I would love it if someone could help end a debate that we are having in my home and at work. Can the phrase, "As a result," stand on its own merit at the beginning of a sentence? Does it need an explicit object stated in the sentence that it appear in, or can it refer to an action in the preceding sentence? Here is the specific example:
"We increased throughput 300 pieces per hour. As a result, we can now process 4200 pieces during a 4 hour span."
Is there a rule being broken here? The readability can be improved by simply combining the sentences:
"As a result of increasing throughput 300 pieces per hour, we can now process 4200 pieces during a 4 hour span."
I have eliminated some of the awkwardness, but our main debate concerns RULES. Can "as a result" refer to the preceding sentence, or must it be combined with an object in the same sentence to be grammatically correct? Thanks.