Presentation on theme: "Improving your writing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Improving your writing Comma SplicesFused sentencesRun-on SentencesFixing Fragments
2 Clause RefresherDefinition of a Clause: part of a sentence with its own subject and predicateDefinition of Predicate: unit of a verb and all words modifying the verb - example: is here in Larry is here.Clause Example: The sentence‘Mary has a friend who is rich‘contains a main clause anda subordinate clause (one that relies on the main for meaning)Which is which? WHY???
3 fix those bad sentences!!! Definitions of a comma splice and a fused sentence:A comma splice contains two main clauses illegally joined by a comma. The problem looks like this:main clause + , + another main clause = COMMA SPLICE.A fused sentence, on the other hand, contains two main clauses illegally run together with no punctuation. The problem looks like this:main clause + another main clause = FUSED SENTENCE.
4 More professional writing Comma splices and fused sentences make you look like an amateur because they tell your reader that you cannot control the construction of a sentence.So, how do you make your writing more professional???Julie is a real hypochondriac when her stomach hurts, she is certain that she has a bleeding ulcer, and if she has a backache, she believes that she has cancer of the spine.First - Is this sentence a comma splice?Or is it a fused sentence?WHY???NOW – how do we fix it?
5 Strategy 1 — Make two complete sentences. Because comma splices and fused sentences contain two main clauses, you can alwaysadd a period at the end of the first clause thenbegin the second with a capital letter.Grandma still rides her Harley motorcycle her toy poodle balances in a basket between the handlebars.Correct the above sentencewith Strategy #1.
6 Strategy 2 — Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction. There are seven coordinating conjunctions.Some students remember the seven by learning the word fanboys.Each of the seven letters of fanboys stands for one of the coordinating conjunctions.F = forA = andN = norB = butO = orY = yetS = so
7 fix the problem with Strategy 2 Remember that you must use a coordinating conjunction that logically joins the two complete sentences.But, for example, would not work in the example below because the writer is NOT showing contrast.Teamed up with a comma, the seven coordinating conjunctions can correctly join two main clauses.Correct the example sentencewith Strategy 2:Grandma still rides her Harleymotorcycle her toy poodlebalances in a basket betweenthe handlebars.
8 Strategy 3 — Use a semicolon. Unlike a comma, a semicolon IS a strongenough mark of punctuation to jointwo main clauses.Keep these things in mind when you use a semicolon:- 1) The two main clauses that the semicolon joins should be closely related in meaning.- 2) Do NOT capitalize the word that follows the semicolon UNLESS that word is a proper noun, which is always capitalized anyway.
9 Correct the example sentence with Strategy 3: Grandma still rides her Harley motorcycle her toy poodle balances in a basket between the handlebars.Good writers mix things up!KEEP IN MIND:Limit your use of semicolons;you should not wantonly scatterthem throughout your writing.
10 Strategy 4 — Use a conjunction. First, here is a list to remind you of conjunctions we have covered before:After although asbecause before even ifeven though in order that Ifonce provided that rather thansince so that thanthat though unlessuntil when wheneverwhere whereas whereverwhether while why
11 Using conjunctionsWhen you are fixing a comma splice or fused sentence, subordinating conjunctions can be the most tricky to use.There are two reasons they are tricky:1) there are many to choose from, and2) you must use the right punctuation.Now fix original problem sentence using Strategy 4:Grandma still rides her Harley motorcycle her toy poodle balances in a basket between the handlebars.
12 A good writer can fix problem sentences using all four strategies: adding a period and a capital letterusing a comma and a conjunctionjoining the two main clauses with a semicolonsubordinating one part with a subordinate conjunction.Now it is your turn. With a partner, correct the following sentence with each of the four strategies you just learned.Most Freshmen feel overwhelmed by the workload in their college courses they usually spend more time socializing then studying
13 Check Ms. Bailey1- Most freshmen feel overwhelmed by the workload in their college courses. They usually spend more time socializing than studying.2- Most freshmen feel overwhelmed by the workload in their college courses, because they usually spend more time socializing than studying.3- Most freshmen feel overwhelmed by the workload in their college courses; they usually spend more time socializing than studying.4- Most freshmen feel overwhelmed by the workload in their college courses, and usually spend more time socializing than studying.
14 Run-On SentencesThe length of a sentence has nothing to do with whether or not a sentence is considered a run-on.An over-exuberant, run-off-at-the-mouth, 400-word gorilla of a sentence can be structurally fine.A run-on sentence is one inwhich two clauses havebeen connected incorrectly.
15 Avoiding Run-on Sentences There are three situations in which run-on sentences are apt to happen:1. When a pronoun in the second clause refers to a noun in the first clause:The President’s popularity has plummeted, she apparently underestimated the opposition.2. When a suggestion or directive occurs in the second clause:You will be responsible for this material on the final exam, study it thoroughly now.3. When two clauses are connected by a conjunction:Many people think protectionism can halt rising prices, however, the opposite is actually true.YIKERS!! FIX THESE SENTENCES!
16 Check yourself1. The President’s popularity has plummeted, and she apparently underestimated the opposition. 2. You will be responsible for this material on the final exam. Study it thoroughly now. 3. Many people think protectionism can halt rising prices; however, the opposite is actually true.Charles Darling, PhD
17 FragmentsThe first thing you MUST be able to do is recognize the difference between a sentence and a fragment.Simply put:a fragment does NOT contain a main clause.When you analyze a group of words looking for the main clause, you have to find three things: a subject, a verb, and a complete thought.If one of these three items is missing, a fragment results.
18 examples of fragmentsAnd yawned loudly enough to make everyone in class turn around.NO subject; verb = yawned; NO complete thought.The boy sitting on the fire escape dropping water balloons on the pedestrians below.Subject = boy; NO verb; NO complete thought.After Gabriel ate half a box of Devil Dogs.Subject = Gabriel; verb = ate;NO complete thought .
19 Watch words for fragment identification Here are the words to watch for that will begin many fragments: After although as because before even if even though if in order that once provided that since so [that is implied] so that than that though unless until when whenever where whereas wherever whether which whichever while who whoever whom whomever whose Anything Look Familiar?
20 correct that fragment! A “how to” 1) add the necessary main clause2) connect the fragment to a main clause already in the passage.3) remove a subordinating conjunctionRemember: Whether you addor connect, you must use theright punctuation.
21 Examples:Because Chase caught the eye of the beautiful brunette in algebra.Because = subordinate conjunction; Chase = subject; caught = verb.What happened? Was he able to cheat on the test? Did he quickly ask her for a date? The thought is incomplete.Until Rachel notices the toilet paper stuck to her shoe.Until = subordinate conjunction; Rachel = subject; notices = verb.What will happen? Will she embarrass her date? Will people at the restaurant stare? Another incomplete thought.Even though Fred stuck straws up his nose.Even though = subordinate conjunction; Fred = subject; stuck = verb.What happened? Could he still not pass as a walrus? Did the McDonald's manager offer him a job anyway? This thought is incomplete too!
22 Some fragments begin or end with an “ing” or “ed” word Sunning themselves on the hot concrete until they heard human feet crashing down the sidewalk.Twirling the baton with the speed and ferocity of helicopter blades.Sucked down the pipe with a hearty slurp.Hidden in the bureau drawer underneath a pile of mismatched socks.
23 infinitive phrase fragments INFINITIVE Definition: to + verbAlthough more words will follow to finish the phrase, you will not find a main clause to finish the thought.An infinitive phrase—by itself—cannot be a sentence.Examples of Infinitive Verb FragmentsOnly to watch in dismay as Dr. Frazier poured her chemistry experiment into the sink.To catch butterflies for her biology project.To break a piece of plywood with his bare hands.
24 Afterthought Fragments An afterthought does not contain a main clauseWatch for these words: especially, except, excluding, for example, for instance, including, like, and such as.Examples of Afterthought Fragments:For example, leaky pens, candy wrappers, dollar bills, and paperclips.Including the dog with three legs and the cat with one eye.Such as leaving the stove on and teasing mean dogs.
25 Lonely Verb Fragments Writers will sometimes forget to include a subject in a sentence.The result is a verb pining for its partner.A lonely verb fragment will often begin with a coordinating conjunctionand, but, for, or, nor, so, yetThe marker for a lonely verb fragment will be the immediate expression of action.Remember that a verb alone cannot be a sentence.
26 Lonely verb fragmentsAnd dashed through the downpour as raindrops softened the hairspray shell holding her elaborate coif in place.But knew that all of his effort would prove useless in the long run.Took the thick book and, with a heavy sigh, loaded it on top of her research pile.
27 Appositive FragmentsAppositive Definition:a noun phrase that renames and clarifies another noun.Because an appositive can be long, writers sometimes mistake them for a complete sentence.By itself an appositive is not a sentence.
28 Appositive fragment examples The unprepared student who was always begging for an extra pencil and a couple sheets of blank paper.A slacker wasting his afternoonin front of the television.A dog around whom people needto guard their fingers and food.
29 fix these fragment sBecause Chase caught the eye of the beautiful brunette in algebra.Sunning themselves on the hot concrete until they heard human feet crashing down the sidewalk.Only to watch in dismay as Dr. Frazier poured her chemistry experiment into the sink.For example, leaky pens, candy wrappers, dollar bills, and paperclips.And dashed through the downpour as raindrops softened the hairspray shell holding her elaborate coif in place.The unprepared student who was always begging for an extra pencil and a couple sheets of blank paper.
30 put your new knowledge to work! You are going to peer edit, butyou are going to start at the end.BTW, This is also a SUPER way to self-edit.Beginning at the end, evaluate every sentence:Is there a comma splice? Use this mark: CSIs it a fragment? Use this mark: frag.Is it a run-on? Use this mark: R-O