We are taught to place the most interesting concept at the end of a sentence. And for good reason, because
the next sentence will usually expand upon this idea. Thus, we often find that rearranging one sentence
serves to better link it to the next.
This passage was part of a recently-edited manuscript:
Ultrasonography is capable of detecting morphological profiles and changes of the iliotibial tract when it was
under different levels of stretch. Although a similar phenomenon is observed by ultrasonography in laboratory
studies regarding mechanical properties of ligaments or tendons (Maganaris and Paul, 2002), it is first
reported in a clinical application. This significant morphological change of target tissues accompanying an
increased joint angle is suggested as a criterion of an effective stretch.
Very interesting results! But, regarding the first and second sentences, what is the similar phenomenon? The
answer: The morphological profiles and changes of the iliotibial tract. These changes result from stretching,
that is accurate and important to write. But when we move to the second sentence, we first emphasize
ultrasonography, then mechanical properties of tendons and ligaments. Additionally, the significant point for
these authors is that their result is novel for a clinical application. In the third sentence, they start with a
statement that poorly serves as a transition from the previous sentence. They elude to morphological
changes, but this was not mentioned in the previous sentence. In the rearranged third sentence that follows,
the novel concept is smoothly introduced while giving the authors full credit for their work. The transitional
phrase used in this sentence, 'we suggest' helps the reader to think with an open mind.
The modified passage:
Under different levels of stretch, morphological profiles and changes of the iliotibial tract are reliably detected
by ultrasonography. Although similar results are observed for ultrasonography in laboratory studies regarding
mechanical properties of ligaments or tendons (Maganaris and Paul, 2002), this is the first report regarding a
clinical application. We suggest that this significant morphological change of target tissues accompanying an
increased joint angle is a criterion of an effective stretch.
Note that the change made in the first sentence involved moving a prepositional phrase from the end of the
sentence to the beginning. In these cases, you must punctuate the phrase with a comma (as I did in this
sentence). While it is a good idea to minimize commas in your writing, because fragmented sentences are
usually harder to understand, this rule is superseded in this example by the ease with which the reader
understands the overall message - always the goal of the writer!
Go To Step 3 Go To Step 5
Although effective, this
takes some time, which
is why you should draft
the manuscript first, and
perfect transitions in the
last few versions.