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Bookhooks Style Guide

Using our Word template, you can annotate student work, adding comments for the 30 Common Errors listed in this style guide. The template facilitates mark up by teachers, and generates comments with links to these resource pages!

   Run-On Sentence/ Comma Splice

30 Common Writing Errors and Their Solutions

Sentence Fragment
Run On/Comma Splice

Parenthetic Expression
Comma Before Independent Clause
Punctuation at end of Quotation
Single Quote Marks
Dangling Modifier
Misplaced Modifier
Vague Pronoun Reference
Number Agreement
Parallel Structure
Verb Tenses
Fused Words
Passive Voice

Negative Form
Choppy Sentences
Qualifiers and Intensifiers
Vague, Stilted or Flowery Language

This listing of 30 common writing errors was compiled by The Pingry School and is used with permission.

A run-on is two independent clauses joined without punctuation. In analytic writing, a semicolon is usually the best solution; a period may make the sentences choppy, and a conjunction adds an extra word. (In dialogue, the period is usually preferred to the semicolon.) A comma splice, where the clauses are joined by a mere comma, is also incorrect.

Exception: Short parallel clauses: We laughed, they wept.

I went to the store it was closed. [Run-on]

I went to the store, it was closed. [Comma splice]

The game is over, however the score is still in dispute.

Whales are warm-blooded, therefore they are not fish.

I went to the store. It was closed.

I went to the store, but it was closed.

I went to the store; it was closed. [Best]

The game is over; however, the score is still in dispute.

Whales are warm-blooded; therefore, they are not fish.