In contrast to sentence fragments, run-on sentences contain two or more clauses that could be separated to stand independently on their own, rather than being crammed into a single sentence.
One of the common ways in which run-on sentences find themselves into students’ writing is through the comma splice. The comma splice happens when there are two independent clauses that are merely separated by a comma, and this results in the ideas in the sentence being expressed in a somewhat awkward and abrupt manner. This could be corrected either by linking the two independent clauses together with a conjunction, or separating them with a semi-colon or a period, as shown in the example below:
Incorrect: The weather was nice and windy, she decided to go cycling at ECP.
Correct 1: The weather was nice and windy, so she decided to go cycling at ECP.
Correct 2: The weather was nice and windy; she decided to go cycling at ECP.
Correct 3: The weather was nice and windy. She decided to go cycling at ECP.
In the first correct example, the two clauses are linked together with the conjunction “so”. Other ways to correct the comma splice can be through using the semi-colon or the period, as seen in examples 2 and 3.
Again, it is important to note that what makes sentence fragments and run-on sentences incorrect are not their length, but whether they are grammatically and structurally sound or not.