Answered By: Rachel Willard Last Updated: Jul 08, 2016 Views: 707
A run-on sentence is what happens when a writer tries to combine two or more independent clauses (complete sentences) into one sentence without the appropriate connecting words or punctuation; this is grammatically incorrect.
Example of a grammatically incorrect, run-on sentence: I sat at the back of the room the presenter stood at the front.
Here you have two independent clauses that are not separated by proper punctuation, so this sentence is a run-on sentence.
An independent clause is a group of words that can stand alone as a complete sentence:
I sat at the back of the room. The presenter stood at the front.
A compound sentence is what you get when you combine two or more independent clauses together with a conjunction (and, or, but) or a semicolon:
I sat at the back of the room, but the presenter stood at the front.
I sat at the back of the room; the presenter stood at the front.
- View more examples of general sentence elements.
- See more tips and guidelines on how to avoid run-on sentences and fragments.
- View the archived webinar series "Mastering the Mechanics of Writing" for more tips on how to use strong and grammatically correct sentences.
- Check out the Writing Center's self-paced grammar modules.
Do you have other general writing questions? E-mail the Writing Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other questions about your doctoral capstone or the Form & Style review? E-mail the Dissertation Editors at email@example.com.
Want to peruse other writing resources? Go to the Writing Center’s homepage.