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Sentence Structure: Creating Variety in Your Writing

In this worksheet, students consider ways of adding variety to the structure of their written work.

'Sentence Structure: Creating Variety in Your Writing' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 3

Curriculum topic:   Writing

Curriculum subtopic:   Use Growing Knowledge to Support Writing

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

 

 

It is important to vary the structure of your written work to make it more interesting. Here are three ways that you can do it:

 

1) Use a mixture of simple, compound and complex sentences.

for example:

It was raining. (simple)

It was raining but he didn't mind. (compound)

He went outside although it was raining. (complex)

 

2) Use a wide range of connectives to join and link your sentences.

for example:

however, although, additionally, whereas, so, but, if

 

3) Add meaning, depth and detail to your sentences through your choice of vocabulary and word classes.

for example:

Reluctantly, he got out his umbrella and approached the rainy street.

 

In this worksheet you can read some extracts from students' work and use the above information to decide what their targets for improvement could be.

Lizzy was bored. She was bored and tired. She didn't care who saw her. She yawned.

 

Which two of the following targets would you give this student?

Use more connectives.

Use shorter sentences.

Use some longer sentences.

Skateboarding is a highly addictive sport for many teenagers and other people, young and old alike. The buzz that it offers, as well as the 'cool' image it portrays, can tempt even the laziest, most apathetic person to join in. It is for this reason that teachers and other adults are supportive of the new skatepark plans which are being unveiled in the town centre this weekend, from 12pm onwards.

 

Which one of these targets would you give this student?

Use some shorter sentences.

Use complex sentences.

Vary sentence structure.

"If only I could go to the ball," Cinderella sighed. What joys and delights might she experience there? Cinderella was thinking about her life and her chances with the prince. She was wondering whether she could meet him and fall in love and marry him after all. "Oh well," she thought. "At least I've got my pet mice and frogs and newts in the garden for company."

 

Which TWO targets would you give this student?

Use different connectives.

Vary your sentences by using commas.

Use more questions.

Smoking is very bad for you. Doctors say that if you carry on smoking when you are old you could get very ill and also you could die from it. My mum smokes whereas my dad doesn't. Some people know about the risks but they ignore them. 

 

Which target would you give this student?

Use more connectives.

Use some shorter sentences.

Vary your sentence structure to add depth.

When I went to see Kings of Leon play at the O2 arena it was a memorable day in my life. The band showed off all of their talents and it was brilliant to see their skills in action. I always wanted to be a rock star and now I knew it was my destiny. 

 

Which targets would you give this student? Select all the ones that you think they need to work on.

Use a wider range of connectives.

Use commas to vary your sentences.

Use a variety of sentence lengths.

Which of the following connectives can be used to contrast different clauses or sentences? Select three boxes.

but

additionally

however

moreover

also

nevertheless

Which of the following connectives can be used to emphasise a point? Tick three boxes.

moreover

whereas

furthermore

in addition

however

but

Which of the following connectives have a similar meaning to the phrase 'as a result of this'? Tick two boxes.

consequently

but

finally

thus

however

Some connectives are conjunctions and can be used to link two clauses within a sentence. Other connectives should only be used to link separate sentences rather than within a sentence.

 

Look at the list of connectives and tick the three that are conjunctions.

although

later

nevertheless

because

however

whereas

Again, identify the three conjunctions in the list of connectives.

so

finally

while

moreover

but

consequently

  • Question 1

Lizzy was bored. She was bored and tired. She didn't care who saw her. She yawned.

 

Which two of the following targets would you give this student?

CORRECT ANSWER
Use more connectives.
Use some longer sentences.
EDDIE SAYS
The student has already used short sentences. Now they need to use some longer sentences and add some connectives to their work.
  • Question 2

Skateboarding is a highly addictive sport for many teenagers and other people, young and old alike. The buzz that it offers, as well as the 'cool' image it portrays, can tempt even the laziest, most apathetic person to join in. It is for this reason that teachers and other adults are supportive of the new skatepark plans which are being unveiled in the town centre this weekend, from 12pm onwards.

 

Which one of these targets would you give this student?

CORRECT ANSWER
Use some shorter sentences.
EDDIE SAYS
The student already uses complex sentences and adds detail through variety. They need to use some shorter sentences to keep the reader's interest.
  • Question 3

"If only I could go to the ball," Cinderella sighed. What joys and delights might she experience there? Cinderella was thinking about her life and her chances with the prince. She was wondering whether she could meet him and fall in love and marry him after all. "Oh well," she thought. "At least I've got my pet mice and frogs and newts in the garden for company."

 

Which TWO targets would you give this student?

CORRECT ANSWER
Use different connectives.
Vary your sentences by using commas.
EDDIE SAYS
The student already uses a question well here. They need to work on their range of connectives: whereas, but, furthermore, however, etc. They also need to use more commas to separate the different clauses in their sentences.
  • Question 4

Smoking is very bad for you. Doctors say that if you carry on smoking when you are old you could get very ill and also you could die from it. My mum smokes whereas my dad doesn't. Some people know about the risks but they ignore them. 

 

Which target would you give this student?

CORRECT ANSWER
Vary your sentence structure to add depth.
EDDIE SAYS
This student already uses a range of connectives and sentence lengths. They need to work on their sentence structure as there is not much variety or depth.
  • Question 5

When I went to see Kings of Leon play at the O2 arena it was a memorable day in my life. The band showed off all of their talents and it was brilliant to see their skills in action. I always wanted to be a rock star and now I knew it was my destiny. 

 

Which targets would you give this student? Select all the ones that you think they need to work on.

CORRECT ANSWER
Use a wider range of connectives.
Use commas to vary your sentences.
Use a variety of sentence lengths.
EDDIE SAYS
This student really needs to improve in all three areas!
  • Question 6

Which of the following connectives can be used to contrast different clauses or sentences? Select three boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
but
however
nevertheless
  • Question 7

Which of the following connectives can be used to emphasise a point? Tick three boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
moreover
furthermore
in addition
  • Question 8

Which of the following connectives have a similar meaning to the phrase 'as a result of this'? Tick two boxes.

CORRECT ANSWER
consequently
thus
  • Question 9

Some connectives are conjunctions and can be used to link two clauses within a sentence. Other connectives should only be used to link separate sentences rather than within a sentence.

 

Look at the list of connectives and tick the three that are conjunctions.

CORRECT ANSWER
although
because
whereas
EDDIE SAYS
It is a common mistake to use connectives like 'however' as conjunctions. The following sentence is incorrect and should be written as two separate sentences: It was raining however we went outside anyway.
  • Question 10

Again, identify the three conjunctions in the list of connectives.

CORRECT ANSWER
so
while
but
---- OR ----

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