Objective: Students will learn to identify a common fault in comma use and will gain practice editing sentences to avoid it.
Total estimated class time: 40–55 minutes
Work completed before class: Students should read the post “To Splice or Not to Splice” on The MLA Style Center.
Sequence of classroom activities:
- In class, answer any questions students have about the assigned reading. (5–10 mins.)
- Ask students to complete the worksheet “Avoiding Comma Splices.” The worksheet can also be completed at home before class. (10–15 mins., if done in class)
- Ask students to select a partner and exchange worksheets.
- Instruct students to review each other’s worksheets. Students should write down any questions they wish to ask their partner. (10 mins.)
- When students have finished reviewing their partner’s worksheet, they should return it to their partner and be encouraged to discuss any questions that arise. (5–10 mins.)
- Reconvene the class and ask students to pose any questions they could not resolve with their partner. (10 mins.)
Alternative approaches: This worksheet can also be given as a take-home exercise that is handed in to the instructor and optionally graded.
Key: 1: N, 2: N, 3: N, 4: Y, 5: N, 6: Y. In both 4 and 6, one finds an idiomatic construction in which the second part of the sentence completes sense of the first.
Published 6 June 2017