comma rules


Part 1 (Essay 1—Comma Errors and Corrections)

This week we learned and practiced all of the comma rules! I did not count off heavily for comma usage on your first essay because we had not yet studied them in detail. However, I will look more closely at your comma usage for upcoming essays. Commas are tricky, so we are going to practice them here, in addition to our quiz this week.

Take a close look at your first essay. Now that you know the comma rules, do you see any instances in your paper where you added a comma that did not belong? Did you omit a comma where you should have included one? My guess is that you probably did both, and that is OK!

In this part, I would like for you to share some sentences from your essay where these errors occurred. Then tell us which comma rules explain why this is wrong. Next, fix your error. (Include more than one sentence, if you wish, to help you reach the required word count.) You MUST use the Comma handout under Resources for this exercise. Do not surf the web for comma rules, make up your own rules, or use another source. Also, your returned/graded essay is NOT required. YOU must find these errors.


In my first paragraph, I wrote the following sentence. “I like to watch the show Ghost Adventures because of the investigators, the places they visit and the paranormal theme.” This is incorrect because I should have included a comma before the last-named item. The rule that explains this is the “items in a series rule.” The corrected sentences is as follows. “I like to watch the show Ghost Adventures because of the investigators, the places they visit, and the paranormal theme.”

In the rare event that you do not find any comma errors, please share sentences where you used commas correctly and which rules apply.

Part 2 (Other Comma Rules)

Using a rule that you did NOT discuss in Part 1, create a new sentence that demonstrates proper comma usage. Please include the rule you are demonstrating. You may include more than one sentence and rule to help you reach your word count.


“During the winter, I wear socks every day because my feet stay so cold.” I put a comma after winter because the first three words of my sentence are an “introductory word group.”

Part 3 (Checking In)

We mentioned writing anxieties during week one, and I am bringing this up again simply to check on you. Are you doing OK with the writing process at this point? Are the tips and instructions provided thus far in this course helping to eliminate anxiety? If you are nervous or want to discuss anything with the class, please feel free to share here. You may also comment that you are doing just fine, or you may Message me privately if you do not wish to share your thoughts with everyone. However, please do comment at least briefly here in order to receive forum credit.

Tips for student replies: It will likely be a little harder for you to comment on Parts 1 and 2, so feel free to comment only on Part 3, if you wish. Maybe there is an idea you can offer to your fellow student to help with his/her writing issues. For example, if they mention that they are easily distracted, perhaps you could ask them if they have tried writing in a quiet room or a library. Hope this helps!

The grading rubric for this forum is attached below. Please understand that no single rubric can cover every issue. Your instructor will adjust the scores on the rubric and elaborate on the categories as needed. (For example, additional points might be deducted if you do not respond to those who have responded to your initial post.) Read your instructor’s comments very carefully for clarification regarding each deduction. Click on “View Full Description” to be sure you have met all other forum requirements.

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