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SENTENCE FRAGMENTS “Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought.” --Stephen King On Writing.

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Presentation on theme: "SENTENCE FRAGMENTS “Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought.” --Stephen King On Writing."— Presentation transcript:

1 SENTENCE FRAGMENTS “Must you write complete sentences each time, every time? Perish the thought.” --Stephen King On Writing

2 Sentence Fragments A fragment can be a word, a phrase, or a clause. A group of words that does not express a complete statement or claim, but that is written as one, in that it begins with a capital letter and ends with end punctuation. Room. (one-word fragment) Into the room. (phrase fragment) Because the teacher walked into the room. (clause fragment) Clause fragments are the most difficult to spot, because seem long enough to be sentences. Length is not a criteria for a complete sentence.

3 Stylistic Sentence Fragments When is it ok to use a sentence fragment deliberately? Only break the rule once you know it Have a particular stylistic effect in mind Consider the circumstances. Perhaps your final research paper is not the place to experiment -- or, then again, maybe it is. Conversational style vs. academic or formal style

4 E.B.White, author of Elements of Style states: It is permissible to make an emphatic word or expression serve the purpose of a sentence and to punctuate it accordingly: Again and again he called out. No reply. The writer must, however, be certain that the emphasis is warranted, lest his clipped sentence seem merely a blunder in syntax or in punctuation. Generally speaking, the place for broken sentences is in dialogue, when a character happens to speak in a clipped or fragmentary way. Stylistic Sentence Fragments

5 Another type of stylistic fragment is sometimes called a “fragment question” For example: When should writers take on a conversational tone? s? Creative writing? Letters to political leaders? Got milk? Done with sentence fragments? Not quite.

6 Stylistic Sentence Fragments An interjection—a word (or phrase) that expresses an exclamatory idea—can be treated like a deliberate stylistic fragment. Interjections are usually punctuated with an exclamation point. A student told me that he had never been taught how to write a complete sentence. Nonsense! Enough already! Let’s stop talking about grammar.


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