Behind me there's a consultation that's become a heated debate. I'm pretty sure that they're not even having the same conversation.
Have you ever . . . had a consultee get defensive? Perhaps he takes offense to the accusation that his sentence is a fragment. But it's not an accusation--it's a fact. However, before you can explain why it's a fact, he/she sits back and his eyes glaze over and he puts his fingers in his ears and begins to sing, "Of course I know how to write a complete sentence, I'm not listening, I can't even hear you, la, la, la." Okay, well, minus the song.
So what do you do?
-I compare it to a good example in the paper to put the emphasis back on something they are doing "right".
-Consult a source (handbook, another consultant, the assignment), in case it has a clearer explanation or just because maybe he/she would rather listen to someone else.
-OR I talk to the hard stare until I reach a point where I gloss over it and move on (read: fail).
I can't say I'm especially fond of the last option. Any other suggestions? Perhaps I should add some snazzier choreography to my grammar dance?