Sentence Structure & Fragments

-Symone Green-

Hey classmates! It’s time to talk about a subject we all struggle with, but never want to address: poor sentence structure.

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Sentence structure is important because, without it, communication and writing would become ineffective.

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So, let’s get things straight. A proper sentence contains both a subject and a predicate. Sentence fragments (Fragment meaning ‘a small part broken or separated off something’) are lacking either the subject or the predicate. Here are some examples of sentence fragments:

“Typed an essay in 40 minutes.”

“The overworked college student typed an essay in 40 minutes.”

The initial sentence does not include a subject, and the reader cannot tell who or what did the action. This phrase, “The overworked college student an essay in 40 minutes,” gives a description of the subject, the college student, but does not provide the reader with what it is the college student is doing.

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These examples probably sound unnatural as you read them, which is what I was going for. A method to distinguish between sentences and sentence fragments is to read your sentences aloud as you are in the writing process.

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I know it may sound tedious, but Google Docs and Word may not always recognize your grammatical errors. So my best advice is to trust your ears. If it sounds wrong, it probably is. Do not be shy to read aloud, and if you get tired, ask a friend, College Writing instructor, and know you can always find additional help on campus. I hope this helped!

I checked out Purdue OWL Engagement’s website for online help.

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