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28.7: Try It: Sentence Structure

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    257088
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    Academic Writing

    Read the following passage pulled from a grant proposal written by an undergraduate microbiology student. Critique any run-on sentences, sentence fragments, and nonparallel structures you find as you read the passage. The sentences have been numbered to aid you in your comments.

    Diagram of chemokine: two red spiral structures surrounded by blue tendrils. Arrows point from one spiral point to another across each structure(1) Several antimicrobial proteins are produced in the body. (2) These proteins
    attach to the cell walls of microbes and cause cell death through diverse mechanisms. (3) Chemokines are one type of these antimicrobial proteins. (4) Chemokines have generally been shown to direct immune cells to sites of infection in a body. (5) Some chemokines have been found to demonstrate antimicrobial properties; however, this has not been studied thoroughly.

    (6) These antimicrobial chemokines may play an important role in innate immune response. (7) Not just as chemoattractants but also as active participants in the immune response. (8) The chemokine CCL28 has been shown to have antimicrobial properties (Liu 2010), our lab has also confirmed these findings. (9) Previous research has shown that the C terminal region of the chemokine CCL28 is largely responsible for the antimicrobial activity (Liu 2010). (10) However, it has not been shown what the C terminus region of the chemokine binds to.

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    Sentences 1–4 are all very similar in length, which makes the beginning of this passage feel choppy. You may want to combine a few sentences to create more variety. Here are a couple possible revisions:

    • Several antimicrobial proteins, which are produced in the body, attach to the cell walls of microbes and cause cell death through diverse mechanisms. Chemokines, one type of these antimicrobial proteins, have generally been shown to direct immune cells to sites of infection in a body.
    • The body produces several different antimicrobial proteins. These proteins attach to the cell walls of microbes and cause cell death through diverse mechanisms. One type of these proteins, Chemokines, have generally been shown to direct immune cells to sites of infection in a body.

    Sentence 7 is a fragment. The easiest solution is to simply combine with sentence 6 by changing the period to a colon or a comma:

    • These antimicrobial chemokines may play an important role in innate immune response: not just as chemoattractants but also as active participants in the immune response.
    • These antimicrobial chemokines may play an important role in innate immune response, not just as chemoattractants but also as active participants in the immune response.

    Sentence 8 is a run-on sentence. You should either separate them with a period or a semicolon:

    • The chemokine CCL28 has been shown to have antimicrobial properties (Liu 2010); our lab has also confirmed these findings.
    • The chemokine CCL28 has been shown to have antimicrobial properties (Liu 2010). Our lab has also confirmed these findings.

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    Parallelism

    Look at these two popular quotes. How do they employ parallelism?

    1. With great power comes great responsibility.[1]
    2. Live. Laugh. Love.

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    1. This quote uses the following structure: Preposition + great noun + verb + great noun. This parallel structure in conjunction with the repetition of great creates emphasis. Compare the original quote with these two variants that use different adjectives:
      • Compare: With great power comes a lot of responsibility.
      • Compare: With great power comes immense responsibility.
    2. This quote is made up of three one-word command sentences. They all start with the letter l as well, which creates further continuity. Compare the original quote with these non-parallel variants:
      • Compare: Living. Go laugh. Don’t hate.
      • Compare: Live. Giggle. Adore.

    [/hidden-answer]

    Sources

    Liu, Bin, and Eric Wilson. “The Antimicrobial Activity of CCL28 Is Dependent on C-terminal Positively-charged Amino Acids.” European Journal of Immunology 40.1 (2010): 186–96. Print.


    1. The original of this quote is actually "With great power there must also come—great responsibility!" (Lee, Stan, and Steve Ditko. Amazing Fantasy #15. 10 Aug. 1962. Digital.)
    CC licensed content, Original
    CC licensed content, Shared previously
    • Modification of Understanding Chemokine binding and Bacterial Response (errors added). Authored by: Brittany Kartchner. License: CC BY: Attribution
    Public domain content

    28.7: Try It: Sentence Structure is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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