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Sound Writing

Subsection 7.2.2 Problems with Sentence Fragments

Sentence fragments are incomplete sentences. Like here. That sentence is not a complete sentence because it cannot stand on its own and make sense. So how do you avoid sentence fragments?
List 7.2.31. Strategies for Avoiding Sentence Fragments
  • Ensure that your sentence has a subject and a verb and that it expresses a complete thought.
  • Use word processing programs to identify fragments—but don’t depend on them!
  • Mentally take your sentence out of context, then ask yourself, “Does this sentence alone make sense?”

Tip 7.2.32.

If you do find a sentence fragment, see if you can either add the necessary components of a sentence that the fragment is missing or combine the sentence fragment with another sentence.

Example 7.2.33. Revising Sentence Fragments.

“To the dining hall.”
“You should take your dining hall dishes back to the dining hall.”
By sticking the fragment on an independent clause, we not only get rid of the fragment, but we also add more specificity to the sentence.
“All night long!”
“I was in the library all night long!”
Just like the previous example, this fix gets rid of the fragment and makes the sentence more specific. “How long were you in the library?” “I was in the library all night long!”