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Created by April Turner

UWF WRITING LAB


RULES OF THUMB FOR
RECOGNIZING COMMA
SPLICES AND RUN-ONS
From
Real Good Grammar, Too
by Mamie Webb Hixon
Comp I students should
study only comma splices
and run-ons; other students
should study comma
splices, run-ons, and
fragments.
THIS IS NOT A RUN-ON
SENTENCE:
The scandal broke after the teacher was
charged with sexual harassment so the
administration and the school board issued a
statement to the media to dispel any rumors.
IT IS A COMPOUND SENTENCE IN WHICH
THE COMMA IS INCORRECTLY OMITTED
BEFORE THE COORDINATING
CONJUNCTION SO.
THIS IS A RUN-ON SENTENCE:
_______________ _________________
(sentence) (sentence)
Two sentences (independent clauses) which
are not separated by any punctuation.
I have always admired Wonder Woman for a
long time she was my hero.
THIS IS NOT A COMMA SPLICE:
No one voted in the election, so the White
House was empty for four years.



THE COMMA PRECEDING THE
COORDINATING CONJUNCTION IS
CORRECT.

THIS IS A COMMA SPLICE:
_______________ , _________________
(sentence) (sentence)
Two sentences (independent clauses)
separated only by a comma.
I never enjoyed reading comic books when I
was a child, fantasy novels were always my
favorite.
HOW TO CORRECT RUN-ONS
AND COMMA SPLICES:
Use a semicolon or period to separate
the two independent clauses/sentences.
I have always admired Wonder Woman;
for a long time she was my hero.
I never enjoyed reading comic books when
I was a child; fantasy novels were always
my favorite.
THIS IS NOT A FRAGMENT:
It is obsolete.
THIS GROUP OF WORDS HAS A SUBJECT,
A VERB, AND A COMPLETED THOUGHT.

A FRAGMENT DOES NOT
EXPRESS A COMPLETE
THOUGHT:
B.B. King and Morgan Freeman know a lot
about cotton fields. Both having grown up
in the Mississippi Delta region. B.B. King
from Indianola, Mississippi, and Morgan
Freeman from Clarksdale, Mississippi.
The underlined portions are fragments.
A FRAGMENT MAY CONTAIN A
SUBJECT AND A VERB BUT IS NOT
AN INDEPENDENT THOUGHT:
I noticed several students leaving the dormitory.
As I walked across the street past the trolley.
HOW TO CORRECT
FRAGMENTS:
Add words or connect the fragment to the
sentence from which it is disconnected.
B.B. King and Morgan Freeman know a lot about
cotton fields, both having grown up in the
Mississippi Delta region. B.B. King is from
Indianola, Mississippi, and Morgan Freeman is
from Clarksdale, Mississippi.
I noticed several students leaving the dormitory
as I walked across the street past the trolley.
Lets Practice!!!
The rate of inflation is related to the rate of
unemployment, it is impossible to influence one
without influencing the other.
unemployment; it is impossible
The ability to write complete sentences comes
with practice writing run-on sentences seems to
occur naturally.
with practice; writing run-on sentences
More Practice!!!
We were surprised to come home and find that
the house had been burglarized. Even our
toothpicks missing.
.had been burglarized, even our toothpicks
missing.
Erring is human, and forgiving is divine.
Although Johns errors were plentiful, since he
wasnt close to approaching divinity.
...errors were plentiful, he wasnt close