Tag Archives: Phrases

Two Tips for Finding Faulty Sentences

You’ve just completed an essay assignment, and while you know the content is excellent, you remember how the points on your previous papers took deep dives from the 90s to the 70s or lower because of run-on sentences and fragments. How can you find them this time and make your ideas shine?

Two ways to find faulty sentences:

Print two copies of your essay. Give one to a friend to read aloud to you while you follow on your copy. Whenever your friend stumbles over a section or looks puzzled about something, mark that spot on your copy. Also, make note of any sentences you hear that sound awkward. If you do not have a friend available, you might read aloud to yourself or use the free version of Natural Reader or another text-to-speech reader.

A second way to find faulty sentences is to use the enter key to put each sentence on a separate line. Then start at the bottom and read each sentence individually as you work your way to the top. As you go from bottom to top, ask yourself whether each sentence expresses a complete thought. Even if it does, is there a better way to word the idea?

Now that you have identified sentences that need work, you may be puzzling over how to fix them. For more tips on writing clear, correct sentences, see Basic Sentence Structure and Basic Sentence Structure Add-ons: Phrases, ebooks that will give you the knowledge you need to rub out sentence errors and polish your writing until it shines.

New eBook: Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases

Six weeks after my publication goal date, the second book in the Write to Fit series, Basic Sentence Add-Ons: Phrases, is finally available on Kindle. Why did it take so long? It turns out that writing phrase examples on demand is harder than I thought it would be. Creating infinitive phrases as direct objects was particularly difficult. I now have sympathy for writers of grammar quizzes.

   Available on Amazon

Available on Amazon

The purpose of Basic Sentence Add-ons: Phrases is to give students and beginning writers clear definitions and examples of the various kinds of phrases. In addition, readers will find ways to avoid two major pitfalls when using phrases: misplaced or dangling modifiers and incorrect punctuation.

The publication of the next book in the Write to Fit series, Punctuation Pointers and Pitfalls, is scheduled for April 1, 2015. In the meantime, I will be blogging about writing topics ranging from sentence structure to essay development and beyond. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed on this blog, fill out the contact form form below with your request.