Read the entire document in the Contents section under SENTENCE STRUCTURE (The document deals with Sentences, Fragments, and Run-Ons). Then, answer the questions at the end of the document; that is, on THIS assignment, type here each sentence and state if the sentence is Fragment, Run-On or Correct.
II. Transitions; review transitional words in Writing Today before doing this:
1. My sister’s hand-writing is always so neat; _______________ mine is a total mess.
2. You’d better wear a helmet when you go roller-blading. _______________, you could hurt yourself.
3. Reading is an excellent way to increase your vocabulary. _______________, it can also help you improve your grammar.
4. The student’s essay was badly written. _______________, it was too short.
5. Wine will spoil if exposed to light; _______________, wine bottles are usually green or yellow.
6. Alcohol can delay your reaction times; _______________, you should never drink and drive.
7. _______________ we have talked about the dangers of smoking to the students before, I think the information bears being repeated.
8. Our prime minister is an incompetent leader. ____________, his government is financially irresponsible.
9. In March of 1999, more than 130 nations signed a United Nations Treaty banning land mines; ____________, the United States, Russia and China did not sign.
10. Margaret Mead once observed, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. ____________, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
III. THESIS SENTENCES: READ THIS SECTION ENTIRELY AND THEN DO THE EXERCISES (information below from Louisiana Tech Writing Center):
A. What a Thesis Is Not
1. A Thesis Is Not an Announcement of the Subject
A thesis takes a stand. It expresses an attitude toward the subject.
AN ANNOUNCEMENT IS NOT A THESIS: EXAMPLES OF BAD NON-THESIS/ATTEMPTED THESIS STATEMENTS:
1. My subject is the incompetence of Professor X.
2. I want to share some thoughts with you about our space program.
3. The many unforeseen problems I encountered when I went camping are the topic of this theme.
4. This paper will attempt to tell you something about the emotions I felt on viewing the Grand Canyon.
5. The thesis of this paper is the difficulty of solving our environmental problems.
2. A Thesis Is Not a Statement of Absolute Fact
A thesis makes a judgment of interpretation. There’s no way to spend a whole paper supporting a statement that needs no support.
FACT: NOT A THESIS:
1. Jane Austen is the author if Pride and Prejudice.
2. The capitol of California is Sacramento.
3. Suicide is the deliberate taking of one’s own life.
4. President Lincoln’s first name was Abraham.
B. What a Good Thesis Is:
It’s possible to have a one-sentence statement of an idea and still not have a thesis that can be supported effectively. What characterizes a good thesis?
A good thesis is limited.
In certain respects, devising a thesis statement as you plan your paper can sometimes be a way in itself of limiting, or restricting, your subject even further. A good thesis deals with restricted issues rather than issues that would require a lifetime to discuss intelligently.
POOR VS. BETTER THESIS SENTENCES:
1. POOR THESIS: The world is in a terrible mess.
BETTER THESIS:Trade barriers contribute to international tensions.
2. POOR THESIS : People are too selfish.
BETTER THESIS: Human selfishness is seen at its worst during rush hour.
3. POOR THESIS: Crime must be stopped.
BETTER THESIS: Our courts should hand out tougher sentences.
C. A Good Thesis Is Specific.
A satisfactorily restricted and unified thesis may be useless if the idea it commits you to is too vague. “The new World Trade Center is impressive,” for example, could mean anything from impressively beautiful to impressively ugly. With a thesis statement like “Hemingway’s war stories are very good,” you would probably have to spend so many words defining what on earth “good” means that there would be no room for anything else. Even when there’s no likelihood of conclusion, vague ideas normally come through as so familiar or dull or universally accepted that the reader sees no point in paying attention to them.
POOR VS. BETTER THESIS SENTENCES:
1. POOR THESIS: Hemingway’s war stories are very good.
BETTER THESIS: Hemingway’s war stories helped create a new prose style.
2. POOR THESIS: Drug addiction is a big problem.
BETTER THESIS: Drug addiction has caused a dramatic increase in crimes of violence.
A. Write T next to each thesis statement below. Write NT if there is no thesis statement.
1. I want to tell you about the many defects in the administration’s proposals for restructuring the Social Security program. T or NT
2. Al Capone, the Chicago gang leader, was nicknamed “Scarface.” T or NT
3. Justice delayed is justice denied. T or NT
4. My thesis asks whether affirmative action programs are just a new form of racism. T or NT
5. It’s not only poor people who get government handouts. T or NT
6. How to Grow Prize-Winning Roses. T or NT
7. This paper will examine recent proposals to reinstate the death penalty. T or NT
8. My husband is a terrible cook.
9. My husband cooks all the meals for our family. T or NT
10. Christmas shopping shows that the law of the jungle is still with us. T or NT
B. Write G next to each good thesis statement. Write NG next to each statement that is not sufficiently restricted, unified, or specific.
1. The history of the United States is dominated by lust for money. G or NG
2. Common sense is sometimes the enemy of genius. G or NG
3. British and American poets through the centuries have vastly overrated the glories of romantic love. G or NG
4. Thirst is harder to endure than hunger. G or NG
5. Exercise is a worthwhile activity. G or NG
6. Jogging can add years to one’s life. G or NG
7. Teaching tricks to a dog is easier than most people think. G or NG
8. The way people shake hands can reveal something about their characters. G or NG
9. Natural beauty must be preserved, but government agencies often make foolish decisions on this matter, and jobs must also be preserved. G or NG
10. In the book Moby Dick, Melville does a very good job. G or NG
VI. INCIDENTS TO USE IN PERSONAL ESSAY:
Choose a topic from the personal essay topics in course Contents section; then, list and clearly explain five very specific examples or incidents that are relevant to that topic. BE VERY SPECIFIC. EACH example should be explained in two-three sentences. (** You can change your topic for your essay after this if you want but for this assignment, use a topic from the list in the Contents section)
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