Week 2, discussion 2: making choices about sentence boundaries

 

In every paragraph we write, we make choices about sentence boundaries: Where will we place a period and start a new sentence? Where might we consider using semicolons to connect related independent clauses? Where will we join ideas together in a compound sentence? In this week’s grammar discussion, along with your peers, you will think about these questions in relation to your own writing.

Initial post (by 

Post a draft of a paragraph for your first assignment. Identify at least one sentence boundary choice you made, and comment on the reasons for that choice and possible alternatives.

Example of an initial post:

When I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, I had an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come: I failed a paper for the first time. Okay, I didn’t exactly fail, but I got a D, which felt like failing. The grade was unexpected, it affected me like a slap in the face. It was only through the encouragement of the very teacher who gave me the D that I was able to persevere with a more determined attitude than ever.

I made a choice to use a colon after “an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come.” I did that because the next sentence describes that experience, and the colon lets readers know that description is coming. I could have used a period instead, but I think that seems choppier. It would look like this: “When I was seventeen years old and a senior in high school, I had an experience that deeply affected my learning for many years to come. I failed a paper for the first time.”

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