Cover Page ofThe Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
Table of ContentsWriting TimelineHelpCredits

Section 6.5

Comma Splice

Never link two independent clauses with just a comma; this is known as a comma splice error. You can correct a comma splice in four ways:

  1. Separate the independent clauses into two separate sentences. Punctuate both sentences with periods.
  2. Replace the comma with a semicolon or with a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb such as however or furthermore. (The conjunctive adverb is then normally followed by a comma.)
  3. Replace the comma with a comma and a coordinating conjunction.
  4. Make one of the clauses into a subordinate clause.


Unacceptable

In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that wouldbe an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron, he failedin this effort.

Acceptable

In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that wouldbe an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron. He failedin this effort.

Acceptable

In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that wouldbe an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron; he failedin this effort. [or ". . . electron; however, he failed . . ."]

Acceptable

In 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find an equation for the photon that wouldbe an analogue to Dirac's equation for the electron, but hefailed in this effort.

Acceptable

Although in 1931 Oppenheimer attempted to find anequation for the photon that would be an analogue to Dirac's equation for theelectron, he failed in this effort.


Reference Link Text
## Comma Splice ##
Reference Link Text

[ Home | Table of Contents| Writing Timeline | Index |Help | Credits]

Copyright ©2001 The McGraw-Hill Companies. Any use is subject to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. McGraw-Hill Higher Education is one of the many fine businesses of
The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
.
Corporate Link