Run-On Sentences and Sentence Fragments

Run-on Sentences


Run-on Sentence:

Two or more complete ideas that are joined without punctuation create a run-on sentence.


Readability studies show that sentences of fewer than 20 words are best for comprehension, with an average sentence consisting of 15 to 17 words.




In this exercise, you will be presented with a series of screens where you'll see three descriptions of store concepts like the one shown below in which some aspects may be similar, but each of the three concepts will be different, so please compare them carefully. 

To identify run-on sentences:
  • Count the number of words, and shorten longer sentences.
  • Read the sentence out loud to hear the pace and rhythm.
  • Go on a “which hunt”. Run-ons sometimes happen when “which” combines ideas.
  • In compound sentences (sentences containing 2 or more complete thoughts), read each of the compound ideas separately, and check for flow, relationship, and logic.  

Sentence Fragments


Sentence Fragment:

An incomplete thought that starts with a capital letter and ends with a period.




Because you may have contacted us at a busy time.


To identify sentence fragments:

  • Read the sentence out loud to see if you are “left hanging” at the end.
  • Avoid starting sentences with Because, And, and But