1. Commas Assignment

When should I use—or not use—those pesky commas, anyway?

Comma use is challenging. We’ve looked at commas with independent and dependent clauses and with non-essential information, but we haven’t studied the other rules.

  • If you’d like to review some of the material we’ve already covered, the OWL at Purdue has a handy PowerPoint presentation, Conquering the Comma.
  • The OWL at Purdue offers Extended Rules for Commas. Go to the link, copy the text, paste it into a document and print it. Read/study the material about when to use commas and when not to. You’ll need to refer to specific rules for this assignment and for an in-class activity.
  • Open Comma exercise 1 from the OWL at Purdue. You can print this, too. Do the exercise. Be sure to identify the appropriate comma rule for commas you add. Check your answers.
  • Open Comma exercise 5. Do the exercise. Check your answers.


Here’s a chance to apply these ideas in your own writing. Please type up A and B below so that you can hand it in. This is a 5-point assignment.

  • Identify one comma rule that is clearer to you now than it was before you read about commas. Explain the comma rule. Write a sentence that illustrates the rule.
  • Copy and paste two sentences from your essay that demonstrate your understanding of commas. Referring to the appropriate rule, explain why you did or did not use commas. (This is similar to your answers for comma exercise 1.)

Bring the completed assignment to class along with your printed copy of the extended comma rules (from the Purdue OWL). You’ll need the rules for an in-class assignment.


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