr

Texas is a big state. It has much to offer. Some people like mountains. They can visit the western part of the state to see them. Others would rather be at the beach. The Gulf Coast has many fun things to do. Cities like San Antonio have lots of culture. You can visit the Alamo. You can walk down the River Walk. You could see a Spurs game during basketball season. Texas has something for everyone.

This writing is not very exciting, is it? That’s because each sentence is a simple sentence, and every sentence begins in the same way. This makes the writing sound choppy. Although you may not write in this simple manner, the truth is that your writing can always be revised and improved.

Read a revised version of the paragraph below.

Texas is a big state with much to offer. People who like mountains can visit the western part of the state to see them. Those who would rather be at the beach will enjoy the Gulf Coast, which has many fun things to do. Cities like San Antonio have lots of culture. You can visit the Alamo, walk down the River Walk, or enjoy a Spurs game during basketball season. Texas has something for everyone.

The writer of this paragraph made some revisions to the first draft. The writer worked on combining sentences so that the writing flows more smoothly. Combining simple sentences into compound and compound-complex sentences improves the paragraph’s readability.

In this lesson, you will review the different types of clauses and sentences. You will also use editing strategies to help you add variety to your sentences. A step-by-step process of editing will enable you to refine your writing.