The previous exercise was a warm-up for the more difficult task of recognizing fragments when they occur within the context of a paragraph. Remember, we have a tendency to mentally “fill in” missing information to create implied sentences from fragments. Remember also that most fragments occurring within paragraphs can be eliminated by attaching them to other sentences. Briefly review the three steps to identifying and correcting fragments within text before you complete this exercise.
Some of the statements in the following paragraph are fragments and some are complete sentences. First, put brackets  around all statements that are sentences and underline all statements that are fragments. Then revise the paragraph so that all the fragments are eliminated, and the paragraph retains its logical flow.
Vincent Van Gogh is probably most well known in America for cutting off a large piece of his own ear with a razor. In a fit of rage after a violent quarrel with Paul Gauguin with whom he was sharing a house at the time. While trying to establish an artists’ colony in the South of France. Gauguin and Van Gogh had lived together in the “Yellow House” for several months. During which time their arguments over art had escalated to the virulent stage. Van Gogh also suffered from manic depression. A serious mental illness characterized by dramatic mood swings from very high highs to very low lows. Unfortunately, the time of the quarrel with Gauguin coincided with one of Van Gogh’s low periods. Causing him to be almost prostrate with despair. Van Gogh wrapped the piece of ear in a sheet of newspaper and gave it to a local prostitute. An action which caused outrage among the local populace and prompted his brother Theo, with whom he had a very close relationship, to encourage Van Gogh to commit himself to an asylum. The flamboyance of the event was unfortunate in many ways. But primarily because it became the event most associated with the name of Van Gogh and tends to diminish the importance of his work in the eyes of many.
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