I analyzed an essay I wrote in English 125 that dealt with the motif of water in the book “Zeitoun” by Dave Eggers. The first thing that I noticed was my tendency to begin sentences with a qualifying, dependent clause. Examples include “The youngest in a lineage of sailors,…” and “In his telling of Katrina’s action and aftermath,…”. Though often effective for establishing comparisons/opposing ideas, reading the essay again there were times when this habit got tiresome. Nevertheless, I do try to mix compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences and mix those that start with dependent clauses and those that do not. I often find myself keeping a sense of “rhythm” in my head as I write, and this helps mix up my sentence length and construction. One variety of sentence that was rare in this piece was the shorter, simple sentence, and this could be employed to curb especially wordy passages.
Apparently I am also fond of using periodic construction i.e. “Then in 1964, while driving on the highway in Egypt, Mohammed was killed in a car crash.” I think this stylistic habit goes hand-in-hand with the dependent clause at the beginning of sentences and contributes to a building suspense. Also adding to the momentum of the essay was my use of the active voice, a stylistic move that I have tried to incorporate more in the past couple years. Overall, I found the tone of my writing to be very formal. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as I think it comes across as clear and concise, but experimenting with different tones, maybe similar to how I speak, is something I want to try in future writing.