Friday, October 19, 2018

IELTS Writing Tips: How to Avoid Comma Splices and Fused Sentences


The IELTS writing test is crafted to assess a wide range of writing skills, including how well you can organize ideas, use a range of vocabulary and grammar accurately, and write a response properly. As a test taker enrolled in a review center for IELTS, it is practical to seek for different tips and strategies that can help boost your writing skills and ace the writing section.

For instance, learning how to avoid comma splices and fused sentences is one awesome writing tip that you can apply in your IELTS review classes.


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What Are Comma Splices and Fused Sentences?

Commas splices and fused sentences are the most common problems when writing compound sentences in an essay. A comma splice incorrectly combines two main clauses with a comma, while a fused sentence inappropriately connects two main clauses without putting punctuation at all.

How to Avoid Comma Splices and Fused Sentences

To avoid a comma splice or fused sentence when writing an essay, apply any of these three strategies listed below:

Strategy #1 – Construct two complete sentences

Since comma splices and fused sentences consists of two main clauses, simply add a period at the end of the first main clause and then start the second main clause with a capital letter. Take a look at the following examples:

Comma Splice:                      Our teacher announced a surprise test in the class, several of us were unprepared to take the exam.

Edited Version:                     Our teacher announced a surprise test in the class. Several of us were unprepared to take the exam.

Fused Sentence Sample:     The head coach was mad at his team he told the players that they need to work hard in practice and to prepare for the next game.

Edited Version:                     The head coach was mad at his team. He told the players that they need to work hard in practice and to prepare for the next game.

Strategy #2 – Use a coordinating conjunction

For students attending IELTS review classes, use any the following coordinating conjunctions to fix a comma splice or fused sentence: (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so)

Comma Splice Sample:        Meg was sad when the cat ran away, she doesn’t want to get a new one.

Edited Version:                     Meg was sad when the cat ran away, but she doesn’t want to get a new one.

Fused Sentence Sample:     Bryan is a good student he has been getting straight A’s since primary school.

Edited Version:                     Bryan is a good student, and he has been getting straight A’s since primary school.

Strategy #3 – Use a semicolon

Unlike a comma, a semicolon is a good punctuation mark that can link two main clauses properly.

Comma Splice Sample:        There’s not much to do at home, it’s pretty boring to live alone.

Edited Version:                     There’s not much to do at home; it’s pretty boring to live alone.

Fused Sentence Sample:     It was close to the submission date the students began losing their minds with the paperwork given by their professor.

Edited Version:                     It was close to the submission date; the students began losing their minds with the paperwork given by their professor.
Still searching for more review tips and test-taking strategies? Enroll now in a review center for IELTS and check out our blog today!

REFERENCES:

"Online Writing Lab." Using Outside Sources—Primary vs. Secondary Research—Aims Community College. Accessed October 05, 2018. https://www.aims.edu/student/online-writing-lab/grammar/comma-splices.php.

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