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Is it possible for a writer to overuse commas?

I have been afraid to use them ever since I took a college writing course as a freshman years ago. My professor and I were going over one of my papers in his office and he said to me a few times, "Why did you use a comma here?" Would a paper come off as more clear, concise, and compelling if you use proper grammar, but keep punctuation (such as commas) to a minimum? Is it possible to write a complex sentence without using commas and semicolons?

Best Answer - Chosen by Asker:

Is it, possible, for a writer, to overuse commas?

Don't be afraid of commas. They can't hurt you.

The problem most people have with understanding how to use commas is that they don't know how a sentence is put together. If you understand basic sentence structure, you can understand how to use commas.

I'd recommend exploring a few websites or books to help you. There are a few out there that explain it simply, and it is really easy to grasp. I recommend Diana Hacker's Pocket Style Manual.

Or you can just ask me, and I'll give it my best shot. :)