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Video Transcripts

Structuring Sentences: Common Error--Fragments

Last updated 6/9/2016

 

Audio: Guitar background music plays.

Visual: Video opens to a blank notebook with the Walden University and Writing Center logo. The words “Walden University Writing Center” and “Your writing, grammar, and APA experts” appears. The screen then fades to the video’s title slide with the playlist name “Structuring Sentences” and the Walden University and Writing Center logo. The video title “Common Error—Fragments” fades in.

The screen changes to the following slide:

Common Error #1: Fragments

Lacks one or more necessary component of a sentence and/or does not express a complete idea

Audio: Sentence fragments are basically incomplete sentences. They lack one or more necessary components of a sentence and/or do not express a complete idea.

 

Visual: The screen changes to the following text:

Examples: Fragments in Simple Sentences

Showed no improvement in any vital signs.  

Audio: So we'll look at a couple of examples. Here I have the example "Showed no improvement in any vital signs." So this is an incomplete sentence, a sentence fragment, because it's missing the subject. Who showed no improvement in any vital signs?

 

Visual: The wording “Predicate, but no subject” are added to the slide.

Audio: So we have the predicate from a sentence, we're missing the subject.

 

Visual: The following revision is added to the slide:

Revision: The patient showed no improvement in any vital signs.

Audio: So to revise this, we could say: "The patient showed no improvement in any vital signs." So here we have a subject, we have a predicate, we have a period, we have a complete sentence.

 

Visual: The following is added to the slide: “Study skills that Alice uses.” The wording “Subject, but no predicate” is also added.

Audio: "Study skills that Alice uses." Here we have a subject. So we have "study skills" and we describe study skills a little bit more by saying that they're the ones that Alice uses. So we have subject but no predicate.

 

Visual: The following revision is added to the slide:

Revision: Study skills that Alice uses include time management and note taking.

Audio: Here we just need to add a predicate: "Study skills that Alice uses include time management and note taking."

 

Visual: The slide changes to the following: Most problems with sentence fragments, however, are in more complicated sentences…

Audio: So most problems with sentence fragments, however, are in more complicated sentences. So I showed a couple of maybe simple examples, and we'll look at a couple of more complex examples.

 

Visual: The slide changes to the following:

Example 1

The manager announced a new job position; to work with the technical support staff.

Second independent clause lacks a subject

Audio: "The manager announced a new job position; to work with the technical support staff." So we have a semicolon here, indicating that we should have two independent clauses. But the second independent clause lacks a subject--It doesn't say who or what will work with the technical support staff.

 

Visual: The following text is added to the slide:

Revision Examples:

  • Simple: The manager announced a new job position to work with the technical support staff.
  • Compound: The manager announced a new job position; the new employee will work with the technical support staff.

Audio: And so when it comes to some of these more complex sentences, we often have multiple options for how to revise them. In this case, we could make it a simple sentence just by eliminating the semicolon: "The manager announced a new job position to work with the technical support staff." So that's a perfectly good option for revising that sentence. We could also add a little more information and make it a compound sentence: "The manager announced a new job position; the new employee will work with the technical support staff."

So just remember as you are revising sentences, it's very rare that there's only one way to fix something. Often you can adjust the wording, add or subtract words, change punctuation, and revise it in, in various ways.

 

Visual: The slide changes to the following text:

Example 2

A task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution.

Sentence lacks a verb associated with the subject

Audio: "A task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution." So we have possibly two clauses here, but right now we have it combined. And the first one lacks a verb associated with the subject. So we have "a task force", we have more information explaining kind of what the task force is like, but we don't really have a verb saying what the task force did.

 

Visual: The following is added to the slide:

Revision Examples:

  • Compound: A task force has convened to study the potential causes for rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution.
  • Simple: Members of a task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes will work with the community to seek a solution.

Audio: So, again, we have options as to how to revise this. But here are a couple of correct options to follow the guidelines that we've been discussing.

In a compound sentence it could be, "A task force has convened to study the potential causes for rising rates of diabetes, and members will work with the community to seek a solution." So we have "a task force has convened”, we added that verb there, and "members will work", so again we have two subjects and then the verbs that start the predicate. Another option is to kind of rearrange the sentence so that it can be a simple sentence: "Members of a task force to study potential causes for the rising rates of diabetes will work with the community to seek a solution."

 

Visual: The video ends with the image of a notebook, the Walden University and Writing Center logo, and the following words:

Walden University Writing Center
Questions? E-mail writingsupport@waldenu.edu.