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Grad. Studies Home

Avoiding Run-ons and Comma Splices

What Is a Run-on or Comma Splice?

A run-on sentence is a group of words without punctuation showing where the first sentence ends and the second begins.  A comma splice is a group of words with only a comma showing where the first sentence ends and the second begins.  Both run-ons and comma splices are grammar errors. They can confuse the reader by running one idea into another.

Example:

RUN-ONWord processing offers useful editing tools for writers it can help them locate and correct many typical grammar errors.

COMMA SPLICEWord processing offers useful editing tools for writers, it can help them locate and correct many typical grammar errors.

CORRECT: Word processing offers useful editing tools for writers. It can help them locate and correct many typical grammar errors.

 

What are the main causes of run-ons and comma splices?
  1. The writer isn't sure where one sentence ends and the next begins. This often happens when the next sentence starts with a pronoun (such as IT,  THIS, THAT) .  

  2. The writer doesn't follow these THREE SIMPLE PUNCTUATION RULES.
How can I check for run-ons and comma splices? How do I fix run-ons and comma splices?

Use a period (NOT a comma) at the end of a sentence.

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