In this example, the comment "can be smoother" targets the transition between the first and second sentences.
In the example above, the topic shifts from "the dance (between men and women)" to "gay male dancers" without any transitional clues and logical connections. In other words, there's a cohesion problem here, one that suggests part of the original source material or its meaning is missing from the example. The semicolon also does not prepare readers for a topic shift, thereby enhancing the incongruity. Moreover, the sentence would be easier to follow if the quotations were altered to create a cohesive flow. The following example takes a broad approach to revision: revisiting the original text for accuracy, altering the quotations, and clearly describing the relationship between the pieces of information presented:
In this example, the problem comes from repeated use of the same preposition.
Here, the writer uses the same preposition—"through"—in three consecutive sentences ("through death," "even through the rape," and "through the character"). In this case, however, the use of the same structure doesn't result in parallelism, but in redundancy (see the link to our section on parallelism located at the end of this discussion). This is because when a repeated element (e.g.,"through") doesn't emphasize the main idea in a passage, repetition communicates redundancy rather than emphasis. To avoid repetition, the writer could omit "through" and revise the sentences to read:
The "awkw syntax" in this example comes from dangling modifiers.
When you write a sentence that includes a modifier phrase (in this case, "showing the importance placed on the societal role of gender") and a main clause, ask yourself whether the subject of the main clause is the same as the subject of the modifier phrase. Theoretically, the subject of the modifier phrase should be "parents," but is it? Is it the "parents" that show the importance placed on the role of gender? Or is it "their making the children more rounded" that does so? It's more likely the latter. So, in this case, the subjects of the two clauses are not the same, creating a dangling modifier. To resolve potential confusion, clarify the subject being modified. For example:
In this revised version, "Their doing so" is clearly the subject. Click here for more information on dangling modifiers.
There are two "awk" sentences here, and we discuss each of them below.
In the first sentence, there could really be two reasons this
sentence is "awkward." The instructor could be objecting
to the use of "with" to refer to the sun's
"contribution with skin color," a small problem that could easily be remedied by replacing "contribution with" with "contribute to." However, the sentence would benefit further from omitting uncessary words and selecting more precise ones. So we might tidy up these sentences even more by replacing
"some contribution with
the pigmentation of skin" with
"affect the skin pigmentation."
Parallelism might be of use here, for example, "While the sun affects the skin, sexual selection affects other factors such as height, build, hair and eye color." In this case, parallelism helps make more explicit the contrast between "the sun" and "sexual selection."
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