I analyzed a response paper I wrote for a Spring 2013 Communications class, where the prompt was to reflect on the week’s assigned readings. Even though it was a personal response paper, where it was acceptable to use the first-person pronoun, most of the paper was written from the third-person point of view with a formal tone. I am not surprised that I took this approach in a response paper because I tend to err on the side of caution to make sure that my writing is appropriate for the situation or audience.
My “go-to” sentence shape in this paper appeared to be the Periodic Sentence. I found that I added many modifiers before arriving at the main clause of many of my sentences. At the time, I believed building long wordy sentences would make me sound intelligent. But, looking back, this style just makes the paper difficult to follow.
Furthermore, many of my sentences began with either “However” or “Rather.” I found that about half the sentences I wrote were actually just fluff leading up to my main point in the second sentence. Once again, I used far too many words to discuss a single idea, making the paper hard to read.
In the future I hope to strive for greater clarity in my writing. I will use this analysis of my writing style to become more aware of my sentence shapes and the effect my style choices might have on my reader.