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Run-On Sentences

posted Aug 24, 2012, 2:20 PM by David Burkhart   [ updated Aug 24, 2012, 2:20 PM ]
Many writers think a run-on sentence is one long sentence that spreads over multiple lines of type. In reality, a run-on sentence is two independent clauses (meaning each could stand alone as a sentence) that lack punctuation. In some cases, the punctuation is not complete or whatever punctuation is used may be incorrect. Likewise, if the sentence has no punctuation it is still a run-on.

The easiest correction includes dividing it into two concise sentences. Otherwise, the punctuation of choice might be a semi colon. Using a conjunction or a conjunctive adverb will also cure the problem. Sometimes, removing extraneous adverbs and redundant prepositional phrases will give the newly constructed sentences clarity. 

Most of my students think of run-on sentences as any word grouping that "runs-on" across the page. The biggest point I can make about run-on sentences is that they are not fragments thrown together. However, students and teachers will probably forever dub an independent clause with numerous dependent clauses (with or without proper punctuation) as run-on.