Below are extracts from a useful article about how to write a good sentence. This has implications for MBA applicants and MBA admissions essay writers, because good sentences are the bones of a good application essay.
You don’t need to write beautiful, poetic prose to get into business school. But clean sentences that clearly carry your meaning gets your admissions value across more compellingly, with less lost in the fuzz and crackle of word noise. Also, as say and keep on saying, cutting wasted words and empty phrases leaves you more space for content that matters.
Here are some highlights:
“The sentence is the Ur-unit, the core material, the granular element that must be got right or nothing will be right.
“What can celebrated writers teach the rest of us about the art of writing a great sentence? A common piece of writing advice is to make your sentences plain, unadorned and invisible. For James Baldwin, the only goal was “to write a sentence as clean as a bone”.
“George Orwell gave this piece of advice its epigram: Good prose is like a windowpane. A reader should notice the words no more than someone looking through glass notices the glass.
“The word ‘sentence’ comes from the Latin sentire, to feel. A sentence must be felt by the reader, and a feeling is something that grows and fades like anything else that is alive.
“Rookie sentence-writers are often too busy worrying about the something they are trying to say and don’t worry enough about how that something looks and sounds. They look straight past the words into the meaning that they have strong-armed into them. They fasten on content and forget about form – forgetting that content and form are the same thing, that what a sentence says is the same as how it says it.
Dare to bare
“Sentences have become less shackled to each other. Those written a few hundred years ago typically began with a whereof or a howsobeit, to resume an unfinished thought. And they used lots of conjunctive adverbs, those connecting words like moreover, namely and indeed. Such adverbs are in historical retreat.
Think like a reader
“A good lesson for any writer: make each sentence worth reading.”
Full article here.