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Academic Writing: Sentence Patterns

This LibGuide was designed to provide you with assistance in citing your sources when writing an academic paper.

Sentence Patterns

     This section shows an overview of English sentence patterns. It will help you identify subjects, verbs, and clause connectors so you can analyze your writing style and improve it by using a variety of sentence patterns.

Complex Sentence

Connectors are always at the beginning of the dependent clause. They show how the dependent clause is related to the independent clause. This list shows different types of relationships along with the connectors that indicate those relationships:

  • Cause/Effect: because, since, so that
  • Comparison/Contrast: although, even though, though, whereas, while
  • Place/Manner: how, however, where, wherever
  • Possibility/Conditions: if, whether, unless
  • Relation: that, which, who, whom
  • Time: after, as, before, since, when, whenever, while, until

Examples of cautious or tentative style

  • It appears that...
  • It seems as though...
  • This suggests that...
  • It may be that...
  • It is likely that...
  • It is possible...

 Can you think of more?

Formal writing style


  • isn't
  • it'll be completed 
  • they've

Uncontracted phrase

  • is not
  • it will be completed
  • they have