Jordan Ogren

December 22, 2021

Do you use this writing technique?

English teachers do you–the writer–a disservice by enforcing rules.

They must teach the rules, but holding firm to them destroys your potential writing ability.

One clear example of this is writing 4-6 sentences per paragraph and writing X number of words. If you failed to do this, you would fail the assignment. No matter if your content carried clarity and conviction.

This has created horrible writing that fails to get to the point. It's also made people firm in their ways and unable to adjust to social media (current) writing.

Another example–and the focus of this email–is writing complete sentences. Sentence fragments were not allowed. Teachers avidly punished them.  

Note: Many LinkedIn posts use sentence fragments to get you to read the following line. I'm not talking about that. That is just shitty writing and going too far with a trend. Ignore that.

What is a sentence fragment? Here's an example from Stephen King:

"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that." (From On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft).

"Simple as that" is a sentence fragment.

It is not a sentence. But it does a phenomenal job punctuating Stephen's point.

Sentence fragments are lovely tools to put extra emphasis on a statement. For example, rather than leave the sentence as is, he uses a sentence fragment as a zinger to enforce the statement's importance.

Here is my take at using a sentence fragment:

Most people say they don't have time to meditate. Yet they spend hours scrolling Instagram. Just sayin'.

There are many ways to insert fragments into your writing.

One way is to include it at the end of your sentence, like the examples above.

Another way is to have it as a separate sentence.

Like this.

There is no one way to use sentence fragments.

Just use them. 😚

🧠 + ❤️ // JO