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Arts & Letters Daily

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Sentence Problems - Level II

    Dr. Otto

Whenever I coach students on writing essay or reports, I discover many different kinds of grammar errors. However, there are two types of sentence problems that are common …

YouTube Tutorial – click on INTRODUCTION /OR/ APPLICATION

Text for Tutorial on APPLICATION  – click HERE

Notes – scroll down to Notes

Assignment – scroll down to Assignment

Answer Key – scroll down to Answer Key

Practice oral English – click HERE

ASK DR. OTTO – click HERE

Notes

There are two common types of sentence problems: sentence fragment and run-on sentence. Sentences without either a subject or a predicate are often sentence problems, although there are some exceptions.

 

Complete Sentence: Subject and Predicate

Example: A report begins with an introduction. (This sentence has a subject, ‘report’, and a verb, ‘begins’. It is a complete sentence.)

 

Sentence Fragments

A sentence fragment is an incomplete sentence in that the subject, verb or both may be missing. A sentence fragment may also be a dependent clause or a phrase that is punctuated like a sentence.

Example: Two very important references. (The subject and verb are missing.)

Example: Before noon. (This is a prepositional phrase.)

Example: When I write an essay. (This is a dependent clause.)

 

Some fragment sentences are acceptable.

Example: See you later. (‘I’ is understood as the subject of the sentence and ‘will see’ is the complete verb. The complete sentence is: I will see you later.)

Example: Close the door. (‘You’ is understood as the subject of the sentence.)

 

Run-on Sentence

A run-on sentence is made up of two or more sentences without an appropriate conjunction joining them together.

Example: I spent all day reading up on my topic then I prepared an outline. There are two sentences in this example, ‘I spent all day reading up on my topic.’ and ‘Then I prepared an outline.’ There is no coordinating conjunction joining them. The coordinatingconjunction ‘and’ could be used to join the two sentences.)

Correct Example: I spent all day reading up on my topic and then I prepared an outline.

Assignment

Enter a check mark (√) after the statement that describes the sentence problem.

1. A good essay includes a strong thesis statement, which is usually found in the introduction.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

2. Though different teachers understand different levels of research.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

3. A thesis is like an argument it makes a case it is not like a topic which simply identifies a general idea.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

4. Finish your report.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

5. After the first few paragraphs.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

6. Evaluate a report on its own terms.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

7. Plagiarism is not tolerated be sure to cite your sources carefully this applies to the use of other people’s ideas and words.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

8. Ask yourself, “Could anyone possibly disagree with my thesis?”

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

9. Providing that you begin with a thesis.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

10. The logic in your paper was most impressive because it tied your arguments together from beginning to end it led persuasively to your conclusion and it convinced me that you are right.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

11. With respect to your paragraphs.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

12. After you have written your first draft, ask yourself this question, “What is the point of each paragraph?”

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

13. The first sentence of each paragraph should provide a transition from the previous p aragraph it should tie the two paragraphs together.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

14. Once again.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

15. Why would you do that?

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

16. How do you analyze and interpret your ideas how is that different from summarizing your ideas should you tell your readers what you are doing?

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

17. How should the conclusion of your report be different from the introduction; how should it be the same?

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

18. After you have completed your paper, set it aside for a few days.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

19. Get feedback from others some students benefit from feedback offered by other students.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

20. To do the following.

  • Complete sentence – _____
  • Unacceptable sentence fragments – _____
  • Acceptable sentence fragment – _____
  • Run-on sentence – _____

Answer Key

Sentence Problems

1. A good essay includes a strong thesis statement, which is usually found in the introduction.

Answer – Complete sentence

2. Though different teachers understand different levels of research.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

3. A thesis is like an argument it makes a case it is not like a topic which simply identifies a general idea.

Answer – Run-on sentence

4. Finish your report.

Answer – Acceptable sentence fragment

5. After the first few paragraphs.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

6. Evaluate a report on its own terms.

Answer – Acceptable sentence fragment

7. Plagiarism is not tolerated be sure to cite your sources carefully this applies to the use of other people’s ideas and words.

Answer – Run-on sentence

8. Ask yourself, “Could anyone possibly disagree with my thesis?”

Answer – Complete sentence

9. Providing that you begin with a thesis.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

10. The logic in your paper was most impressive because it tied your arguments together from beginning to end it led persuasively to your conclusion and it convinced me that you are right.

Answer – Run-on sentence

11. With respect to your paragraphs.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

12. After you have written your first draft, ask yourself this question, “What is the point of each paragraph?”

Answer – Complete sentence

13. The first sentence of each paragraph should provide a transition from the previous paragraph it should tie the two paragraphs together.

Answer – Run-on sentence

14. Once again.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

15. Why would you do that?

Answer – Complete sentence

16. How do you analyze and interpret your ideas how is that different from summarizing your ideas should you tell your readers what you are doing?

Answer – Run-on sentence

17. How should the conclusion of your report be different from the introduction; how should it be the same?

Answer – Complete sentence

18. After you have completed your paper, set it aside for a few days.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment

19. Get feedback from others some students benefit from feedback offered by other students.

Answer – Run-on sentence

20. To do the following.

Answer – Unacceptable sentence fragment