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Academic writing i

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Common Sentence Problems. Here are the most common sentence problems seen in academic writing: Sentence fragments. Subject-verb agreement. Run-on sentences – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Academic writing i


1
Academic writing i
  • May 29th 2012

2
  • It was a very hot day many students were in the
    classroom.
  • I was very hungry, I ate some steak.

3
Today
  • Common sentence problems

4
Common Sentence Problems
  • Here are the most common sentence problems seen
    in academic writing
  • Sentence fragments
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Run-on sentences
  • Comma splices
  • Stringy sentences
  • Dangling modifiers

5
Sentence fragments
  • These are incomplete sentences or parts of
    sentences.
  • Remember a complete sentence must contains at
    least one independent clause (a complete thought).

6
Sentence fragments
  • Problem
  • Because some students work part-time while taking
    a full load of classes.
  • dependent clause (begins with a subordinator,
    because. There is no independent clause.
  • Correct 1. Add an independent clause
  • Because some students work part-time while taking
    a full load of classes, they have very little
    free time.
  • OR 2. Delete the subordinator
  • Some students work part-time while taking a full
    load of classes.

7
Remember
  • Subordinators (when, because, after, although,
    before) connect dependent clauses with
    independent clauses.
  • I was still studying when the sun rose.
  • Suzy watched TV after she washed the dishes.

8
Remember
  • Coordinators (coordinating conjunctions) connect
    two independent clauses together.
  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

Japanese people live longer than most other
nationalities, for they eat healthful diets
They eat a lot of fish, and they eat lightly.
9
Sentence fragments
  • Problem
  • Teachers who give too much homework.
  • This is an independent clause that never got
    finished.
  • Correct Finish the independent clause
  • Teachers who give too much homework are
    unpopular.

10
Subject-verb agreement
  • The use of a singular or plural verb in a
    sentence depends on the subject.
  • The students was late for class.
  • Problem The subject, students is plural, while
    the verb was is singular.
  • Correct The students were late for class.

11
Run-On sentences
  • A sentence in which two or more independent
    clauses are written on after another with no
    punctuation.
  • Problem
  • My family went to Australia then they moved to
    Canada.
  • Correct
  • Add a period
  • - My family went to Australia. Then they
    moved to Canada.
  • 2. Add a semicolon - My family went to
    Australia then they moved to Canada.

12
Run-On sentences
  • A sentence in which two or more independent
    clauses are written on after another with no
    punctuation.
  • Problem
  • My family went to Australia then they moved to
    Canada.
  • Correct
  • 3. Add a coordinator
  • - My family went to Australia, and then they
    moved to Canada.
  • 4. Add a subordinator - My family went to
    Australia before they moved to Canada.

13
Run-On sentences
  • Problem
  • The group drove to the beach it was a beautiful
    day.
  • Correct
  • The group drove to the beach. It was a beautiful
    day. The group drove to the beach it was a
    beautiful day.
  • The family drove to the beach, and it was a
    beautiful day.

14
Comma splices
  • This is another common error that creates run-on
    sentences.
  • A comma splice happens when two independent
    clauses are incorrectly joined by a comma WITHOUT
    a coordinator.
  • Example
  • My family went to Australia, then they moved to
    Canada.
  • The baby is in his crib, he is sleeping.

15
Comma splices
  • Fix the same as regular run-on sentences.
  • Correct
  • Add a period
  • - My family went to Australia. Then they
    moved to Canada.
  • 2. Add a semicolon - My family went to
    Australia then they moved to Canada.
  • 3. Add a coordinator
  • - My family went to Australia, and then they
    moved to Canada.
  • 4. Add a subordinator - My family went to
    Australia before they moved to Canada.

16
  • A newly arrived international student faces
    several challenges for example, he or she has to
    cope with a new culture.
  • New York City is very cosmopolitan, for people
    from many cultures and ethnic groups live there.
  • Learning a new language is like learning to swim
    it takes a lot of practice.
  • Ask for assistance at the reference desk in the
    library, a librarian is always on duty.
  • Skiing is a dangerous sport you can easily break
    your leg or your neck.

17
  • Learning a new language is like learning to swim,
    for it takes a lot of practice.
  • Ask for assistance at the reference desk in the
    library a librarian is always on duty.
  • Skiing is a dangerous sport because you can
    easily break your leg or your neck.

18
Stringy sentences
  • A stringy sentence is a sentence with too many
    clauses,, usually connected with and, but, so,
    and sometimes because.
  • This is sometimes called writing the way you
    speak.
  • A stringy sentence goes on like a string without
    an end.

19
Stringy sentences
  • Example
  • Many students attend classes all morning, and
    then they work all afternoon, and they also have
    to study at night, so they are usually exhausted
    by the weekend.
  • - To correct a stringy sentence, divide it and/or
    recombine the clauses.

20
Stringy sentences
  • Many students attend classes all morning, and
    then they work all afternoon, and they also have
    to study at night, so they are usually exhausted
    by the weekend.
  • Many students attend classes all morning and work
    all afternoon. Since they also have to study at
    night, they are usually exhausted by the weekend.
  • Because many students attend classes all morning,
    work all afternoon, and study at night, they are
    usually exhausted by the weekend.

21
  • He enrolled in the intermediate calculus class,
    but he found it too easy. As a result, he dropped
    it, and he signed up for the advanced class.
  • Last-born children, on the other hand, often have
    little responsibility, and they may be pampered
    as the baby of the family. However, they are
    the smallest, and they have to get people to like
    them, so
  • The lack of rainfall has caused a severe water
    shortage, so people have to conserve water every
    day. They also have to think of new ways to

22
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23
Dangling modifiers
  • This is a word or phrase modifies a word not
    clearly stated in the sentence.
  • Walking on the beach, the water touched my feet.
  • In this sentence, the modifier Walking on the
    beach appears to modify the water.
  • ? While I was walking on the beach, the water
    touched my feet.

24
Dangling modifiers
  • Strategies to revise dangling modifiers
  • 1. Name the appropriate or logical doer of the
    action as the subject of the main clause.
  • Having arrived late for practice, a written
    excuse was needed.
  • Who arrived late? This sentence says that the
    written excuse arrived late. To revise, decide
    who actually arrived late. The possible revision
    might look like this
  • Having arrived late for practice, the team
    captain needed a written excuse.

25
Dangling modifiers
  • Strategies to revise dangling modifiers
  • 2. Change the phrase that dangles into a complete
    introductory clause by naming the doer of the
    action in that clause
  • Without knowing his name, it was difficult to
    introduce him.
  • Who didn't know his name? This sentence says that
    "it" didn't know his name. To revise, decide who
    was trying to introduce him. The revision might
    look something like this
  • Because Maria did not know his name, it was
    difficult to introduce him.

26
Dangling modifiers
  • Strategies to revise dangling modifiers
  • 3. Combine the phrase and main clause into one
  • To improve his results, the experiment was done
    again.
  • Who wanted to improve results? This sentence says
    that the experiment was trying to improve its own
    results. To revise, combine the phrase and the
    main clause into one sentence. The revision might
    look something like this
  • He improved his results by doing the experiment
    again.

27
Practice
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