Learning Objectives

Identify the contents of a basic sentenceIdentify the four most serious writing errors

Before we work more on piecing concepts together to kind summaries and also paragraphs, we have to look at an essential sentence construction. Imagine friend are analysis a book for school. You need to discover important details the you can use because that an assignment. However, once you begin to read, you notification that the book has very small punctuation. The sentences fail to type complete paragraphs and also instead kind one block of message without clean organization. Most likely, this book would frustrate and also confuse you. Without clear and also concise sentences, that is difficult to discover the details you need.

You are watching: The position from which you write about your subject is called your

For both students and also professionals, clear communication is important. Whether you room typing an email or writing a report or essay, it is your duty as the writer to existing your thoughts and also ideas clearly and precisely. Creating in complete sentences is one means to ensure that you communicate well. This section covers exactly how to recognize and write straightforward sentence structures and also how to avoid some usual writing errors.

Components the a Sentence

Clearly written, complete sentences require vital information: a subject, a verb and a complete idea. A sentence requirements to make sense on that is own. Sometimes, finish sentences are also called independent clauses. A clause is a group of words the may comprise a sentence. An independent clause is a team of words that might stand alone as a complete, grammatically exactly thought. The complying with sentences present independent clauses.


All complete sentences have at the very least one elevation clause. You can identify an independent i by analysis it ~ above its own and also looking because that the subject and also the verb.


When you review a sentence, you may very first look for the subject or what the sentence is about. The subject usually appears at the beginning of a sentence together a noun or a pronoun. A noun is a word that identifies a person, place, thing, or idea. A pronoun is a word that replaces a noun. Usual pronouns are I, he, she, it, you, they, and we. In the following sentences, the topic is underlined once.


In this sentences, the topic is a person: Malik. The pronoun He replaces and also refers ago to Malik.


In the an initial sentence, the topic is a place: computer lab. In the second sentence, the pronoun It substitutes for computer lab as the subject.


In the first sentence, the subject is a thing: project. In the 2nd sentence, the pronoun It stands in because that the project.


In this chapter, please refer to the adhering to grammar key:


Compound Subjects

A sentence may have more than one person, place, or thing as the subject. This subjects room called compound subjects. Compound subjects are advantageous when you desire to talk about several topics at once.


Prepositional Phrases

You will often read a sentence the has an ext than one noun or pronoun in it. You might encounter a group of indigenous that consists of a preposition with a noun or a pronoun. Prepositions attach a noun, pronoun, or verb to one more word that defines or modifies the noun, pronoun, or verb. Typical prepositions include in, on, under, near, by, with, and about. A team of native that start with a preposition is referred to as a prepositional phrase. A prepositional phrase starts with a preposition and modifies or explains a word. It cannot act as the topic of a sentence. The following circled phrases are examples of prepositional phrases.


Self-Practice exercise 3.1

Read the complying with sentences. Underline the subjects and also circle the prepositional phrases.

The gym is open up until nine o’clock tonight.The student with the most extra credit will win a homework pass.Maya and Tia discovered an exit cat by the next of the road.The driver of that pickup van skidded ~ above the ice.Anita won the race through time to spare.The world who occupational for that company were surprised about the merger.Working in haste means that friend are much more likely to do mistakes.The soundtrack has over 60 songs in languages from roughly the world.His latest development does no work, but it has actually inspired the remainder of us.


Once you find the subject of a sentence, you can move on to the next part of a finish sentence: the verb. A verb is regularly an activity word that mirrors what the subject is doing. A verb can also link the topic to a explicate word. There are three varieties of verbs that you can use in a sentence: activity verbs, linking verbs, or help verbs.

Action Verbs

A verb the connects the subject to an action is referred to as an action verb. An action verb answers the question what is the topic doing? In the following sentences, the native underlined double are action verbs.


Linking Verbs

A verb have the right to often attach the subject of the sentence come a explicate word. This type of verb is dubbed a linking verb because it web links the topic to a explicate word. In the adhering to sentences, the native underlined twice space linking verbs.


If you have trouble informing the difference between activity verbs and also linking verbs, remember:

An activity verb shows that the topic is act something.

A linking verb just connects the subject to an additional word that describes or modifies the subject.

A couple of verbs have the right to be supplied as either action verbs or linking verbs.


Although both sentences use the same verb, the 2 sentences have completely different meanings. In the very first sentence, the verb describes the boy’s action. In the second sentence, the verb defines the boy’s appearance.

Helping Verbs

A third form of verb you might use together you create is a helping verb. Help verbs are verbs that are provided with the main verb to define a atmosphere or tense. Help verbs room usually a form of be, do, or have. The word can is also used together a help verb.



Whenever you compose or modify sentences, store the subject and also verb in mind. As you write, ask yourself these inquiries to save yourself on track:

Subject: Who or what is the sentence about?

Verb: Which word shows an activity or web links the topic to a description?

Self-Practice practice 3.2

Underline the verb(s) in each of the sentences below twice. Name the form of verb(s) offered in the sentence in the space noted (LV, HV, or V).

The cat sounds all set to come back inside. ________We have not eaten dinner yet. ________It took four civilization to move the damaged down car. ________The publication was filled v notes indigenous class. ________We walked from room to room, inspecting for damages. ________Harold to be expecting a package in the mail. ________The apparel still felt damp also though they had been with the dryer twice. ________The teacher who runs the studio is frequently praised for his restoration work-related on old masterpieces. ________

Sentence structure (Including Fragments)

Now the you recognize what renders a complete sentence—a subject and also a verb—you have the right to use various other parts of decided to build on this basic structure. Good writers use a variety of sentence structures to do their work more interesting. This ar covers different sentence frameworks that you deserve to use to do longer, more complex sentences.

Sentence Patterns

Six straightforward subject-verb patterns deserve to enhance your writing. A sample sentence is detailed for each pattern. As you review each sentence, take note of wherein each component of the sentence falls. Notification that part sentence fads use activity verbs and also others use linking verbs.

Subject ——> Verb


Subject —–> Linking Verb ——> Noun


Subject —–> Linking Verb ——> Adjective




When you write a sentence through a direct object (DO), make certain that the perform receives the action of the verb.

Subject —–> Verb ——> Indirect object ——> straight Object


In this sentence structure, an indirect object explains to whom or to what the action is being done. The indirect object is a noun or pronoun, and also it comes prior to the direct object in a sentence.

Self-practice practice 3.3

Use what you have learned so much to bring selection in her writing. Use the following lines or your very own sheet of document to write 6 sentences the practise each straightforward sentence pattern. As soon as you have finished, brand each part of the sentence (S, V, LV, N, Adj, Adv, DO, IO).




Collaboration: Find an article in a newspaper, a magazine, or virtual that understanding you. Then, determine one instance of each component of a sentence (S, V, LV, N, Adj, Adv, DO, IO).

Complete sentence: Children helping in the kitchen often do a mess.

You can easily fix a fragment by including the lacking subject or verb. In the example, the sentence was missing a verb. Adding often make a mess creates an S-V-N sentence structure. Figure 3.1 illustrates exactly how you can modify a fragment to come to be a complete sentence.

Figure 3.1 Editing fragments That Are missing a topic or a Verb


See even if it is you can identify what is absent in the following fragments.

Fragment: Told her around the damaged vase.Complete sentence: I told her around the damaged vase.Complete sentence: The save down on main Street sells music.

Common Sentence Errors

Fragments often occur because of some common errors, together as starting a sentence v a preposition, a dependent word, an infinitive, or a gerund. If you use the six an easy sentence patterns once you write, girlfriend should be able to avoid these errors and thus protect against writing fragments.

When you watch a preposition, examine to see that it is component of a sentence include a subject and a verb. If that is not associated to a finish sentence, the is a fragment, and also you will need to fix this kind of fragment by combine it with an additional sentence. Friend can add the prepositional expression to the end of the sentence. If you include it come the beginning of the various other sentence, insert a comma after the prepositional phrase. Look at the examples. Number 3.2 illustrates exactly how you can edit a fragment that starts with a preposition.

Example A:


Example B:


Figure 3.2 Editing fragments That begin with a Preposition


Clauses that begin with a dependent word—such as since, because, without, or unless—are similar to preposition phrases. Choose prepositional phrases, this clauses deserve to be pieces if they space not linked to an independent i containing a subject and a verb. To fix the problem, you can include such a fragment to the start or finish of a sentence. If the fragment is added at the beginning of a sentence, include a comma ~ it prior to the independent clause.



When you encounter a word ending in -ing in a sentence, identify whether the is being supplied as a verb in the sentence. Girlfriend may also look for a helping verb. If the word is not offered as a verb or if no help verb is provided with the -ing verb form, the verb is being offered as a noun. An -ing verb type used together a noun is dubbed a gerund.


Once you recognize whether the -ing word is acting together a noun or a verb, look in ~ the remainder of the sentence. Does the whole sentence make sense on that is own? If not, what you space looking in ~ is a fragment. Girlfriend will must either add the parts of speech that are absent or combine the fragment through a adjacent sentence. Figure 3.3 illustrates exactly how to edit fragments that start with a gerund.

Figure 3.3 Editing fragments That begin with Gerunds


Incorrect: Taking deep breaths. Saul prepared for his presentation.

Correct: taking deep breaths, Saul ready for his presentation.

Correct: Saul prepared for his presentation. He was taking deep breaths.

Incorrect: Congratulating the whole team. Sarah raised her glass come toast their success.

Correct: She to be congratulating the whole team. Sarah raised her glass to toast your success.

Correct: Congratulating the whole team, Sarah raised her glass come toast your success.

Another error in sentence building is a fragment that begins with an infinitive. An infinitive is a verb paired through the word to; for example, to run, to write, or to reach. Although infinitives room verbs, they have the right to be offered as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs. You have the right to correct a fragment that begins with an prototype by either combining the with another sentence or including the parts of speech that space missing.

Incorrect: We necessary to do 300 more paper cranes. To reach the one thousand mark.

Correct: We necessary to do 300 more document cranes to reach the one thousand mark.

Correct: We required to do 300 more record cranes. We wanted to reach the one thousands mark.

Self-practice exercise 3.4

Copy the adhering to sentences onto your own sheet of record and circle the fragments. Then combine the fragment v the independent clause to produce a finish sentence.

Working without acquisition a break. We try to gain as lot work done as we have the right to in an hour.I required to carry work home. In bespeak to fulfill the deadline.Unless the soil thaws prior to spring break. Us won’t it is in planting any tulips this year.You’ll discover what you need if you look. ~ above the shelf alongside the potted plant.To discover the perfect apartment. Deidre scoured the classifieds each day.

Learning Objectives

Explain and apply the criteria for making a summaryIdentify and also avoid the challenges of creating summaries

In chapter 2: Working through Words, friend practised identifying main and supporting ideas, i m sorry is vital for your understanding and for creating a an introduction of the info you have read; when you have identified what friend think the important concepts are, you can transfer that information into a brand-new paragraph, placing the original source’s principles into your very own words or what is dubbed paraphrasing.

In this section and in other areas throughout this book, friend will satisfy Jorge, who has actually been assigned a paper on low-carbohydrate papers. You will certainly follow Jorge ~ above the actions to producing his paper, starting with his summary.

What Is a Summary?

When friend summarize, you room filtering and condensing the most important points indigenous a source, like a book, article, or website.

When summarizing material native a source, you zero in on the key points and also restate lock concisely in your very own words. This technique is ideal when only the significant ideas are pertinent to your file or when you should simplify facility information into a couple of key point out for your readers. To develop a summary, think about the complying with points:

Review the source material as you summarize it.

Identify the key idea and restate it together concisely together you can—preferably in one sentence. Depending on your purpose, you might also add another sentence or two condensing any important details or examples.

Check your an introduction to make sure it is accurate and also complete.

Make a mindful record of wherein you discovered the information due to the fact that you will need to include the reference and citation if you select to use the info in an essay. The is much easier to perform this as soon as you are developing the summary and acquisition notes than having to go back and hunt for the details later. Guessing where you think you acquired it from is not great enough.

Summaries and also Abstracts

When girlfriend read plenty of journal articles, girlfriend will an alert there is one abstract before the article starts: this is a an introduction of the article’s contents. Be careful when you room summarizing an article to not depend too much on the abstract as the is already a condensed version of the content. The writer of the abstract determined the key points from his or her perception; these might not match your very own purpose or your very own idea of what is important. What may likewise happen if you shot to summary the summary is you will certainly probably finish up replacing part words v synonyms and not changing the as whole ideas right into your own words since the ideas are currently summarized, and it is challenging to make them more generalized (we will talk about this much more in Section 3.3: Paraphrasing). You need to read the entire source or section of the resource and determine for yourself what the an essential and supporting ideas are.


A summary or summary of a analysis passage is one-tenth to one-quarter the size of the initial passage, written in your own words. The criteria because that a review are that it:

Includes just the main points and key details

Is an useful because it is the surest means to measure your understanding

Helps friend remember because you should attend closely to what you read, organize your thoughts, and also write them out to do it systematic to you (This is absolutely important when you cannot mark a book because it belong to someone else.)

Challenges friend to it is in concise in your composing while providing well balanced coverage the the main points.

Challenges you to paraphrase or use your own words and also avoid using too many quotations.

Is necessary to stay objective since you are giving the author’s views no your own.

In his draft, Jorge summarized research products that gift scientists’ findings about low-carbohydrate diets. Check out the complying with passage from a trade magazine article and also Jorge’s review of the article.

Article: Assessing the Efficacy that LowCarbohydrate Diets

Adrienne Howell, Ph.D. (2010)

Over the past few years, a number of clinical studies have explored even if it is high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet are much more effective for weight loss than other typically recommended diet plans, such together diets that dramatically curtail fat intake (Pritikin) or that emphasize consuming skinny meats, grains, vegetables, and also a moderate amount of unsaturated fat (the Mediterranean diet). A 2009 study uncovered that obese teenagers who followed a low-carbohydrate diet shed an average of 15.6 kilograms end a six-month period, whereas teens following a low-fat diet or a Mediterranean diet lost an median of 11.1 kilograms and 9.3 kilograms respectively. Two 2010 research studies that measured load loss for obese adults complying with these exact same three diet to plan found comparable results. Over three months, subjects on the low-carbohydrate diet plan lost almost everywhere from four to 6 kilograms much more than topics who followed other diet plans.


In three current studies, researchers compared outcomes for obese subjects who complied with either a low-carbohydrate diet, a low-fat diet, or a Mediterranean diet and also found that subjects adhering to a low-carbohydrate diet lost an ext weight in the same time (Howell, 2010).


A review restates ideas in your own words, however for committed or clinical terms, you might need to usage terms that show up in the original source. For instance, Jorge offered the term obese in his an overview because associated words together as heavy or overweight have a various clinical meaning.

Summary Paragraphs

A summary shrinks a big amount of info into just the essentials. You more than likely summarize events, books, and movies daily. Think around the last movie you witnessed or the last novel friend read. Opportunities are, in ~ some point in a casual conversation v a friend, co-worker, or classmate, friend compressed every the action of a two-hour film or a 200-page publication into a brief description the the significant plot movements. Girlfriend probably described the key points in just a few sentences, making use of your very own vocabulary and manner of speaking.

Similarly, a review paragraph condenses a lengthy piece that writing into a smaller paragraph through extracting only the vital information. A an introduction uses just the writer’s very own words. Like the summary’s objective in daily conversation, the purpose of an scholastic summary paragraph is to keep all the vital information indigenous a much longer document. Although much shorter than the initial piece of writing, a summary should still communicate all the crucial points and an essential support. In various other words, an introduction paragraphs should be succinct and also to the point.

The adhering to is an additional example that a report ~ above the use of alcohol by teens with an instance of a student review of the information.



A review of the report should current all the key points and also supporting details in brief. Review the following review of the report composed by a student:


Notice just how the summary retains the crucial points do by the authors of the original report but omits most of the statistics data. Summaries execute not should contain every the specific facts and figures in the initial document; they carry out only an overview of the essential information.


To compose a summary:

Survey the passage, anticipating key points and checking them.

Read carefully, locating all managing ideas, identifying key details, and deciding i beg your pardon are essential to remember and which space not.

Write a i in whole sentences that relate/explain just the regulating ideas and supporting details; be economical and use no an ext words 보다 necessary.

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Differentiate in between your ideas and the initial author’s by utilizing phrases such together “According to Marshall (2014), ….” or “ Marshall (2014) suggests that ….