Improve Your Writing III

Sentence Structure and Some Common Problems

If your sentence has more than 25 words, you should revise it.
There is probably a more succinct and effective way to get your idea across. 
(By the way, this does not only apply to the TOEFL but to writing English in general.)

Well-structured sentences are crucial to a good score on the Writing  Section of the test. Here is some information from the University of Ottawa, Canada about sentence structure.
Click here=> The Structure of a Sentence

One of the most common problems in sentence writing is when the sentences are not complete. These are called "sentence fragments". Here's some info from the Purdue OWL:
Click here=> Sentence Fragments

Here are three exercises about sentence fragments:
Click here=> Sentence Fragment Exercises #1
Click here=>
Sentence Fragment Exercises #2
Click here=>
Sentence Fragment Exercises #3

Another common problem is what are called "run-on sentences". Here's a nice discussion from the late Charles Darling's website to help you avoid these and a related problem called "Comma Splices". A comma splice is when you connect two independent clauses (i.e. two sentences" with a comma. You can't do that in English!!!

Click here=> Run-On Sentences and Comma Splices

At the bottom of the page are some exercises that we'll look at in class.

Last updated: 14 November 2009