Intern’s Corner: Catching Up with Run-On Sentences

Have you ever written a sentence that you thought rambled on too long? Well, you may benefit from learning about run-on sentences in the Excelsior Online Writing Lab. If offers an interactive tutorial on run-on sentences in the Grammar Refresher as well as within the Grammar Essentials: 20 Most Common Grammar Errors. These tutorials provide useful tips, tricks, and activities to help you avoid this common error.

Grammar Refresher

The OWL provides a helpful tutorial on run-on sentences in their Grammar Refresher series. As with all the refresher tutorials, the run-on sentences tutorial is no exception with its practice questions, instructional content, and a quiz to test your knowledge.

In the tutorial, the OWL suggests ways of looking at your sentences to see if they need to be adjusted. If your sentence does not sound right to you, and you are unsure how to fix it, the OWL suggests you rethink your sentence and consider revising it using different punctuation, such as a period,  colon or semicolon, or comma. However, the tutorial warns us not to get too comma happy or else you might run into a comma splice.

(Screenshot of a solution and words of caution regarding adding commas)

Screenshot of a solution and words of caution regarding adding commas.

The tutorial then offers a chance for you to use your knowledge and plug in which punctuation mark, if any, you think would be appropriate and where.

(Screenshot of a question to where you plug in your selected punctuation mark.)

Screenshot of a question to where you plug in your selected punctuation mark.


Grammar Essentials

The OWL provides another tutorial regarding run-on sentences in the 20 Most Common Grammar Errors tab. This small, one-page entry regarding run-on sentences can help you look at your writing differently and avoid this common error.

Final thoughts

A run-on sentence can happen at any time, but the tutorials offered by the OWL can help you practice spotting what these errors look like and how to fix them.



Ginger Hamblin is an intern for the Excelsior University Online Writing Lab. She has been a student of Excelsior University for almost two years and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science – Liberal Arts in Professional and Technical Writing. She is a writing enthusiast, painter, wife, and mother of three boys.