A comma splice is an error that occurs when two independent clauses (complete sentences) are connected with just a comma. The comma is an amazing piece of punctuation, but it cannot join two complete thoughts without help.

What are some common reasons for comma splices?

Comma splices often occur when you’re writing quickly because you may write out your thoughts without noticing that the sentences are running together.

Since punctuation and conjunctions help readers make sense of the relationships between clauses in writing, you should apply appropriate grammar and punctuation rules when revising your drafts. This task typically requires you to proofread after you’ve gotten all your thoughts out on the page. For many writers, waiting to proofread until after drafting allows them to stay in the flow of getting thoughts onto the page.

Are comma splices always wrong?

In Standard American English, which is used for most formal and academic writing, comma splices are considered wrong. You should revise your sentences to eliminate comma splices in order to enhance your credibility (ethos) as a writer.

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