The Writing Center @ The University of Wisconsin - Madison
The Writer's Handbook
An Editing Checklist

2. Sentence sprawl

Too many equally weighted phrases and clauses produce tiresome sentences.

Incorrect

The hearing was planned for Monday, December 2, but not all of the witnesses could be available, so it was rescheduled for the following Friday, and then all the witnesses could attend.

[There are no grammatical errors here, but the sprawling sentence does not communicate clearly and concisely.]

Correct

The hearing, which had been planned for Monday, December 2, was rescheduled for the following Friday so that all witnesses would be able to attend.

This list includes only brief examples and explanations intended for you to use as reminders while you are editing your papers. If you would like to learn more, consider the following options: