How to Avoid Run-on Sentences in Academic Writing

While writing a manuscript, are you more focused on ideas or writing style? Mostly, ideas get more attention than the writing style. Consequently, the importance of punctuation and sentence structure gets undermined.

In formal writing, it is crucial to develop holistic writing skills. An ability to create concise and impactful sentences will help you to express your ideas seamlessly and build a more effective manuscript.

Why Researchers Use Lengthy Sentences

Formal writing requires competency in presenting intricate ideas in clear language. As researchers endeavor to communicate complicated ideas, sentences could become lengthy and convoluted. This, in turn, could impact the paper adversely.

Here is an example of a lengthy sentence:

In botany, there are numerous factors that affect the overall health of flora; for instance, it is vital to maintain the right balance of sunlight, food source, watering schedule, and good soil to prolong the life of a plant.

This example packs in too many ideas into one lengthy sentence. It is hard to comprehend each idea separately because there is no clear break between the ideas.

This sentence is long-winded and confusing. A reader has to plod through a string of words and ideas without a break. This makes it tough to process the information.

Run-on Sentences vs. Lengthy Sentences

As we have established, lengthy sentences can be perplexing. However, not all long sentences are run-on sentences. Lengthy sentences are often verbose and include several ideas. Run-on sentences are inaccurate because of either wrongly applied or missing punctuation.

Here is an example of a run-on sentence:

I am a musician, I like to create music.

This is a run-on sentence. It contains two independent clauses that have been merged.

Run-on sentences crammed with numerous ideas will be less clear than a well-structured, concise sentence that carries one idea.

How to Fix Run-on Sentences

Researchers often want to convey tons of ideas. But, when writing, you simply cannot run a string of ideas together or merge two complete sentences into one. You must find ways to communicate these ideas while using ideal grammar and sentence structure. So, if you find a lot of run-on sentences in your manuscript, it is vital to know the following four solutions.

Here is an example of a run-on sentence:

I first became inclined toward physics when I was 11, I want to be a physics professor at a research institute.

  • Write the two independent clauses as two separate sentences.

I first became inclined toward physics when I was 11. I want to be a physicist at a research institute.

  • Use coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) after a comma.

I first became inclined toward physics when I was 11, and I want to be a physicist at a research institute

  • Use a semicolon between the two independent clauses.

I first became inclined toward physics when I was 11; I want to be a physicist at a research institute

  • Use a semicolon and a linking word between the two independent clauses.

I first became inclined toward physics when I was 11; therefore, I want to be a physicist at a research institute

There are numerous tips for working on sentence length. As these examples demonstrate, the significance of good punctuation should never be downplayed. As the examples above illustrate, this can help you enhance your skills as an academic writer.

What are your experiences with long-winded and run-on sentences? How have you eliminated or mitigated shortcomings in your writing? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Besides, if you are looking for an AI-driven writing tool to enhance your writing, then check out Trinka, the world’s first language enhancement tool that is custom-built for academic and technical writing. It has several exclusive features to make your manuscript ready for the global audience. www.trinka.ai

You might also like

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.