Eliminating Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices

Instructors: Businesses gripe that new grads have poor grammar. Help your students learn to eliminate three easily fixed sentence structure errors. Download Eliminating Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices and the answer key below or cut and paste directly from this post.

                        Eliminating Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices

Fragment. A fragment is usually a broken-off part of a sentence. Fragments often can be identified by the words that introduce them–words such as although, as, because, even, except, for example, if, instead of, since, such as, that, which, and when.

Example: Jeremy loaded his résumé with keywords and relevant skills. Which is why he couldn’t understand receiving no responses.

Improved: Jeremy loaded his résumé with keywords and relevant skills, which is why he couldn’t understand receiving no responses.

Run-on (fused) sentence. A sentence with two independent clauses must be joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, but) or by a semicolon. Without a conjunction or a semicolon, a run-on sentence results:

Example: Becca considered an internship she also thought about graduate school.

Improved: Becca considered an internship, but she also thought about graduate school.

Improved: Becca considered an internship; she also thought about graduate school.

Comma splice. When a writer joins (splices together) two independent clauses without using a coordinating conjunction, a comma splice results.

Example: Jeremy disliked networking, however he knew how important it was.

Improved: Jeremy disliked networking; however, he knew how important it was.

Improved: Jeremy disliked networking but he knew how important it was.

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Study the following. Identify fragments, run-ons, and comma splices. For each item write an improved version. If a sentence is correct, write C.

  1. Jeremy mailed over a hundred beautifully written résumés. Which is why he was depressed when he didn’t receive quick responses.
  2. To come up with a tagline that describes what you do and who you are. Ask yourself questions about what you are really good at.
  3.   3.  Candidates can’t anticipate precise questions, however they can expect to be asked about their  education, skills, experience, and availability.
  4. An elevator speech is a pitch you can deliver in 60 seconds it tells who you are and what you can offer.
  5. Becca hoped to find a job in marketing, however she was willing to consider other offers.
  6. If possible, call in advance to inquire about what to wear, also ask how to prepare.
  7. Some job candidates go a step further they prepare professional-looking business cards with their name and tagline.
  8. In today’s challenging and digital job market, the focus is not so much on what you want but on what the employer needs.
  9. Although you may be changing jobs and careers in the future. You still need to train for a specific career area now.
  10. Zack saw no value in preparing a résumé at this time. Because he was only a sophomore and searching for a job was a distant and distressing task.
  11. Employment counselors suggest learning more about careers they recommend taking a summer job, an internship, or a part-time position in your field.
  12. Having a current résumé makes you look well-organized and professional. If an unexpected employment opportunity should arise.
  13. With over 50,000 job boards and employment websites deluging the Internet. It’s hard to know where to start.
  14. Early in her academic career, Becca begin monitoring advertisements and websites in her career area, Jeremy preferred to wait.
  15. Recruiters seem to favor chronological résumés. Which is good because they are easier to write than functional résumés.

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Key to Eliminating Fragments, Run-ons, and Comma Splices

  1. Fragment. Jeremy mailed over a hundred beautifully written résumés, which is why he was depressed when he didn’t receive quick responses. [You can correct this fragment by joining it to the sentence with a comma.]
  1. Fragment. To come up with a tagline that describes what you do and who you are, ask yourself questions about what you are really good at. [You can correct this fragment by joining it to the sentence with a comma.]
  1. Comma splice. Candidates can’t anticipate precise questions; however, they can expect to be asked about their education, skills, experience, and availability. [Correct this comma splice by changing the comma to a semicolon preceding however.]
  1. Run-on. An elevator speech is a pitch you can deliver in 60 seconds; it tells who you are and what you can offer. [You can correct this run-on by joining the two independent clauses with a semicolon or by breaking the two clauses into separate sentences.]
  1. Comma splice. Becca hoped to find a job in marketing; however, she was willing to consider other offers. [You can correct this comma splice by using a semicolon to join the two ideas. You could also start a new sentence with however.]
  1. Comma splice. If possible, call in advance to inquire about what to wear; also ask how to prepare. [You could correct this comma splice by (a) joining the two parts with a semicolon, (b) starting a new sentence, or (c) joining the two parts with a conjunction such as and.
  1. Run-on. Some job candidates go a step further; they prepare professional-looking business cards with their name and tagline. [You can correct this run-on by joining the two clauses with a semicolon. You could also start a new sentence.]
  1. C. In today’s challenging and digital job market, the focus is not so much on what you want but on what the employer needs. [This sentence is correct!]
  1. Fragment. Although you may be changing jobs and careers in the future, you still need to train for a specific career area now. [Correct this fragment by joining it to the sentence with a comma.]
  1. Fragment. Zack saw no value in preparing a résumé at this time because he was only a sophomore and searching for a job was a distant and distressing task. [Correct this fragment by joining it to the sentence. No comma is needed.]
  1. Run-on. Employment counselors suggest learning more about careers; they recommend taking a summer job, an internship, or a part-time position in your field. [You can correct this run-on by using a semicolon to join the two parts. You could also start a new sentence.]
  1. Fragment. Having a current résumé makes you look well-organized and professional if an unexpected employment opportunity should arise. [You can correct this fragment by joining it to the preceding sentence.]
  1. Fragment. With over 50,000 job boards and employment websites deluging the Internet, it’s hard to know where to start. [This fragment was corrected by joining the two parts with a comma.]
  1. Comma splice. Early in her academic career, Becca began monitoring advertisements and websites in her career area; Jeremy preferred to wait. [You can correct this comma splice by joining the two parts with a semicolon. You can also start a new sentence.]
  1. Fragment. Recruiters seem to favor chronological résumés, which is good because they are easier to write than functional résumés. [To correct this fragment, join it to the sentence or start a new sentence.]

 

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