Writing Tip Make sure that every sentence you write really is a complete sentence. An incomplete sentence is a serious error that may give the reader a very bad impression of your work. Read this extract from a science essay and think about which sentences are complete and which are incomplete. The results of the experiment were consistent. Regardless of the background of the subjects. Or the time-frame over which the experiment was conducted. The researchers were therefore able to draw firm conclusions from the experiment. Not that these were universally accepted in the scientific world. Because they contradicted previous research. What’s wrong: The second, third and last sentences are not complete sentences; they are parts of sentences. They all contain words and phrases that link parts of sentences together (regardless of, or, because), but they are all clauses that cannot stand alone. Here is the extract with complete sentences throughout: The results of the experiment were consistent, regardless of the background of the subjects or the timeframe over which the experiment was conducted. The researchers were therefore able to draw firm conclusions from the experiment. Not that these were universally accepted in the scientific world, because they contradicted previous research. To be complete, a sentence needs to have a subject and a main verb. As such, it carries an idea and makes sense on its own.
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