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How to improve your writing. Spot the mistakes!. Separating Sentences. One of the most common mistakes in writing is not separating sentences properly. Often, two sentences are merged into one and/or separated with a comma, which is wrong. For example:

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how to improve your writing

How to improve your writing

Spot the mistakes!

separating sentences
Separating Sentences

One of the most common mistakes in writing is not separating sentences properly. Often, two sentences are merged into one and/or separated with a comma, which is wrong.

For example:

The writer shows he is in love, he also doesn’t think he’s good enough.

WRONG! This should actually be written as:

The writer shows he is in love. He also doesn’t think he’s good enough.

OR

The writer shows he is in love and he also doesn’t think he’s good enough.

rules for separating sentences
Rules for separating sentences
  • Instead of separating two full sentences with a comma, use either a full stop OR a connective (as shown in the previous slide).
  • Connectives you could use include

N.B. A full sentence is a clause that makes sense on its own.

spot the mistakes
Spot the mistakes!

Point out the mistakes in the following lines and correct them appropriately.

  • This poem is full of action verbs to give it pace, this shows the writer is trying to mimic the effect of war.
  • The word ‘cry’ makes us sympathise with the writer, they aren’t as tough as they first seem.
answers using a full stop
Answers using a full stop
  • This poem is full of action verbs to give it pace. This shows the writer is trying to mimic the effect of war.
  • The word ‘cry’ makes us sympathise with the writer. They aren’t as tough as they first seem.
answers using connectives
Answers using connectives
  • This poem is full of action verbs to give it pace and this shows the writer is trying to mimic the effect of war.
  • The word ‘cry’ makes us sympathise with the writer because they aren’t as tough as they first seem.
when connectives need a full stop and a comma
When connectives need a full stop and a comma

Sometimes, to separate two sentences you can choose a connective but it also needs a full stop in front of it and a comma afterwards.

e.g. I hate doing coursework however, it means I do less exams.

WRONG! This should read:

I hate doing coursework. However, it means I do less exams.

which sentences need a comma and a full stop
Which sentences need a comma and a full stop?

Look at the following sentences and decide which ones need a comma before the connective.

Hit or miss?

It’s your call!

yes or no to a full stop and or a comma
Yes or no to a full stop and/or a comma?
  • The food tasted great therefore it didn’t need salt.
  • The food tasted great and it didn’t need salt.
  • The food tasted rubbish but it didn’t need salt.
  • The food was awful so it didn’t need salt.
  • The food was delicious nevertheless it needed salt.
  • The food was rancid however it looked good.
  • The food was yummy because Miss Gregory had made it!
using your new skills
Using your new skills
  • You can now use your new skills for writing sentences to improve what you wrote in last week’s unseen poetry test.
  • Look for commas, full stops and connectives that are in the wrong place or should be changed.
  • Also look for sentences that are missing connectives.
  • You can change the connective if you think the sentence would make more sense.
candidate no 1
Candidate no. 1
  • The content of the poem is important it shows the writer’s true opinions of love.

Answers you could have given include:

  • The content of the poem is important as it shows the writer’s true opinions of love.OR
  • The content of the poem is important. It shows the writer’s true opinions of love.
  • OR any of these connectives between ‘important’ and ‘it’:

because therefore since

let s make things harder
Let’s make things harder!

Keep looking for spelling mistakes but now you must also spot where connectives, commas and full stops should be!

candidate no 2
Candidate no. 2
  • It is about love, the writer trys to find the words to tell someone that they love her.
  • She uses repetition in some parts of the poem, when she says, “I love you, I love you, I love you,” this gives the impression that she is desparate.
capitals
Capitals
  • Don’t forget to use capitals for the beginning of sentences and for names BUT NOWHERE ELSE!
  • They should not appear in the middle of a word – e.g. doEsn’t, forGoTTen or deciDeD
  • Also, don’t ever write i by itself – always write ITHESE POINTS ARE VERY IMPORTANT AND FAILURE TO COMPLY MAY RESULT IN THE LOSS OF 5% IN YOUR EXAM – I.E. HALF A GRADE!!!
correct the sentences below
Correct the sentences below
  • the poem “these words” is about someone who is in love with someone.
  • the writer is really trying to emphasise the meaning of love. by not only saying it once but saying it many times also.
  • i think that the writer is trying to develop their ideas and i wouldn’t change his style.