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Guide to Grammar & Writing: Run-on Sentences and Comma Splices

Example Web Site and/or Technical Equipment Required


Website Example:

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Computer(s), Internet access, projector

Activity Description

In this activity, students learn about run-on sentences. Students are given a pre-test, taught the concepts, and quizzed at the end to evaluate comprehension.


  1. Be sure students are familiar with the following terms and concepts before conducting this activity: clauses (independent and dependent), coordinating conjunctions, semicolons, and pronouns.
  2. Review the Run-on Sentences PowerPoint  (select the PowerPoint icon on the Web page)
  3. Download and print the Pretest Results Example Document (above) for each student.
  4. Download and print the Run-on Sentences Example Document (above) for each student.


  1. Introduce the topic and distribute the Pretest Results document to each student. Direct them to, and have them take the run-on sentences pre-test . Have students select the "My Totals, Please!" button at the bottom of the page when they are finished and complete the Pretest Results handout to identify their weakness(es).
  2. Introduce the concept of run-on sentences with the PowerPoint presentation. Be sure to connect the material with the weaknesses identified in the pre-test to help students focus on their particular weaknesses.
  3. Distribute and review the Run-on Sentences document. Again, be sure to connect the material with the weaknesses identified in the pre-test to help students focus on their particular weaknesses.
  4. Direct students to the four online quizzes, making sure to closely monitor student progress (as there is often more than one correct answer): Avoiding Comma Splices , Avoiding Comma Splices II , Repairing Run-on Sentences , and Fragments and Run-on Sentences .
  5. Students who need more practice should be directed online information on Run-on Sentences  and encouraged to navigate through sections 2-10.

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  • This is an incredible resource for writing teachers. The site offers in-depth explanations (and sometimes PowerPoint presentations) and accompanying quizzes on a large number of writing-related topics that are categorized by Word & Sentence Level, Paragraph Level, and Essay & Research Paper Level.



  • Intermediate Low
  • Intermediate High
  • Advanced
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.