Complex Sentences in Academic Writing

Complex sentences are nothing new to university students. However, to convey ideas effectively with complex sentences could be challenging in academic writing. It is not uncommon that some student writers have the misconception that academic writing is characterized with long sentences – ‘the longer, the better’. However, high-quality academic writing is never just about long, complex sentences. In the video below, we are to explain how to achieve academic tone by using assorted complex sentence patterns.

On this page, you can find three levels of challenges for you to practice writing complex sentences. The challenges are designed for learners with different levels of confidence with English writing. However, feel free to attempt all challenges according to your own learning needs. 

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If you are less confident and would like to start from a less challenging exercise, take the Bronze challenges. These challenges will improve grammatical accuracy of your writing. 

Click here to start the Bronze challenges


This challenge is for students with medium levels of English proficiency, the sentences are more difficult than the Bronze level ones. Read the instruction and take the challenges. The Silver challenges are focused on academic vocabulary describing how children learn in a kindergarten.

Click here to start the Silver challenges



For students with good general English writing skills, this Gold challenge focuses on a video seeking to evidence that high-quality education could have a positive impact on preschool children.

Click here to start the Gold challenges

For more similar challenges, contact us at

Good Luck!

Additional Learning Resources

For a quick review of basic complex sentence structures, refer to this webpage by University of New England.