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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!

   Comma Missing Before Independent Clause

30 Common Writing Errors and Their Solutions

Sentence Fragment
Run On/Comma Splice

Parenthetic Expression
Series
Comma Before Independent Clause
Semi-Colon
Colon
Punctuation at end of Quotation
Single Quote Marks
Dialogue
Titles
Possession
Its/It's
Dangling Modifier
Misplaced Modifier
Vague Pronoun Reference
Me/Like
Number Agreement
Parallel Structure
Verb Tenses
Fused Words
Spelling
Passive Voice

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

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

Place a comma before a conjunction joining two independent clauses. (Omit comma if both clauses are very short: Leopold walked but Molly ran.)

Place a comma before an independent clause preceded by a subordinate clause or phrase. (Omit comma if the subordinate clause comes second: Rescue efforts can proceed because the fire has abated.)

Except when needed for clarity, do not split compounds other than compound sentences (two independent clauses) with a comma.

I’d like to think you’re serious but I have my doubts.

Because the fire has abated rescue efforts can proceed.

Not finding him at home I left a message in his mailbox.

Malcolm and Donalbain fear for their lives, and flee the country.

This rule is confusing, and difficult to apply.

I’d like to think you’re serious, but I have my doubts.

Because the fire has abated, rescue efforts can proceed.

Not finding him at home, I left a message in his mailbox.

Malcolm and Donalbain fear for their lives and flee the country.

This rule is confusing and difficult to apply.