Long Sentences

Do you have some long sentences in your writing?

Sentences that are overly long can be confusing, especially if you have several different thoughts packed into one sentence. Although you can use coordinating conjunctions such as and, or, and but to join independent clauses, it's often better to vary the length of sentences. Some of them can be long, and others can be short. See where you can divide your sentences to make your writing clearer.

Original:

Every day is action packed for Louise as she balances school, piano lessons, basketball practice, her personal interest in photography, homework, and her friends, but she refuses to give up any of these activities because she likes each one of them enormously and each one of them makes her happy in a different way. Her mother believes she needs to focus on one or two activities, she will excel in them if she does. But she couldn't possibly give up basketball because she just made the starting team, there is a photography exhibit she wants to enter her work in next month, her friends make her laugh. By the time she goes to bed— usually around midnight—she is so exhausted that she falls asleep the second her head hits the pillow, and in the morning, waking up her is like trying to roll a log out of bed, which is what her mother says, shaking her head with disapproval.

Improved:

Every day is action packed for Louise as she balances school, piano lessons, basketball practice, her personal interest in photography, homework, and her friends. She refuses to give up any of these activities because she likes each one of them enormously. Each one makes her happy in a different way. Her mother believes if she focuses on one or two activities, she will excel in them. However, Louise couldn't possibly give up basketball because she just made the starting team. Likewise, she wants to keep taking pictures because there is a photography exhibit she wants to enter her work in next month. It goes without saying that her friends are important because they make her laugh. By the time she goes to bed around midnight, she is so exhausted that she falls asleep the second her head hits the pillow. Her mother says that waking her up in the morning is like trying to roll a log out of bed.