Commas, Conjunctions, and Modifiers

By Modern Language Association

Lesson Plan

Overview: The worksheet for this lesson is designed to follow the assigned reading of the blog post “Commas, Conjunctions, and Modifiers” on The MLA Style Center. The worksheet may be used in class or given as a homework assignment.

Total estimated class time: Allow 15 minutes for the worksheet, if using in class. Allow time for discussion before and after students complete the worksheet.


  • Encourage careful student reading of the blog post.
  • Help students understand the proper use of commas.
  • Make clear to the instructor what students find most confusing about comma rules.

Sequence of activities:

  1. Prepare students to read the blog post. Focus on definitions and concepts (compound predicates, independent clauses, modifying phrases and clauses, essential versus inessential information).
  2. Assign the blog post as at-home reading.
  3. Ask students to complete the worksheet. It can be completed with or without reference to the blog post.
  4. Discuss the answers and the explanations provided in the answer key.

Lesson Materials


Answer Key

Published 6 June 2017

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