Every sentence must have a subject and a verb and must express a complete thought. A word group that lacks a subject or a verb and that does not express a complete thought is a fragment. There are four most common types of fragments that people write. They are (1) dependent-word fragments, (2) -ing and to fragments, (3) added-detail fragments, and (4) missing-subject fragment
Once you understand the specific kind or kinds of fragments that you might write, you should be able to eliminate them from your writing.
Run-On, Shift and Mixed Constructions
A run-on is two complete thoughts that are run together with no adequate sign given to mark the break between them. Two types of run-ons are fused sentences and comma splices. Some run-on sentences have no punctuation at all to mark the break between the thoughts. Such run-ons are known as fused sentences. In other run-on sentences, known as comma splices, a comma is used to connect or splice together two complete thoughts.
Four common methods of correcting a run-on sentence are:
1. Use a period and a capital letter to separate the two complete thoughts.
2. Use a comma plus a joining word (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) to connect the two complete thoughts.
3. Use a semicolon to connect the two complete thoughts.
4. Use subordination.
Readers expect a logical consistency in the person and a number of subjects, in the forms of verbs, and in the way quotations are reproduced within a sentence. A change in any of these elements is called a shift. Often a writer’s meaning does require a shift, such as a change of subject from third person to first person or from singular to plural.
Mixed construction is a sentence that begins one way and then takes a sudden, unexpected turn, so that readers are unsure what it means. One kind of mixed construction uses a grammatically unacceptable element as a subject or predicate. Another kind of mixed construction links subject and verb in an illogical way.
Word order problems in writing often involve modifiers adjectives, adverbs, and phrases or clauses used as adjectives and adverbs. If a modifier’s placement within a sentence does not make clear what it modifies, readers may misinterpret the sentence. Modifiers that seem to modify the wrong thing are called misplaced. Those that are ambiguous about what they modify are called squinting. Those that have no element to modify sensibly are called dangling. Finally, modifiers that come between sentence elements that should not be separated are called disruptive.
Pronouns serve as stand-ins for nouns, noun phrases, or other pronouns. Unless reader can understand what word a pronoun such `she’ refers to, they may find themselves asking, “She who?” Pronouns are words that take place of nouns (persons, places, or things). In fact, the word pronoun means for a noun. Pronouns are shortcuts that keep you from unnecessarily repeating words in writing.
The word for which a pronoun substitutes is called its antecedent (from Latin roots meaning `to go before’). Although antecedents normally appear before pronouns that refer to them, sometimes they follow the pronouns. In either case, there must be no conflicting choices to confuse readers.
To clarify pronoun reference, edit your sentences using the following strategies:
Make sure a pronoun clearly refers to a single antecedent.
Place a pronoun close to its antecedent.
Provide an explicit antecedent.
Use it, they, and you appropriately.
Avoid overusing it.
Choose who, which, or that according to the antecedent.
Eliminate unneeded pronouns.
Coordination, Subordination, and Parallelism
An effective sentence means a clear, coherent sentence that produces precisely the reader’s response you want. An effective sentence consistently clarifies the purpose of writing. In order to construct effective sentences, basically, we should know kinds of sentences, coordination, subordination, and parallelism.
A compound sentence is two or more independent clauses joined together; each clause is of equal importance and could stand alone. It is the coordination. A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one (or more) dependent clause. It is the subordination. In order to make the ideas in your sentences clear and understandable, words, phrases, and clauses should have parallelism-that is, the sentence structures should be grammatically balanced. Parallelism is a paragraph means using the same grammatical structures in several sentences to establish coherence.
Conciseness Versus Wordiness
Almost all writing suffers from wordiness – the tendency to use more words than necessary. Wordiness is frequently the result of using one or more of the following: 1) deadword construction, 2) redundancies, and 3) pretentiousness. If you can avoid wordiness, you might have conciseness. You have also to know the sentence problems and revise them. There are four major sentence structure problems:
A fragment is only a part of a sentence. You can fix it most easily by attaching it to an independent clause.
A run-on or comma splice sentence is two independent clauses written without punctuation. To fix it, separate the clauses with a period or semicolon.
Choppy sentences result from too many simple sentences in one paragraph. To fix this problem, join some of the sentences to make compound and complex sentences.
A stringy sentence results from too many clauses in one sentence. Divide the stringy sentence into two or three compound or complex sentences.
In other-shorter-words , to attract and hold your readers’ attention, to communicate clearly and quickly, make your sentences as informative, straightforward, specific, and concise as possible. God writing demands clarity and conciseness.
Variety and Emphasis
Good writing must be clear, concise, lively, forceful, and interesting. In order to have such kind of writing, the following practical suggestions are useful for you:
use specific, descriptive verbs;
use specific, precise modifiers that help the reader see, hear, or feel what you are describing;
emphasize people when possible;
vary your sentence style;
avoid overuse of any one kind of construction in the same sentence;
don’t change your point of view between or within sentences.
Furthermore, you need to give emphasis on some words and phrases in your sentence. Three ways to vary emphasis are by 1) word order, 2) coordination, and 3) subordination.
Appropriate Word Choice
Slang is the comfortable, in-group language of neighborhood friends, coworkers, teammates, or of any group to which we feel we belong. We often use slang expressions when we talk because they are so vivid and colorful. However, slang is usually out of place in formal writing. Clichés are expressions that have been worn out through constant use. Pretentious Words are fancy and elevated words. People use artificial and stilted language that more often obscures their meaning than communicates it clearly
Sexiest and Biased Language
Using generalizations about a group of people to describe, interpret, or predict the behavior or characteristics of an individual is particularly risky. Careless generalizations, especially those based on race, ethnicity, gender, cultural background, age, physical characteristics, or lifestyle, are called stereotypes. People often speak of themselves in terms of the racial, gender, political, professional, or ethnic groups to which they belong. But labels inevitably focus on a single feature and have the potential to offend those who do not want to be characterized in one particular way and some labels are considered derogatory. If you use words that embody sexual stereotypes, you run the risk of alienating half your potential audience (or more). Several kinds of gender bias arise from habits of thought and language.
Exact Word Choice
The writer’s first concern in selecting a word is to be sure that its denotation, or dictionary meaning, is appropriate for the sentence at hand. Once you are satisfied that you are using a word correctly according to its denotation, consider its connotations-its implications, associations, and nuances of meaning. Specific details, illustrations, and observations are more vivid and more memorable than general remarks. Successful writers shuttle back and forth between the general and specific. Like general words, abstract words are broad. They name categories or ideas. Concrete expressions provide details that give readers a chance to see, hear, and touch-and in this way to understand how an idea or category is made real. Just as with general and specific language, you should seek a balance between the abstract and concrete.
A period is used to mark the end of a statement or a mild command, in relation to end quotation mark and parentheses, and with abbreviations. The question mark is used after a direct question, after a quoted question with a statement, and within parentheses to indicate that the accuracy of information is in doubt. Exclamation point is used to mark an emphatic statement or command, please mark mild exclamation with periods or comma.
The Comma, Semicolon, And Colon
Comma is used before coordinating conjunction joining independent clauses, after introductory elements, to set off nonrestrictive modifier and appositives, between items in a series and between coordinate adjectives, to set off parenthetical expressions and elements of contrast, to set off interjections, tag sentences, and direct address, with quotation, and many other uses. Semicolon is used between independent clauses and in a series containing commas. Colon is used to introduce a list, to introduce a long quotation, and to introduce an explanation.
The Apostrophe, Quotation Mark, and Other Punctuation
The apostrophe, used primarily to form the possessive of a noun or pronoun, also indicates certain unusual plural forms and shows where a letter has been dropped in contraction. Quotation marks are like shoes: use them in pairs. In written American English, there are two types of quotation marks: double quotation marks (” “) which identify quotations, titles, and so on, and single quotation marks (‘ ‘) which identify quotations with in quotations (or titles within titles). In print and in handwriting, a distinction is made between an opening quotation mark (“) and a closing quotation mark (“), Most typewriters and personal computers, however; use the same quotation mark or marks at both ends of a quotation. Parentheses enclose elements that would otherwise interrupt a sentence: explanations, examples, asides, and supplementary information. They are also used to set off cross-references, citations, and numbers in a list. Parentheses can be distracting, so use them sparingly. Brackets are used to enclose words that are added to or changed within direct quotations. They can also enclose comments about quotations and about material that is already inside parentheses. Use a slash, preceded and followed by a space, to mark the end of a line of poetry incorporated in text.
Capitals, Abbreviations, and Numbers
Capital letters are used with: a) the first word in a sentence or direct quotation, b) names of persons and the word I, c) names of particular places, d) names of days of the week, months, and holidays, e) names of commercial products, f) names of organizations such as religious and political groups, associations, companies, unions, and clubs, and g) titles of books, magazines, newspapers, articles, stories, poems, films, television shows, songs, papers that you write, and the like.
The following kinds of information can be abbreviated in most writing situations: a) titles and degrees, b) numbers, symbols, and amounts, c) addresses, d) common Latin terms, and e) initials and acronyms.
The following kind s of information are useful for using numbers: a) spell out numbers that can be expressed in one or two words; otherwise, use numerals, b) be consistent when you use a series of numbers, and c) use numerals for dates, times, addresses, percentages, and parts of a book.
Common Uses of Italics
As you edit, check for your use of italics with the following:
– Titles of long published works, musical works, and works of art
– Specific words you wish to give special emphasis
– Words, numerals, and letters used as words
– Words from languages other than English
– Names of trains, ships, and other specific vehicles
Hyphen are commonly used for the following purposes:
Use hyphen to make compound words.
Use hyphen to divide a word at the end of a line.
Use hyphen to add prefixes and suffixes.
Use hyphen to avoid misreading.
Use hyphen with numbers, fractions, and units of measure.
An Introduction To Paragraph
To write effectively in English, you must conform to the accepted patterns of organization and you should master master some elements of good writing, namely subject, purpose, and audience. A paragraph is a group of sentences that develop one subject logically. The number of sentences in the paragraph depends on its subjects.
A good paragraph should fulfill the following rules: a) indent the first word of a new paragraph, b) begin each sentence with a capital letter, c) end each sentence with a period, d) do not start each new sentece on a new line, and e) place the title of the paragraph in the center position.
Components of A Paragraph
A paragraph is a small unit of writing that contains information about one idea. A good paragraph should have a topic sentence, several related supporting details, and a concluding sentence. A good topic sentence should contain a topic, a main idea, the controlling idea(s). Supporting ideas should be relevant to the general subject being developed by the topic sentence. They should be specific enough to describe and contain specific facts and/or examples. Concluding sentence should review the topic sentence and give some final thought about the subject.
Composing a Good Paragraph
have discussed that each sentence in a paragraph should relate to the topic and develop the controlling idea. If a sentence does not relate to or develop that that idea, it is irrelevant and should be omitted. A paragraph that has sentences that do not relate to or discuss the controlling idea lacks unity. Another element that a paragraph needs is coherence. A coherent paragraph contains sentences that are logically arranged and flow smoothly. There are various ways to order the sentences, depending on the purposes: from the least important to the most important and chronological order.
Introduction to Narrative Paragraph
There are three main types of paragraphs in English: narrative, descriptive, and expository. A narrative paragraph tells a story. When you write a story, it is very important to write the sequence of event in the right time order. The topic sentence should tell the time and place of the story. Then, the rest of the sentences should tell what happened in the correct time order. This is known as chronological order. Chronological order, or time, is used to write about past events.
Coherent is one of the most important elements of a good paragraph. To make your paragraph coherent, arrange the supporting sentence in chronological order, the order in which the events or pieces of information occur. Words such as just last week, last night, and a few minutes ago signal time and provide a smooth transition to the next sentence or thought.
In addition to a topic sentence and supporting points, a good paragraph has a concluding sentence. The concluding sentence restates or returns to the main idea in the topic sentence. Your concluding sentence is your final statement. It should logically end the paragraph by supporting the point you made in the topic sentence. It should never undermine that point or stray from the point.
Writing a Narrative Paragraph
There are many things your need to consider when you write effective narration. They are know your purpose, maintain a consistent point of view, follow a logical time sequence, use a variety of sentence lengths, use parallel structure, use quoted (direct) speech, and organize your narrative with a clear topic and controlling idea, supporting ideas, using a chronological sequence. Narration can be developed through prewriting and revising. Moreover, there are two types of narrative paragraphs; present narration and past narration
Describing A Person
You can describe a person’s appearance in many ways. You can describe the person’s clothes, manner of walking, color and style of hair, facial appearance, body shape, and expression. You can also describe the person’s way of talking. Just what you select again depends on the topic and purpose. When you describe someone, you give your readers a picture in words. To make this “word picture” as vivid and real as possible, you must observe and record specific details that appeal to your readers’ senses (sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch).
Describing a Place
When you describe a place, you use space order to explain where things are located. The easiest way to do this is to choose a starting point. Then you describe where things are located in relation to your starting point. Decide on a logical method to follow. The arrangement of the details in a descriptive paragraph depends on the subject. The selection and the description of details depend on the describer’s purpose. When painting a picture with words, you can begin from left to right, from right to left, from top to bottom or from bottom to top.
The subject of a descriptive paragraph must be a limited object with a small number of important parts-usually something that can be held in the hand. In the topic sentence of a descriptive paragraph, the general idea is the object, and the specific parts are the most important parts of the object. The specific parts are written down in the order they will be developed. The subject development of a descriptive paragraph details each part, shows how that part is related to the other parts, and explains the use of the part
Process and Procedure
SA Process is a continuous series of steps that produces a result. A directional process analysis explain step-by-step how to the process. In the topic sentence of process paragraph, the general idea is the process, and the specific parts are short description of each step.
Comparison and Contrast
Comparison and contrast paragraphs are the ones that tell the reader about the things. Comparison paragraphs are about the similarities of two things, while contrast paragraphs are about the differences of two things. There are two common methods, or formats, of development in a comparison or contrast paper. One format presents the details one side at a time. The other presents the details point by point
Cause and Effect
Cause and effect Paragraphs can be developed into two ways: cause analysis and effect analysis. In a “cause” paragraph, the writer usually wants to discover the reason why a situation exists or the reasons why a change has occurred in a situation. An effect is the result of a cause. An effect analysis paragraph explains the main effects that result from a cause. In effect analysis, the writer simply answers the question `What are the effects of this cause? ‘
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