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Fragments, Run-Ons and Comma-Splices. Dotti Shelton Developmental English Instructor South Texas Community College. What is a fragment?. In writing, a fragment is another name for a part of a sentence. Remember the definitions of a phrase and a clause?.

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Fragments, Run-Ons and Comma-Splices


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    1. Fragments, Run-Ons and Comma-Splices Dotti Shelton Developmental English Instructor South Texas Community College

    2. What is a fragment? • In writing, a fragment is another name for a part of a sentence. • Remember the definitions of a phrase and a clause?

    3. That’s right! A phrase is a group of words that may have a subject or may have a verb but does not have both whereas a clause has both a subject and a verb but is not always a complete sentence.

    4. A fragment is another name for a phrase or dependent clause. It is a piece or part or a sentence. It is not a complete sentence. It is therefore dependent on the rest of the sentence to make sense.

    5. What causes me to write a fragment? • Many times, you are writing so fast that you have two ideas simultaneously. When that happens, you may write the first idea as one complete sentence and then write the second idea as another complete sentence. Unfortunately, many times only one idea is a complete sentence. Therefore, you end up with a complete sentence and only a fragment of another sentence.

    6. The end result is something like the following:Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty. Because of the revenues in Atlanta.

    7. How do I fix it?Simply add the last idea to the first idea. Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty because of the revenues in Atlanta.

    8. Notice how the error was corrected. • Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty because of the revenues in Atlanta. The second idea (because of the revenues in Atlanta) is simply added to the end of the first idea.

    9. Is there another way to fix it? • Yes, there is. Simply add the second idea to the beginning of the first idea as shown below, and add a comma at the end of the dependent phrase. • Because of the revenues in Atlanta, Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty

    10. So, what is the general rule? • When a sentence begins with a phrase or clause that depends on the rest of the sentence to have meaning, you must place a comma after that dependent phrase or clause. Because of the revenues in Atlanta, Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty • If a sentence has a phrase or clause at the end of a complete sentence, commas are rarely necessary. Georgia is a state that has helped to overcome poverty because of the revenues in Atlanta.

    11. What is a run-on? What do you think it might be?

    12. That’s right! • A run-on is two or more complete sentences that are joined with no punctuation. • They simply run on and on and on…

    13. Examples of run-ons: • Doris enjoyed the popcorn at the movies she liked the flavored butter. • Jason inquired about a cellular phone he needed one for his job. • Doctors are highly educated people they make lots of money.

    14. Examples of run-ons corrected: • Doris enjoyed the popcorn at the movies; she liked the flavored butter. • Jason inquired about a cellular phone; he needed one for his job. • Doctors are highly educated people; they make lots of money.

    15. Can the run-on examples be corrected in another way? Yes, they can. • Doris enjoyed the popcorn at the movies, for she liked the flavored butter. • (comma and a conjunction) • Jason inquired about a cellular phone because he needed one for his job. • (no comma but added a dependent word) • Doctors are highly educated people, and they make lots of money. • (comma and a conjunction)

    16. Is there yet another way to correct the run-ons? Yes! • Doris enjoyed the popcorn at the movies.She liked the flavored butter. • Jason inquired about a cellular phone. He needed one for his job. • Doctors are highly educated people.They make lots of money.

    17. Comma-Splices • Sometimes a writer tries to join two complete sentences with a comma. • See the example below: • Lola was watching Monday night football, she was also working on her algebra homework. • You cannot join two complete sentences with a comma. When you try to do so, it is called a comma-splice. • You correct this type of error in one of the same ways you correct a run-on.

    18. These types of errors are made in the same way fragment errors are made: writing and thinking too fast. How do I make run-ons and comma-splice errors?

    19. How can I avoid these types of errors? • After you have written your rough draft and had a peer check it, number each sentence in the essay. • On a separate sheet of paper, write each numbered sentence individually, leaving space among the sentences. • Go back and rewrite each sentence to ensure that each sentence is complete.

    20. That sounds difficult!It is not difficult, but it is time consuming. It is, according to many of my former English students, well worth the effort!

    21. Fragments Are simply phrases or dependent clauses that need to be attached to a complete sentence (independent clause) to make sense. They may be added at the beginning or at the middle to the end of a complete sentence. Run-ons and Comma-Splices Are simply two or more complete sentences written without any punctuation in between or with a comma in between. They may be corrected in one of three ways: Semi-colon Commas and conjunction or simply adding a dependent word Period and a capital letter Summary of Fragments/Run-Ons

    22. Why is this important? • All of these types of examples are in the multiple choice section of the writing portion of the TASP. • If you score a 5 on your TASP essay and pass the multiple choice section of the test, you will pass TASP with a 220, which is the state’s requirement to move into college English. • How many of you want to pass the writing portion of the TASP next time you take it?