Sunday, June 30, 2013

Writing Tip 3: Watch out for Run-on Sentences

Sometimes two sentences are better than one.

It is easy for sentences to run on:

The organisation has declared its intention to expand its internet facilities, however it has few qualified web designers at present.

Staff have signalled a strong interest in further training in this area, for example the seminar held last year proved very popular.

Can you see the problem here? 'However' and 'for example' are used to link the two parts of the statements to make one sentence. However, the two parts need to be separated. Instead of commas, full stops are required:

The organisation has declared its intention to expand its internet facilities. However, it has few qualified web designers at present.

Staff have signalled a strong interest in further training in this area. For example, the seminar held last year proved very popular.

'However' and 'for example' are usually used to start new sentences, even though they link to the sentence before. If you use them in the middle of a sentence, make sure they come after 'and' or 'but'. This writing problem is often referred to as 'comma splice'. The comma is used where a full stop is needed.

Other similar conjunctions to watch out for are:

therefore, then, nevertheless, accordingly, as a result, moreover, even so, rather, indeed

These words frequently start sentences and are usually followed by a comma, as in the two examples above.

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Other linking words - called co-ordinating adverbs - are more commonly used in mid-sentence. Examples include:

even though, although, whereas, while, so

So the first sentence above could be rewritten:

The organisation has declared its intention to expand its internet facilities, even though it has few qualified web designers at present.

See the post on signpost words for more examples.

Note: in the two examples above semi-colons - ; - would work just as well before 'however' and 'for example'.

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Author: Sendi Karlita Location: Pangkalpinang, Bangka Belitung

Article Writing Tip 3: Watch out for Run-on Sentences, Published by Sendi Karlita on the day Sunday, June 30, 2013. Hopefully this article can add your insights. Sendi Karlita a is a writer who wants to be successful in the virtual world. Try, and keep trying. May God give consent. regards

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