English Collocation List

Collocation is that behaviour of any language by which two or more words often go together, in speech or writing. In English language, for example, the two words “powerful computer” go together better than “strong computer”. Similarly, “strong tea” is preferred over “powerful tea” in spoken or written English.

There are about six main types of collocations:

1. adjective+noun
2. noun+noun (such as collective nouns)
3. verb+noun
4. adverb+adjective
5. verbs+prepositional phrase (phrasal verbs)
6. verb+adverb

The following list contains common collocations having all the above-mentioned six types:

A brief list of English collocations

abstract concept
academic achievement
academic career
(in) academic circles
academic community
academic debate
academic discipline
academic discourse
academic institution
academic journal
academic life
academic performance
academic research
academic skills
academic study
academic success
academic work
academic world
academic writing
academic year
accept responsibility
acceptable behaviour
accurate assessment
accurate description
accurate information
accurate measurement
accurate picture
accurate record
achieve goal
achieve (an) objective
achieve (an) outcome
acquire knowledge
active involvement
active participant
active participation
active role
(be) actively involved
acutely aware
acutely aware of (the) information
additional cost
additional information
additional problem
additional resources
additional support
address (an) issue
administrative practices
adopt (a) procedure
adopt (an) approach
advanced economy
advanced technology
adverse effect
adverse reaction
adversely affect
affect (the) outcome
affect (the) development (of)
allocate resources
allow access (to)
almost identical
alternative approach
alternative explanation
alternative form
alternative interpretation
alternative means
alternative method
alternative model
alternative solution
alternative source
alternative strategy
alternative view
alternative way
ample evidence
analytical approach
analytical tool
anecdotal evidence
annual conference
annual meeting
annual rate
annual report
annual review
apply equally
apply (a) method
apply (the) theory
appropriate action
appropriate behaviour
appropriate conditions
appropriate data
appropriate form
appropriate language
appropriate level
appropriate point
appropriate response
appropriate skills
appropriate treatment
appropriate way
armed conflict
artificial intelligence
assess (the) impact (of)
assessment process
associated factors
assume responsibility
assume (the) role (of)
atomic energy
attend (a) conference
available data
available evidence
available information
available resources
average score
background knowledge
basic assumption
basic component
basic concept
basic element
basic function
basic information
basic premise
basic principle
basic research
basic structure
basic technique
bear resemblance (to)
become apparent
become available
become aware
become blurred
become established
become evident
become independent
become involved (with/in)
become obvious
become visible
become widespread
become (a) source (of)
become (the) focus (of)
begin (a) process
behave differently
beneficial effect
(be) best described (as, in terms of)
binary opposition
binary system
biological evolution
biological science
biological sex
brief account
brief description
brief discussion
brief history
brief introduction
brief overview
brief period
brief review
brief summary
brief time
briefly describe
briefly discuss
broad agreement
broad category
broad definition
(a) broad range (of)
broad spectrum
broader context
(be) broadly defined
broadly similar
business sector
business transaction
capitalist country
capitalist economy
capitalist society
capitalist system
capitalist world
career development
career opportunity
careful analysis
careful attention
careful consideration
careful thought
(be) carefully controlled
(be) carefully selected
carry information
carry out research (of)
carry out (the) task
cast doubt (on)
causal link
causal relation
causal relationship
cause consequences
cause stress
central authority
central concept
central concern
central control
central core
central feature
central focus
central government
central importance
central issue
central part
central point
central position
central problem
central question
central role
central tenet
central theme
certain aspect
certain assumptions
certain characteristics
certain circumstances
change constantly
change dramatically
change rapidly
change (an) attitude
changing attitudes
changing circumstances
changing nature
changing needs
changing pattern
changing world
characteristic feature
chemical reaction
civil case
civil society
class consciousness
classic example
classic study
classic text
classic work
classical theory
clear boundary
clear distinction
clear evidence
clear focus
clear indication
clear relationship
clear statement
clear structure
(be) clearly defined
(be) clearly demonstrated
(be) clearly established
clearly evident
(be) clearly identified
clearly important
(be) clearly related (to)
clearly understand
clearly visible
climate change
climatic conditions
close contact
close proximity
close relationship
close scrutiny
(be) closely allied (to, with)
(be) closely associated (with)
(be) closely connected (to, with)
(be) closely linked (to, with)
(be) closely related (to)
closely resemble
(be) closely tied
(upon, on) closer examination
(on/upon) closer inspection
closer look
cognitive ability
cognitive development
cognitive skills
collaborative learning
collect data
collect information
collective action
collective identity
collective memory
combined effect
come into conflict (with)
come into contact (with)
commercial activity
commercial transaction
commit (a) crime
commit (an) offence
common ancestor
common approach
common assumption
common characteristic
common culture
common error
common feature
common goal
common method
common source
common theme
common usage
(be) commonly accepted
(be) commonly associated (with)
(be) commonly called
(be) commonly encountered
(be) commonly found (in)
(be) commonly known (as)
(be) commonly referred (to) (as)
(be) commonly used
communicate effectively
comparative analysis
comparative research
comparative study
compelling argument
compelling evidence
compelling reason
competitive market
competitive pressure
complete (a) task
complex area
complex interaction
complex issue
complex pattern
complex problem
complex process
complex question
complex relationship
complex set
complex situation
complex structure
complex system
comprehensive account
comprehensive approach
comprehensive overview
comprehensive review
comprehensive system
conceptual framework
concerted effort
concluding remarks
concluding section
conditional probability
conduct research
conduct (a) study
conduct (a) survey
conduct (an) analysis
conduct (an) interview
conflict resolution
conflicting interests
consider appropriate
consider relevant
consider (a) possibility
consider (an) aspect
consider (an) issue
consider (the) impact (of)
consider (the) implications
consider (the) role (of)
(a) considerable amount (of)
considerable attention
considerable debate
(a) considerable degree (of)
(in) considerable detail
considerable effort
considerable evidence
(to a) considerable extent
(be of) considerable importance
considerable influence
considerable interest
considerable research
considerable support
considerable variation
consistent pattern
consistent results
constant rate
constituent elements
constituent parts
contain information
contain (an) element
contemporary debate
contemporary issue
contemporary life
contemporary society
contemporary world
contextual factors
continued existence
continued growth
continued use
continuous process
contribute significantly
contribute to (the) development (of)
controversial issue
conventional view
conventional wisdom
convey information
convey meaning
convey (a) message
convincing evidence
coping strategy
core area
core element
core issue
core skills
core value
correct interpretation
correct (an) error
counter argument
cover (a) range (of)
cover (a) topic
cover (an) area
create conditions
create opportunities
create problems
create (an) environment
create (an) impression
create (an) opportunity
creative process
creative thinking
creative work
criminal offence
critical analysis
critical approach
critical attention
critical essay
critical evaluation
critical examination
critical factor
critical importance
critical inquiry
critical introduction
critical issue
critical perspective
critical point
critical reflection
critical review
critical role
critical scrutiny
critical theory
critical thinking
critical writing
critically evaluate
crucial difference
crucial factor
crucial importance
crucial part
crucial point
crucial question
crucial role
cultural activity
cultural aspect
cultural attitudes
cultural background
cultural boundary
cultural change
cultural context
cultural differences
cultural dimension
cultural diversity
cultural factors
cultural heritage
cultural history
cultural identity
cultural influence
cultural institution
cultural issue
cultural life
cultural norm
cultural perspective
cultural phenomenon
cultural practice
cultural significance
cultural theory
cultural tradition
cultural values
culturally specific
current climate
current issue
current policy
current research
current status
current technology
current trend
currently available
daily living
data gathering
data set
deal (with an) issue
deem appropriate
deem necessary
(a) deep understanding (of)
(at/on a) deeper level
(be) deeply embedded
(be) deeply rooted
defining characteristic
defining concept
defining feature
deliberate attempt
democratic institution
democratic process
democratic society
democratic state
demographic change
demographic characteristics
demographic factor
demonstrate competence
(be) densely populated
deny access (to)
dependent variable
describe (a) method
describe (a) process
describe (a) procedure
descriptive statistics
desired outcome
detailed analysis
detailed examination
detailed information
detailed study
develop (a) method
develop (a) strategy
develop (a) technique
develop (a) theory
develop (an) approach
develop (an) argument
developmental process
developmental stage
diagnostic test
differ considerably
differ significantly
differ widely
digital information
digital media
digital technology
direct access
direct communication
direct consequences
direct contact
direct evidence
direct impact
direct involvement
direct link
direct observation
direct relationship
direct role
directly affect
(be) directly affected
(be) directly connected (to, with)
(be) directly involved (in)
(be) directly linked (to, with)
(be) directly proportional (to)
(be) directly related (to)
(be) directly responsible (for)
disclose information
discuss (a) topic
discuss (an) issue
disposable income
distinct group
distinct type
distinctive feature
distinguishing feature
diverse background
diverse group
(a) diverse range (of)
dividing line
documentary evidence
domestic market
domestic sphere
domestic violence
dominant culture
dominant discourse
dominant form
dominant group
dominant ideology
dominant paradigm
dominant position
dominant role
dramatic change
dramatic effect
dramatic increase
draw attention (to)
draw (a) conclusion
draw (a) distinction
draw (a) line
driving force
due process
dynamic equilibrium
dynamic nature
dynamic process
dynamic system
earlier discussion
earlier period
earlier research
earlier stage
earlier study
earlier times
earlier version
earlier work
early decades
early study
easily accessible
(be) easily identified
(be) easily understood
easy access
economic activity
economic affairs
economic analysis
economic benefits
economic change
economic conditions
economic consequences
economic context
economic crisis
economic exploitation
economic factors
economic forces
economic goal
economic growth
economic inequality
economic integration
economic interests
economic policy
economic power
economic prosperity
economic reform
economic relations
economic relationships
economic resources
economic sector
economic stability
economic status
economic structure
economic success
economic system
economic theory
economic value
economic welfare
educational institution
educational opportunity
educational policy
educational programme
educational provision
educational qualification
educational research
educational setting
educational system
effective communication
effective implementation
effective intervention
effective management
effective method
effective participation
effective policy
effective treatment
electronic access
electronic communication
electronic media
electronic resources
electronic version
emotional impact
emotional intelligence
emotional reaction
emotional response
emotional support
empirical data
empirical evidence
empirical investigation
empirical research
empirical study
empirical support
empirical work
employ (a) method
employ (a) technique
employment opportunities
encounter difficulties
encounter problems
encourage (the) development (of)
engage in (an) activity
enhance learning
enhance performance
(an) enormous amount (of)
enormous impact
entire period
(the) entire range (of)
entirely clear
entirely different
entirely new
environmental changes
environmental concern
environmental consequences
environmental damage
environmental degradation
environmental effects
environmental factors
environmental impact
environmental issues
environmental policy
environmental pollution
environmental protection
equal access
equal opportunity
equal status
equal treatment
equally important
equally likely
equally true
equally valid
essential component
essential element
essential feature
essential function
essential information
essential role
establish (a) relationship
established order
established practice
established principle
ethical consideration
ethical dilemma
ethical issue
ethical principle
ethical problem
ethical question
ethnic community
ethnic differences
ethnic diversity
ethnic group
ethnic identity
ethnic minority
ethnic origin
ever changing
ever increasing
evolutionary process
evolutionary theory
examine (the) role (of)
exceptional case
exceptional circumstances
exercise authority
existing data
existing research
existing structure
expand rapidly
experience difficulties
experience problems
experiential learning
experimental conditions
experimental data
experimental design
experimental evidence
experimental method
experimental research
experimental results
experimental study
experimental work
expert opinion
explanatory power
explore further
explore (an) issue
extended period
extensive research
(be) extensively used
external environment
external factors
external forces
external influences
external source
external threat
external world
extract data
extract information
extremely complex
extremely powerful
extremely sensitive
extremely useful
extremely valuable
face difficulties
face discrimination
face (a) challenge
face (a) dilemma
face (a) problem
facial expression
facilitate (the) development (of)
factual information
fair treatment
fairly clear
fairly common
fairly obvious
fairly straightforward
fall into (the) category (of)
(be) far removed (from)
federal agency
federal government
federal state
feminist movement
field research
final analysis
final answer
final chapter
final decision
final outcome
final phase
final point
final position
final product
final result
final section
final stage
final step
final version
financial affairs
financial assistance
financial institution
financial management
financial market
financial problem
financial resources
financial support
find evidence
find information
finite number
(be) firmly established
first author
first contact
first draft
first encounter
first generation
first impression
first phase
first priority
flexible approach
focal point
focus attention (on)
focus on (an) aspect
follow (a) format
follow (a) procedure
follow instructions
following chapter
foreign currency
foreign investment
foreign investor
foreign policy
formal structure
free access
free movement
freely available
(be) frequently cited
(be) frequently found
(be) frequently referred (to)
(be) frequently used
fulfil (an) obligation
full analysis
full employment
full information
full participation
full potential
(a, the) full range (of)
fuller discussion
fully aware
(be) fully developed
(be) fully informed
(be) fully integrated
(be) fully realized
fully understand
functional requirement
fundamental aspect
fundamental assumption
fundamental change
fundamental component
fundamental difference
fundamental importance
fundamental principle
fundamental problem
fundamental question
fundamentally different
further analysis
further consideration
further development
(be) further divided (into)
further evidence
further explanation
further information
further investigation
further research
further study
future development
future prospects
future research
future study
gain access (to)
gain information
gain insight (into)
gather data
gather information
gender equality
gender stereotype
general agreement
general approach
general argument
general aspect
general category
general conclusion
general consensus
general definition
general feature
general formula
general overview
general principle
general statement
general tendency
general theory
general trend
(be) generally accepted
generally agree
(be) generally assumed
(be) generally considered
(be) generally found
(be) generally known (as, by)
genetic variation
geographic(al) area
geographic(al) distribution
geographic(al) location
get involved (with/in)
give access (to)
give consent
give consideration
give emphasis
give evidence
give feedback
give priority (to)
give guidance
give information
give insight (into)
give (a) presentation
give (an) explanation
give (an) indication (of)
give (an) overview (of)
(to) give (an) impression
(to) give (a) treatment
given information
given period
global capitalism
global context
global culture
global economy
global issue
global market
global marketplace
global media
global network
global perspective
global shift
global structure
global trade
global village
government control
government department
government expenditure
government intervention
government policy
graphical representation
great accuracy
great diversity
great impact
great majority
great potential
(a) great proportion (of)
(a) great range (of)
great significance
greater autonomy
greater awareness
greater emphasis
greater equality
greater flexibility
greater likelihood
greatly enhance
greatly increase
(be) greatly influenced (by)
(be) greatly reduced
grow rapidly
growing awareness
growing trend
guiding principle
hardly surprising
have access (to)
have consequences
have limitations
have potential
have (a) strategy
have (a) tendency (to)
have (an) obligation
heated debate
(be) heavily influenced (by)
hierarchical structure
high concentration
high correlation
high expectations
high incidence
high intensity
high level
high order
high percentage
high priority
high probability
high profile
(a) high proportion (of)
high quality
high rate
high score
high standard
high status
high turnover
high unemployment
high value
high/er frequency
(a) higher degree (of)
higher education
(be) highly charged
highly competitive
highly complex
highly controversial
(be) highly correlated (with)
highly critical
highly dependent
highly desirable
(be) highly developed
(be) highly educated
highly effective
highly efficient
highly influential
highly likely
highly problematic
highly relevant
highly selective
highly sensitive
highly significant
highly skilled
highly sophisticated
(be) highly structured
highly successful
highly unlikely
(be) highly valued
highly variable
historical account
historical analysis
historical background
historical change
historical circumstances
historical context
historical data
historical development
historical event
historical evidence
historical factors
historical interpretation
historical knowledge
historical period
historical perspective
historical reality
historical record
historical roots
historical study
historical writing
historically specific
hold (a) conference
holistic approach
homogeneous group
(a) huge amount (of)
human activity
human behaviour
human interaction
human society
human species
(be) ideally suited
identify factors
identify features
identify problem
identify (a) way
identify (an) area
identify (an) issue
immediate environment
immediately apparent
immediately following
immediately obvious
immediately preceding
imported goods
imported products
impose constraints
impose limitations
impose restrictions
improved performance
increase awareness
increase dramatically
increase (the) likelihood
increased awareness
increased competition
increased demand
increased importance
increased interest
increased level
increased number
increased pressure
increased production
increased productivity
increased risk
increasing awareness
increasing complexity
increasing demand
increasing emphasis
increasing importance
increasing interest
increasing pressure
(a) increasing proportion (of)
increasing tendency
increasing trend
increasingly aware
increasingly common
increasingly complex
increasingly difficult
increasingly important
increasingly popular
increasingly sophisticated
independent state
independent variable
indigenous people
indigenous population
individual behaviour
individual case
individual characteristics
individual choice
individual component
individual differences
individual element
individual experience
individual interests
individual item
individual needs
individual response
individual responsibility
individual rights
individual variable
individual variation
industrial capitalism
industrial country
industrial development
industrial production
industrial society
industrialized country
industrialized nation
(be) inextricably linked (to, with)
infinite number
information flow
information gathering
information processing
information retrieval
information sharing
informed consent
initial period
initial phase
initial position
initial research
initial stage
institutional arrangement
institutional context
institutional framework
institutional structure
institutional support
integral part
integrated approach
integrated system
intellectual property
intellectual work
intensive study
interested party
internal affairs
internal conflict
internal control
internal market
internal organ
internal structure
international agreement
international body
international community
international conference
international context
international journal
international organization
international treaty
internet access
interpersonal relationships
interpersonal skills
interpret data
intimate relationship
(be) intimately connected (to, with)
intrinsic value
introduce legislation
introductory chapter
introductory section
introductory text
keenly aware
key area
key aspect
key characteristic
key component
key concept
key element
key factor
key feature
key findings
key issue
key objective
key player
key policy
key principle
key role
key source
key text
key theme
key topic
large majority
large percentage
large portion
(a) large proportion (of)
large quantities (of)
(a) large range (of)
(be) largely based (on)
(be) largely confined (to)
(be) largely determined (by)
(be) largely ignored
(be) largely responsible (for)
later work
later writings
lead to (the) conclusion
leading role
learning activity
learning difficulties
learning environment
learning objective
learning outcome
learning process
learning resources
learning strategy
legal action
legal basis
legal framework
legal issue
legal obligation
legal position
legal proceedings
legal protection
legal requirement
legal right
legal rule
legal status
legal system
legislative measures
legislative power
liberal democracy
lifelong learning
likely impact
likely outcome
limited access
limited capacity
limited information
limited opportunity
(a) limited range (of)
limited resources
linear relationship
literal interpretation
literal meaning
(in a) literal sense
literary text
literary tradition
little evidence
little impact
little information
little research
little significance
living conditions
living organism
living standard
local area
local authority
local circumstances
local community
local culture
local economy
local government
logical approach
logical argument
logical conclusion
long duration
long established
longitudinal study
low income
low intensity
low level
low percentage
low priority
low probability
low profile
low quality
low status
low turnover
low unemployment
low/er frequency
lower class
main area
main argument
main category
main characteristics
main component
main element
main factor
main feature
main findings
main focus
main function
main issue
main principle
main source
main task
main theme
(be) mainly concerned (with)
maintain contact
major advantage
major area
major cause
major challenge
major change
major component
major concern
major contribution
major decision
major difference
major factor
major feature
major focus
major impact
major implications
major influence
major issue
major part
major problem
major reason
major role
major shift
major source
major theme
make adjustments
make arrangements
make available
make aware
make contact
make (a) contribution
make explicit
make policy
make provision
make visible
make (a) comment
make (a) distinction
make (a) living
make (a) prediction
make (a) recommendation
make (a) statement
make (a) transition
make (an) argument
make (an) assessment
make (an) assumption
make (an) impact
make (an) impression
make (an) observation
make(a) judgement
male dominance
manual worker
manufacturing sector
marked contrast
(be) markedly different
maximum duration
mean score
(in a) meaningful way
media coverage
medical assistance
medical treatment
meet criteria
meet expectations
meet (a) requirement
meet (a) target
meet (an) objective
mental health
mental illness
mental state
methodological approach
methodological issue
methodological problem
metropolitan area
middle income
middle management
migrant worker
military action
military force
military power
military service
minimum level
minimum requirement
minimum standard
minimum value
minimum wage
minor change
minor role
minority group
missing data
modern culture
modern method
modern society
modern technology
modified form
modified version
moral dilemma
moral philosophy
moral principle
multiple identities
multiple sources
municipal government
mutual recognition
mutual support
mutual trust
mutual understanding
mutually exclusive
narrow definition
(a) narrow range (of)
national average
national boundary
national conference
national culture
national economy
national government
national identity
national income
national institution
national interest
national language
national legislation
national market
national media
national movement
national policy
national press
national security
national survey
native speaker
natural conditions
natural disaster
natural environment
natural history
natural language
natural law
natural order
natural philosophy
natural process
natural resources
natural right
natural science
natural tendency
natural world
naturally occurring
necessary information
negative aspect
negative attitude
negative connotation
negative consequences
negative correlation
negative effect
negative feedback
negative impact
negative outcome
negative side
negative stereotype
negative value
negative view
(be) negatively correlated (with)
new initiative
new insight
new perspective
newly acquired
newly created
newly discovered
newly emerging
newly established
newly formed
next decade
next generation
next phase
normal conditions
normal development
normal distribution
normal practice
notable exception
nuclear energy
nuclear family
nuclear power
nuclear war
nuclear weapon
numerical data
numerical value
numerous studies
objective criteria
objective reality
obtain data
obtain information
obtain (a) result
obvious difference
obvious example
obvious point
obvious reason
occur frequently
occur naturally
offer insight (into)
offer (an) opportunity
official statistics
once established
ongoing debate
ongoing process
online access
online database
online journal
online version
open access
opening chapter
opening section
opinion leader
optimal solution
oral history
oral presentation
organising principle
organizational structure
original author
original context
original data
original intent
original meaning
original model
original position
original research
original source
original text
original version
original work
(be) originally developed
(be) originally intended
overall aim
overall effect
overall level
overall performance
overall picture
overall rate
overall structure
overwhelming majority
paid employment
(be of) paramount importance
particular area
particular aspect
particular emphasis
particular feature
particular focus
particular individual
particular meaning
particularly acute
particularly apparent
particularly appropriate
(be) particularly concerned (with)
particularly effective
(be) particularly evident
particularly influential
particularly relevant
particularly sensitive
particularly significant
particularly striking
particularly successful
(be) particularly suited (to)
particularly useful
particularly valuable
(be) partly responsible (for)
party leader
past research
peace treaty
perceived importance
perceived need
perceived threat
perform (a) function
perform (a) study
perform (a) task
personal choice
personal circumstances
personal communication
personal contact
personal control
personal experience
personal information
personal interest
personal knowledge
personal quality
personal relationship
personal responsibility
personal safety
personal space
physical activity
physical appearance
physical characteristics
physical contact
physical development
physical environment
physical features
physical health
physical needs
physical presence
physical properties
physical proximity
physical science
physical space
physical symptom
physical world
pilot study
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(be) primarily concerned (with)
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professional support
professional training
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profound effect
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promote equality
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(be) properly understood
proposed legislation
prove successful
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provide access (to)
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provide (an) illustration
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public access
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qualitative analysis
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quantitative analysis
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quantitative method
quantitative research
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quantitative study
racial differences
racial discrimination
racial equality
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racial stereotype
radical change
radical critique
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radical transformation
radically different
raise awareness
raise (a) question
raise (an) issue
random error
random sample
random variable
(be) randomly assigned (to)
(be) randomly chosen
(be) randomly selected
rapid expansion
rapidly changing
rapidly growing
raw data
reach (a) consensus
reach (a) peak
reach (an) agreement
readily accessible
readily available
(be) readily understood
ready access
real issue
receive feedback
receive information
receive treatment
recent decades
recent evidence
recent research
recent study
recent survey
reciprocal relationship
record data
recurrent theme
reduce emissions
reduce stress
reduce (the) likelihood
reflective practice
reflective question
regional development
regional differences
regional variation
regulatory agency
regulatory framework
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related aspect
related factor
related information
related issue
related problem
related question
related topic
relative autonomy
relative merits
relative status
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relatively constant
relatively few
relatively high
relatively little
relatively low
relatively minor
relatively rare
relatively recent
relatively simple
relatively stable
relatively straightforward
relevant data
relevant factors
relevant information
relevant issue
relevant literature
relevant material
reliable data
reliable information
religious belief
religious faith
religious freedom
religious group
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religious movement
religious practice
rely heavily (on)
remain constant
remain stable
remain unchanged
remain unclear
remarkably similar
renewable energy
renewed interest
report data
report findings
representative government
require consideration
require knowledge
require resources
research effort
research evidence
research findings
research methodology
(for) research purposes
research topic
resolve (a) conflict
resolve (a) dispute
respond appropriately
review (a) study
revised edition
revised version
rich source
rising cost
risk assessment
roughly equal
roughly equivalent
ruling class
ruling party
rural area
rural community
rural economy
rural population
rural society
safe sex
salient characteristic
salient feature
scarce resources
schematic representation
scholarly journal
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scholarly research
scholarly work
scientific community
scientific discourse
scientific evidence
scientific investigation
scientific method
scientific objectivity
scientific research
scientific theory
secondary data
secondary education
secondary source
security policy
seek help
seek information
seem appropriate
seem obvious
seem plausible
seem unlikely
seminal study
seminal work
senior management
separate entity
serious challenge
serious consequences
serious offence
serve (a) function
service sector
set (a) goal
set (a) target
set (an) objective
set (the) agenda
set (the) parameters
severely affect
sexual abuse
sexual act
sexual behaviour
sexual contact
sexual difference
sexual exploitation
sexual identity
sexual intercourse
sexual orientation
sexual violence
share information
shared experience
shared meaning
shared values
sharp contrast
sharp distinction
shift emphasis
short duration
short period
show evidence
show variation
show (a) tendency
show (a) trend
sign (a) treaty
(a) significant amount (of)
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significant contribution
significant correlation
(a) significant degree (of)
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significant difference
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significant feature
significant figures
significant growth
significant impact
significant improvement
significant increase
significant influence
significant interaction
significant number
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(a) significant proportion (of)
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significant relationship
significant role
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(be) significantly correlated (with)
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(be) significantly reduced
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similar result
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simple majority
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skilled worker
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small fraction
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small percentage
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(a) small proportion (of)
small quantities (of)
social activity
social aspect
social attitudes
social background
social behaviour
social circumstances
social conflict
social consequences
social construct
social contact
social context
social democracy
social dimension
social environment
social equality
social exclusion
social expectations
social factors
social function
social identity
social implications
social inequality
social institution
social integration
social interaction
social isolation
social mobility
social movement
social norm
social organization
social phenomenon
social policy
social reform
social relationship
social responsibility
social setting
social significance
social status
social structure
social theory
social transformation
social trend
social welfare
socially acceptable
(be) socially constructed
socially desirable
socially responsible
socio-economic status
solar energy
solar panel
solar power
solar system
source material
sovereign state
(be) sparsely populated
special circumstances
special emphasis
special issue
special relationship
special status
specific area
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specific case
specific characteristic
specific context
specific example
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specific feature
specific focus
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specific function
specific information
specific issue
specific knowledge
specific meaning
specific needs
specific problem
specific purpose
specific question
specific reference
specific sense
specific type
(be) specifically designed (to, for)
standard approach
standard error
standard format
standard method
stark contrast
start (a) process
state explicitly
state sector
statistical analysis
statistical data
statistical information
statistical method
statistical significance
statistical technique
statistical test
statistically significant
store data
store information
strategic decision
strategic importance
strategic management
strategic objective
strategic planning
stress level
striking contrast
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striking feature
strong bond
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strong emphasis
strong evidence
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strong reaction
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(be) strongly associated (with)
(be) strongly correlated (with)
strongly disagree
(be) strongly influenced (by)
(be) strongly linked
(be) strongly opposed
(be) strongly related (to)
strongly suggest
structural adjustment
structural change
structural element
structural feature
structural properties
subject area
subsequent analysis
subsequent chapter
subsequent development
subsequent study
subsequent work
(a) substantial amount (of)
substantial difference
substantial evidence
substantial number
substantial part
substantially different
successful implementation
sufficient condition
sufficient detail
sufficient evidence
sufficient information
sufficient resources
superior performance
support (an) argument
supporting evidence
survey data
symbiotic relationship
systematic analysis
systematic approach
systematic study
tacit knowledge
take initiative
take precedence (over)
take responsibility
take (a) role (in)
take (an) approach
take into consideration
take on (the) role (of, as)
take up (the) role n(of, as)
target audience
teaching strategy
technical aspect
technical assistance
technical detail
technical expertise
technical issue
technical knowledge
technical problem
technical skill
technical support
technical term
technological advances
technological change
technological development
technological innovation
technological progress
test score
test (a) theory
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thematic analysis
theoretical analysis
theoretical approach
theoretical basis
theoretical concept
theoretical debate
theoretical framework
theoretical issue
theoretical model
theoretical perspective
theoretical study
theoretical understanding
theoretical work
think differently
thinking process
third party
thought process
(be) tightly controlled
top management
total income
totally different
traditional approach
traditional culture
traditional form
traditional method
traditional practice
traditional research
traditional society
traditional value
traditional view
transferable skill
transmit data
transmit information
transport system
treat differently
treat equally
typical example
ultimate goal
undergo transformation
underlying assumption
underlying cause
underlying principle
underlying process
underlying reason
underlying structure
undertake research
undertake work
undertake (an) activity
unequal power
unfair treatment
unintended consequences
unique individual
unique opportunity
unique position
(be) universally accepted
unlimited access
unskilled worker
urban area
urban centre
urban design
urban development
urban environment
use criteria
use effectively
use resources
use sparingly
use statistics
use (a) format
use (a) method
use (a) methodology
use (a) procedure
use (a) source
use (a) strategy
use (a) technique
use (a) theory
use (an) approach
use (the) analysis
use (the) definition
use (the) concept
use (the) data
useful information
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useful means
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useful summary
useful tool
valid argument
valuable information
valuable resources
various aspects
vary considerably
vary greatly
vary significantly
vary widely
varying degree
(a) vast amount (of)
vast area
(a) vast array (of)
vast majority
vast number
vast quantities (of)
(a) vast range (of)
verbal communication
verbal language
vested interest
virtual community
virtually impossible
visual image
visual media
visual perception
visual representation
(be of) vital importance
vital part
vital role
vulnerable group
welfare reform
well aware
well designed
(be) well documented
well educated
(be) well established
well received
western democracy
western society
western tradition
whole area
whole period
(a) whole range (of)
wide area
(a) wide array (of)
(a) wide range (of)
wide variation
(be) widely accepted
(be) widely adopted
widely available
(be) widely believed
widely different
(be) widely discussed
(be) widely dispersed
(be) widely distributed
(be) widely known
widely read
(be) widely recognized
(be) widely regarded (as)
widely shared
(be) widely used
wider audience
wider community
wider context
wider implications
wider issue
wider public
wider society
widespread acceptance
widespread belief
widespread support
widespread use
work effectively
written comment
written communication
written statement
younger generation


Types of sentences


There are different types of sentences. And we’re going to briefly go through them. These are more for your information than anything else. But you can use simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, or compound-complex sentences. And I’m going to give a brief description of all of these.

So, a simple sentence is just an independent clause. It’s just one independent clause that stands by itself. A compound sentence is where you have more than one independent clause together. You might have, “He performed the research, and he won an award for his strong work.” You have two complete sentences, two independent clauses combined together, and that is a compound sentence.

Complex means that you have one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses in the sentence. So we have the sentence “Although he had never been a good student in high school, he graduated from university summa cum laude.” To make up the complex sentence, we have our independent clause, “he graduated from university summa cum laude,” and we have our dependent clause, “Although he had never been a good student in high school.”

Compound-complex is where you have two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. So here we are giving you examples of how you can combine your phrases and clauses, specifically our clauses together, to create different varieties of sentences.

It’s not necessarily important that you can label which is a compound sentence or which is a complex sentence. But it is important to know that you can combine clauses and phrases in these ways so that you can use these different types of sentences in your writing to be as clear as possible and vary your writing in a way that makes it engaging for your reader.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491588 ]

See also:

Simple Sentences
Compound Sentences
Complex Sentences
Combining Sentences
Common errors in structuring sentences


How to engage your reader with academic writing?

1. What does it mean to engage your reader?


So first off, we just want to talk about the word “engage.” What does the word “engage” even mean? And, according to Merriam-Webster here, it’s to really grab the attention, hold the attention of, attract or hold by influence or power. And to induce or participate.

I know a lot of times when we talk about writing in an academic sense, we talk about it as a conversation, because really, writing is a form of communication, and communication goes two ways. So you want to be able to invite your readers to participate with you in this academic journey, whether that’s a course paper or a dissertation.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3307000 ]

2. Syntax


The first example is with syntax. This is the way that words are put together to form a sentence. So oftentimes, I will see repetitive syntax in student writing because, you know, a student maybe is very comfortable in one style of sentence writing, and so that’s what the whole paper ends up being. But if you think about this example, if I were telling you a story: I went to the store. I bought eggs. I got in my car. I drove home. I made dinner.”

Okay, that gets a little monotonous, a little burdensome. As a reader, a listener, rather than saying that, I could simply say, “I went to the store and bought eggs because I had to make dinner,” or something along those lines. I can combine some of those sentences and change the syntax, the way that the words and the grammar is arranged, to keep my reader interested.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3307347 ]

3. Sentence Structure


The next tool that you have is your sentence structure. And this is sort of related to the syntax. But the sentence structure really refers to the way that you group the words in your sentences. So, if you remember from, you know, either grammar school or you may have seen previous webinars where we’ve talked about phrases and clauses—phrases and clauses are kind of those grammar geek terms that just talk about the way words are combined, and they’re groups of words in a sentence. So they’re groups of words that work together in a sentence. And each sentence is made up of a combination of these phrases and clauses.

So if we use these, the nice thing about phrases and clauses is that you can intermix them and change the order of them to, again, vary the way that your sentence is portrayed to the reader. So let’s look at a few examples here. If you look at the examples, we have the examples:

  • Teachers create lesson plans.
  • Teachers revise lesson plans.
  • Students benefit from good teachers.
  • Students learn more from good teachers.

Okay, each of these are kind of an individual group of words together. If we combine them, though, we can have some sentences that have a mix of these phrases and clauses.

Teachers are responsible for creating and revising lesson plans. When teachers do this well, students benefit in many ways. One benefit can be increased learning.

Especially in the second example there—when teachers do this well, comma, students benefit in many ways—this is a great example of where there are a couple phrases and clauses mixed together, and one comes before the other that maybe wouldn’t always come in that order. So the way that you mix those up, and match—mix and match—those phrases and clauses, really gives a sense of variety and a sense of variation for your reader. So again, they are more engaged in your writing.

Take a look at the examples on this page. I’m going to read the last two, simply because I want to show you how these use the exact same words but in a different order. So the middle example here says, “Because counseling can be emotionally draining,”—that’s one chunk—“counselors must ensure that they take care of themselves”—that’s another chunk—“before they will be able to take care of their patients”—that’s another chunk. Ok, so we have those three groups of words working together.

If you look at the next example, it takes those three groups and puts them in a different order. “Counselors must ensure they take care of themselves [pause] because counseling can be emotionally draining [pause] before they will be able to take care of their patients.” We have exactly the same words; there was no variation in words whatsoever, but there was a variation in the way that the sentence was ordered and the way that those groups of words showed up in the sentence. So again, there’s lots of variation, lots of ways you can vary your sentences to better engage your readers.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3307369 ]

4. Punctuation


Punctuation can be used, really, to just, again, give some difference in sentence structure and help you use those other two tools, the syntax and the sentence structure, and then still show different relationships between the ideas. So whether you use a semicolon or a period or a comma, they show different things.

So a semicolon is going to show two related ideas that are complete sentences. A comma is going to, you know, maybe separate items in a list or maybe separate, if it’s used with an and, maybe separate two complete sentences. If you have two commas, you’re making that phrase kind of like a “by the way” side note. So for example, the third one down here, we have, “Managers, responsible for accurate and effective communication, must tell employees about organizational changes.” That internal part—“responsible for accurate and effective communication”—that’s sort of like a side note, so it’s set off with those commas. And the last example uses a colon to kind of set off a list or an important or emphatic part of the sentence. These can definitely help you to vary the structure and to engage your reader in a different way.

I think you probably are familiar with, you know, the use of an exclamation point versus a period. If you get an e-mail from your boss that says, “Great job!” with an exclamation point, that makes you feel pretty good. If you get an e-mail from someone that just says, “Great job, period,” you don’t know whether they are enthusiastic or sarcastic…. it’s difficult to know, right. So punctuation makes a big difference in how you engage your readers.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3307620 ]

5. Transitions


Using transitions can really help to engage your readers and keep them connected to your writing because without transitions, it can be very abrupt to jump from one topic to another. And transitions actually help to show relationships between your ideas. So, some of the different types of transitions might be transitions that show time frames; they might show relationships that are cause and effect; they might be transitions that show addition; or they might be some that show how ideas contrast with one another.

So, for example, in the category of time, there are the words: then, next, after, and so on. Cause and effect might be: because or consequently. In the category of addition, you might say: also, similarly. And then, if you had a category of contrasting, you might say: however or but. So you can see how these show different relationships.

The thing with transitions is if you’re going to use them, and especially if you’re going to use transitional phrases or words, use them sparingly and carefully because you really do want to make sure that you are accurately conveying the relationships that they show. So a lot of times, you can tell that, you know, a good transition also uses repeated words or phrases. And now I know I just told you, don’t use extra repetition if it’s not necessary. But sometimes a way to keep the reader engaged and keep the thought and concept flowing is to repeat just a word or a phrase that’s a keyword or phrase that helps the reader continue moving on. So for example here, we have:

A key danger for patients in hospitals are falls. Falls can result in more injuries that pose a threat to patient health.

Notice the word falls is repeated but kind of necessary to keep the reader moving forward. And also punctuation can help to keep the reader moving within the direction of the paper. Instead of using a period, for example, which is a little more abrupt, you might consider using a semicolon, which indicates that you have two complete sentences but the ideas are related to one another.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3313391 ]

Examples of Transitions


So in this example paragraph there are no clear transitions.

I’m going to read it aloud, and I’d like you to follow along and really listen to how this sounds and the choppiness and the abruptness of these sentences.

“There’s a problem within public schools today regarding meeting no child left behind, NCLB legislation. NCLB mandates that all children achieve benchmark levels for the subject areas of reading and mathematics. Standardized test scores typically do not reflect successful attainment. The cause is the traditional teaching practice toward a single approach to learning, instead of the differentiated introduction practice of teaching toward a variety of modalities. Tomlinson, 2001, page two. Traditional instruction has not worked at all for students. The focus of this study is to explore how teachers can best make use of differentiated instruction to help children learn.”

So here is an example. This is actually fairly well written. The ideas seem clear, it seems like it’s well-presented in that it’s not confusing. The grammar is clear. But there’s really no transition. So it’s sort of list-like.

There’s a problem within the schools. NCLB mandates there. Standardized test scores do not reflect this. The cause is this. Traditional instruction has not worked. So you can see, it kind of feels more like a list than a cohesive paragraph or cohesive group.

So if we look at the next example, though, we’ve added a few transitions. And these help to combine the ideas, make the work flow a little and throw out the list-like feeling.

So we have, “within public schools there’s a problem. Traditionally, NCLB mandates that all students—”Again, we have kind of a repeated word. “All students achieve benchmark levels. However, standardized test scores show that typically students do not achieve these benchmarks.”

So again, we’re repeating “benchmarks” now, too. “The cause for specific lack of achievement is the traditional teaching practice; thus far, traditional instruction has not worked for all students because of this lack of achievement.”

So you can see, all of these ideas are kind of being put together. Their relationship is a little bit clearer with words like: “traditionally,” “however,” “thus far,” “because of.” And then you have these repeated words, “all students,” “benchmarks,” “lack of achievement.”

So because these are all put together in this paragraph, as a reader, it’s easier for me to follow. And I don’t feel like there is so much of an abrupt stop between each idea.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3313343 ]

6. Avoid Wordiness and Redundancy


Don’t be overly wordy. You don’t need to use twice as many words to say the same thing if a smaller number of words is going to be sufficient. So beware, as you’re writing. I think a lot of times when we think about academic writing, we think, “I have to sound smart. I have to put lots of words in there. I have oh, to put lots of big words in there.” That’s not always the case.

When you want to really engage your reader, you want to sound as if you know what you’re talking about most definitely, and you want to be evidence-based and research-based if you’re doing your research project. But you can do that in a very direct and concise way. You don’t have to use extra words.

So we have a few examples here.

One thing that comes up with wordiness, a lot, are unnecessary words like “very” and “really.” These not only make your writing wordy, but they also kind of give an emotional feel to your writing, and so you want to avoid, you know, putting any kind of emotion like that into your writing. While you might be passionate about the subject, you still want to maintain an objective, authorial distance as the author of the work.

So instead of saying, “the teachers were very well informed” you could say “the teachers were well informed as illustrated by the lengthy discussion they had about the English Language Learners.” Here we know why they were well informed. It may even have more words to describe something, but it’s –it’s much more precise, and specific.

So instead of saying, “the manager really understood his employees.” You could say “the manager understood his employees in depth, valuing them as people as well as employees.” So again, you know, you may actually use more words to be more specific, and that’s okay. But it’s definitely to your benefit to avoid any unnecessary words. And very and really are often used in that way.

Also circumlocution is another word that goes into wordiness. Talking about wordiness, that’s really wordy! It’s really another way to say that you’re talking around the point instead of getting to it.

So in the example here, instead of saying that, “the woman was the patient, had lived 30 years, and was located in an area outside of New York City but not far away.” You could simply say, “the female patient was 30 years old and lived in a New York City suburb.” You can see there’s a difference here. Instead of talking around the idea, just saying it directly is always the best way to go. It avoids sort of that circular reasoning and those roundabout explanations.

Redundancy is another thing that happens when we think about wordiness. And redundancy means unnecessary repetition. If you don’t need to repeat it, don’t. There’s no need for it. So instead of repeating information, even if it’s in the next sentence, it’s just a good idea to be specific and try to group your information together in a way that all of the information related to a certain topic is all in one place. And then you don’t have to go back and repeat unnecessarily.

So you can see an example of this here. Where we talk about, it says, “to be a counselor, it is important to have good listening skills for counseling patients. As good listening skills for counseling patients leads to better understanding of a patient, which, as a counselor, is the entire purpose of a counseling session.”

You can see even in that example, the word “counselor,” “listening skills,” “good listening,” “good counseling” are repeated multiple times. And as a reader, I find that very difficult to articulate, even just reading it out loud.

So, again, being precise and specific will help there.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3307657 ]

7. Avoid Casual Language


Casual language. Now, I think a lot of times when we enter into the realm of academia, when we start to write in an academic way, it becomes challenging for us as writers because we want to write how we speak. And that’s actually not a good way to write. Because we are writing for different audiences, different, what we would consider discourse communities, you know, writing is a very different kind of communication than speaking is.

So when we’re writing in the academic audience or for an academic audience, rather, we want to be sure that we are using academic tone and avoiding that conversational language.

So things like, metaphors, things that are considered clichés or maybe idioms, you know, those are things that we want to avoid because they can’t always be translated to readers that maybe are not familiar culturally with the language. And it might even just confuse some readers, even, you know, native readers who are strong readers, might just be confused by the use of language.

So when I think of clichés and idioms, I think of an experience that I actually had where someone asked me in — from another culture – asked me if I had fallen out of a sugar sack as a child, and I had no idea what she was saying. And I came to find out that it was — it was a cliché for, you know, an idiom for, you are a very sweet person. So it can be very confusing as a reader to read those kinds of things in your writing.

So instead of saying “the doors were closed to advancement,” you can actually say “there was no way to advance.” Or instead of “it was a slippery slope to failure.” You know, you could say “failure occurred easily.”

And so avoiding those kind of more metaphorical, more cliché phrases will definitely help to keep your readers engaged because they won’t be confused. And I think it’s — it’s a little bit different than what we would expect, because when we think of engaging writing, we don’t think, “I have to be creative; I have to really, you know, draw my readers in with my creativity,” but you can do that while still staying within the bounds of the rules and standards of academic writing. And that’s where the syntax and the style, and the punctuation and sentence structure all kind of work together.

[Source: Walden University.  https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3313280 ]


Modifiers, Misplaced Modifiers, Dangling Modifiers


This part of speech, this word might be a little bit unfamiliar. But basically all a modifier is, is a word that gives information about another word.There are two main types of modifiers. Adjectives, which describe nouns, so you can see here, [reading from the slide], “Cathy is the company’s first female CEO,”

The word “female” describes the word “CEO”, so this is an adjective. And then adverbs, which describe verbs, adjectives, or other words. So for example, [reading from the slide], “Cathy recently accepted the CEO position.”

When did she accept it? “Recently.” She is “very eager.”

How eager is she? “very.” [Reading from the slide again], “To meet her staff and is meeting on Monday with all the managers.” And interestingly, adverbs can be more than one word. As you can see here, “on Monday.”

This phrase explains when she is meeting. It actually modifies the word “meeting”, so it counts as an adverb. I’m not going to spend too much time on modifiers, but I do want to talk about one very common error that I see in student papers. Just as you always want to be clear what noun your pronouns refer to, you always want to be clear what your modifiers are modifying. So let’s look at this example down here in this little tip box. [Reading from the slide]: “As a nurse, patients should be my main concern.” Now, the way this sentence is set up, it makes it look as though “patients” is the word being modified.

Now, the problem with that is patients are not a nurse, right? It’s a little bit confusing, so this is what’s called a misplaced modifier. So you just wanted to adjust the sentence a little bit to make it clear what word this phrase is actually modifying.

[Reading from the slide]: “As a nurse, I should mainly be concerned about patients.”

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3437397 ]

Misplaced Modifiers


When a modifier is not modifying the correct word, we would call that a misplaced modifier. So, here the original sentence is “The study that was extremely difficult was eventually published by a famous researcher.” This sentence correctly uses the modifier. In this sentence, the phrase “that was extremely difficult” is describing “the study”, and it’s important to the meaning of the sentence, which is why there are no commas around it–it’s necessary to fully understand the sentence. If those two parts of the sentence get separated, then the sentence might be a little bit confusing and may have a different meaning, so our second sentence is an example of a misplaced modifier.

So in the second example, “The study was eventually published by a famous researcher that was extremely difficult,” now it sounds like the researcher was extremely difficult and that’s not the original intention of the sentence because really it’s the study that was difficult, so this sentence has a misplaced modifier.

So you do have to be very careful when you’re using descriptive phrases and clauses that it is clear what they are describing in the sentence, or you may unintentionally be calling a researcher very difficult. So be sure to watch for misplaced modifiers, which can cause confusion in your sentences.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3437958 ]

Dangling Modifiers


Dangling modifiers are where the main part of a description is disconnected from the description because the description is actually at the very beginning of the sentence. So, you may have a descriptive clause or phrase usually as an introduction and it’s set off by a comma, but then the very next word should be the main part of the description that is attached to it.

So, an example of a dangling modifier, where it’s not done correctly, is the following: “Racing across the finish line, her shoe fell off.” Well, who or what is racing across the finish line? Whoever that is, the very next word after that comma, after that phrase “Racing across the finish line,” should be the main part of that description. So, is her shoe racing across the finish line? It sounds like her shoes are just racing by themselves. That’s not quite what we want to communicate. The revision would be “Racing across the finish line, she lost her shoe” because “she” is the one that is racing across the finish line.

Dangling modifiers can be really entertaining if they’re done wrong, but they can be very misleading as far as communicating your ideas to your reader. So you want to be careful when you’re using descriptions that the main idea is always attached, even if it comes after the description, it needs to be right next to that descriptive phrase or clause.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3437978 ]


Common errors in structuring sentences

1. Fragments


Sentence fragments are basically incomplete sentences. They lack one or more necessary components of a sentence and/or do not express a complete idea.

So we’ll look at a couple of examples. Here I have the example “Showed no improvement in any vital signs.” So this is an incomplete sentence, a sentence fragment, because it’s missing the subject. Who showed no improvement in any vital signs?

So we have the predicate from a sentence, we’re missing the subject.

So to revise this, we could say: “The patient showed no improvement in any vital signs.” So here we have a subject, we have a predicate, we have a period, we have a complete sentence.

“Study skills that Alice uses.” Here we have a subject. So we have “study skills” and we describe study skills a little bit more by saying that they’re the ones that Alice uses. So we have subject but no predicate.

Here we just need to add a predicate: “Study skills that Alice uses include time management and note taking.”

So most problems with sentence fragments, however, are in more complicated sentences. So I showed a couple of maybe simple examples, and we’ll look at a couple of more complex examples.

“The manager announced a new job position; to work with the technical support staff.” So we have a semicolon here, indicating that we should have two independent clauses. But the second independent clause lacks a subject–It doesn’t say who or what will work with the technical support staff.

And so when it comes to some of these more complex sentences, we often have multiple options for how to revise them. In this case, we could make it a simple sentence just by eliminating the semicolon: “The manager announced a new job position to work with the technical support staff.” So that’s a perfectly good option for revising that sentence. We could also add a little more information and make it a compound sentence: “The manager announced a new job position; the new employee will work with the technical support staff.”

So just remember as you are revising sentences, it’s very rare that there’s only one way to fix something. Often you can adjust the wording, add or subtract words, change punctuation, and revise it in, in various ways.

“A task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution.” So we have possibly two clauses here, but right now we have it combined. And the first one lacks a verb associated with the subject. So we have “a task force”, we have more information explaining kind of what the task force is like, but we don’t really have a verb saying what the task force did.

So, again, we have options as to how to revise this. But here are a couple of correct options to follow the guidelines that we’ve been discussing.

In a compound sentence it could be, “A task force has convened to study the potential causes for rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution.” So we have “a task force has convened”, we added that verb there, and “members will work”, so again we have two subjects and then the verbs that start the predicate. Another option is to kind of rearrange the sentence so that it can be a simple sentence: “Members of a task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes will work with the community to seek a solution.”

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491699 ]

2.  Run-On Sentences


Common error #2, and this is an error that I see quite a bit when working with students, is run-on sentences. So run-on sentences include more than one simple sentence joined together improperly. And so, that’s the main key here is, mostly it’s all about punctuation.

So here’s one example of a run-on sentence. “I attended the conference last July I also was at the symposium in October.” So we have two complete sentences here: “I attended the conference last July” and “I was also at the symposium in October”, but there’s no punctuation between them.

So some people may revise this by adding a comma: “I attended the conference last July” comma, “I also was at the symposium in October.” However, a comma is really insufficient to combine two independent clauses. A comma is really just not strong enough to stand alone by itself to bring together two independent clauses. This is also an example we would call a comma splice if that’s something you ever hear.

So options that you have for this to revise, to make this correct, would be to adjust the punctuation or possibly add a word. And so I have the three examples here of ways to revise this run-on sentence. So the first example is to just add a period between the two of them. You have two independent clauses they can be their own independent sentences. Another option is to add a semicolon between them. And then the third option is to do that comma and coordinating conjunction. So comma “and”, in this case, so the comma kind of needs to work along with one of those coordinating conjunction to really be strong enough to connect those two independent clauses.

So many run-on sentences can pretty easily be revised, either into two to simple sentences or two a complex or compound sentence.

Here’s an example: “Employee morale has a big impact on productivity, because job satisfaction plays an important role in turnover, managers should evaluate the employee’s emotional needs.”

So here we have an independent clause, a dependent clause, and independent clause all connected by commas. And this just– it’s kind of unclear mixture. So we’re going to need to adjust the punctuation here.

I have a few examples in the revision examples box. The first one is to include a period. So we have our independent clause and dependent clause, and because the independent clause comes first, we don’t need a comma there, and then period and then the rest of the sentence. If you notice when you read the sentence, the initial example sentence, it’s kind of unclear whether the “because” clause should be connected to the first independent clause or the ending independent clause. And so, this is where, as a writer, you get to make that decision and show the reader where the ideas are connected.

So for example, in number 2, “Employee morale has a big impact on productivity” semicolon (;), so kind of a pause in the idea, “because job satisfaction plays an important role in turnover, managers should value the employees’ emotional needs.”

And then the third example is to use those coordinating conjunctions to show how these ideas are connected: “Employee morale has a big impact on productivity, and job satisfaction place an important role in turnover, so managers should value the employees’ emotional needs.” So you can really make those decisions about the punctuation and how you want to connect sentences in order to really communicate the specific idea that you’re trying to communicate. Whereas, if you use incorrect punctuation, it can actually cause a lot of clarity issues within sentences.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491687 ]

3. Parallel Structure


All right. So common error #3 is parallel structure. And parallel structure means that in a list, all items must have the same grammatical form. For example, maybe I have a list where I need to begin each element of the list with the same verb tense or same part of speech. We’ll look at some examples.

So here’s an example of an error in parallel form. “Nora enjoys running, hike, and to camp.” So the verbs are in three different forms. We have the progressive, the “ING” form. We have the infinitive form, just “hike”, and then we have the two plus the base form or infinitive form. So we have three different forms of the verb. So in order to create parallel structure here, you need to revise this to say “Nora enjoys running, hiking and camping.” Or we can say “Nora likes to run, hike, and camp.” So we’d use that same structure, verb structure, throughout the list.

“I finished my paper and submit it to Blackboard.” So the issue here is that we have “finished” in the past tense, talking about something that I did in the past, and then “submit” is in the present tense. So that just gets a little bit confusing for the reader. Is it something that happened in the past? Are you talking about something that happens on a regular basis? It’s kind of unclear. So here we have a list with really only two items, “I finished and I submitted” in the same sentence, and so we want to make sure they agree, that they’re the same verb tense, word form.

And then this last one is a little bit, can be a little confusing: “I baked a cake, cookies, and made lasagna.” In this list, actually, we have two nouns and one verb. So, “I baked” and then the list includes “cake, cookies” and “made”. Here’s an example of how we could revise it: “I baked a cake and cookies and made lasagna.” So we can make this into a list with just two items: “I baked” and “I made,” and then the other information in the sentence is providing more information about what I baked and what I made. Another option might be to say “I made cake, cookies, and lasagna.” Or I, I could have baked all of them: “I baked cake, cookies, and lasagna.”

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3497220 ]

4. Subject-Verb Disagreement


So the next common error that we often see with simple sentences is with subject-verb disagreement. So this is where the subject and the verb disagree in terms of numbers. So if you — you might have a singular subject with a plural verb or a plural subject with a singular verb. These would be examples of subject-verb disagreement.

In the first example, we have “Twenty people has applied for the job.” So the first thing we want to do here is to determine the main subject, and then we want to determine the main verb.  We’ve got to find that main subject and find that main verb, and then we’re going to be able to make sure that our subject and verb agree with each other.  So in this sentence, we’ve got “Twenty people”, so “people” is our subject. And then our main verb here is “has,” right? So because “people” is our subject and “people” is plural, then we also have to make sure that “has” becomes plural.

And so to fix this one, I would say “Twenty people have applied for the job.” So “people” is plural, therefore “have” also needs to be plural. In this next example, this one gets a little bit more tricky because here we’ve got a complex subject, and we’ve got to be able to break it down and find the main part of that subject to figure out what part of that needs to agree with the verb. So here we have “Following pressure from peers often lead to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.”

So our subject here is “Following pressure from peers.” This entire thing is the subject. So we have a complex subject. And then we have the predicate “often lead to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.” That’s your predicate. But our main part of the subject is actually the word “following.” And because “following” is singular, then our verb needs to be singular as well.

So to fix this sentence, we’re going to want to say “Following pressure from peers often leads to teenagers engaging in risky behavior.” Again, our whole subject is “Following pressure from peers.” It’s a complex subject. But we’ve got to find the main part of that, and that’s “following.” So it’s singular.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3492707 ]

5. Unclear Subjects


Unclear subjects. So this is where we have a sentence that includes a confusing or a redundant subject.

The first example we have is “Asking for help this can be difficult for many students.” Well, in this case, we’ve got the subject that’s repeated. We’ve got “asking for help” and we have “this,” and that’s where it becomes a little bit confusing.

So to clarify this, we could just say “Asking for help can be difficult for many students.” We can get rid of the “this” because we don’t need a redundant subject, or we don’t need to repeat the subject, and then it will make sense.

In the second example, we got “By conducting research it has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies.” So here again, this gets confusing because we’ve got “by conducting research it,” and the grammar here isn’t really working.

So we can simplify it, and we can just say “Conducting research has enabled me to learn more about effective leadership strategies.”

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491611 ]


See also:

Types of Sentences
Simple Sentences
Compound Sentences
Complex Sentences
Combining Sentences

Combining Sentences


So, simple sentences are great. They’re very important in academic writing and all types of writing. And in academic writing, I encourage you to use simple sentences. However, using simple sentences all of the time would cause a couple of issues. Like I have on the slide here, too many short sentences in a row can seem choppy. It can also make the writing seem a little bit redundant. So, sometimes combining sentences can allow your writing to become more sophisticated and really be more engaging to the reader. It’ll also help you show some of the connections between ideas.

So I have an example of a, a few sentences together here. They’re all simple sentences: “I am often busy and tired. I struggle to meet my deadlines. I also struggle to fulfill my other obligations. I need to work on my time management skills.”

As I mentioned, it seems a little bit choppy, and notice how every sentence begins the same, “I am…I struggle…I also struggle…I need to work.” So it’s the same subject beginning every sentence, and it just seems a little bit redundant.

So, one way we could change this to make it maybe more sophisticated, show the relationships between ideas, and also just make it more engaging to the reader, is to kind of combine some of those sentences and add a little bit of information to help show the relationships between the ideas. So, in this case: “I’m often busy and tired, and I struggle to meet my deadlines. Because I also struggle to fulfill my other obligations, I need to work on my time management skills.”

So, notice how just a couple of commas and a couple of words really kind of help to bring the ideas together and show how the ideas are related.

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491608 ]

See also:

Types of Sentences
Simple Sentences
Compound Sentences
Complex Sentences
Common errors in structuring sentences

Complex Sentences


We’re going to talk about combining independent and dependent clauses to talk about complex sentences.

Independent clauses are complete sentences. They can function all by themselves. They could be their own sentence, but we can also combine them to make compound sentences.

Now, we’re going to bring in here, we’re going to talk about dependent clauses. Dependent clauses are also called sentence fragments and dependent clauses are — they have some of the same aspects as an independent clause. They typically have a — or in the cases we’ll talk about–they have a subject and a predicate, but they also have extra information and along the bottom here, I have a complete sentence needs (a) a subject, (b) a verb, and (c) a complete idea. So this says something I just mentioned before, but will come into play here.

So, as you can see, this first part of the sentence is a dependent clause because it cannot function independently as its own complete idea. If I just write, “because I am often very busy and tired”, and I stop it there, it does not indicate a complete idea, does not communicate a complete idea. It seems like there is something missing. And, so, that’s how dependent clauses are often a good, you know, a part of an idea that really needs extra information to be complete.

Dependent clauses often begin with subordinating conjunction. Another kind of big word or phrase that we use when we talk about grammar. It’s not 100%, like, necessary that you use the term subordinating conjunction, but at least understanding the idea will be important here. So, many, but not all, dependent clauses use them. They join a subordinate clause to a main clause and establish a relationship between the two. So these dependent clauses that begin with subordinating conjunctions, they begin with words like after, although, because, before, once, since, though. So, we can kind of pick them out of our sentences or out of our writing by looking for some of these words. And this is not an exhaustive list. There are many other subordinating conjunctions, but this is a list of a few that you will see probably on a regular basis. And subordinate means that the clause does not express a complete idea, even if it has that subject and the predicate.

So, we’ll look at a few more examples. So, our basic formula for a complex sentence is that we’re going to combine the, the independent clause, what we might call the main clause, or a simple sentence, we now have various kind of terms for this, but I’ll call it an independent clause, and combine it with a dependent clause, what we just talked about, those incomplete sentences that need extra information to make them complete.

And there are two main ways that we do that. We can use the dependent clause at the beginning, and it acts kind of like an introductory clause. Conversely, we can have the dependent clause at the end. So notice the structure in the introductory clause, it’s the dependent phrase or clause, comma, main clause or independent clause. So, two main structures, introductory, so the dependent clause is at the beginning, we have a comma, if the dependent clause is at the end, notice that there’s no comma needed. So that’s one of the main differences between the two, when we, when we put them in order, is that if the dependent clause starts the sentence, we need a comma.

So here’s an example. We have our dependent clause, “if the flight is on time”. Notice, like I said previously, that this does not communicate a complete idea. We need more information. If the flight is on time, what happens? You know, then what happens? So we need more information. And the independent clause, “Tim will get home tonight”. Notice that this could function as a complete sentence, if necessary, or in the right context.

So, by following our two formulas, we can put the dependent clause at the beginning, “if the flight is on time” comma, “Tim will get home tonight.” Or we can switch it around and say “Tim will get home tonight” — notice no comma needed – “if the flight is on time.”

[Source: Walden University. https://academicguides.waldenu.edu/c.php?g=465757&p=3491603 ]


See also:

Types of Sentences
Simple Sentences
Compound Sentences
Combining Sentences
Common errors in structuring sentences