Writing Tips

Sentence Structure

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If You're Doing This, Your Documents Are Too Long

Why Lawyers Should Be Wary of Transitions

While conducting over one hundred private writing tutorials with professionals, I have found many who try to communicate clearly by writing the “short, declarative sentences” our middle school teachers taught us to write. (See Writing Tip “Of Lawyers, Sharks, and Hemingway.”) Ironically, they clutter these short declarative sentences with “transitions” that overlap and thicken their sentences, making their writing even more difficult to read.

Shaw’s Attendance Policy requires proper notice of an employee’s absence. Proper notice by an employee occurs when the employee calls the Company.

Shaw’s Attendance Policy requires proper notice
of an employee’s absence, which occurs when
the employee calls the Company.

Charging Party was hired in May 2009 as a Senior
Account Manager. The Senior Account Manager
is the primary point of contact on client accounts.

Charging Party was hired in May 2009 as a Senior
Account Manager, the primary point of contact on
client accounts.

Mr. Calloway worked as a field trainee. In this
position, Mr. Calloway worked on various rigs
without permanent assignment.

Mr. Calloway worked as a field trainee on various
rigs without permanent assignment.

Thereafter, both discussed this splitting of
commissions with Valencia, who denied the
request. Valencia denied this request for a number
of reasons.

Thereafter, both discussed this splitting of
commissions with Valencia, who denied the
request for a number of reasons.

You do not need to link your sentences by overlapping the end of one with the beginning of the next. That only saddles your reader with more words to sort through in search of those with meaning. When you remove the overlap, your writing dramatically improves.

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.