These are common word and punctuation rules that are broken in student and post-graduate writing. I have made a rule sheet that I use to grade student writing. Instead of writing comma splice off to the side, I can write the number that points to its rule with examples of how to correct it, which saves a lot of time for the grader. In theory, this by itself should be enough to improve writing. What I have seen in corrections, though, is that students will go from one mistake to another: a comma splice becomes a run-on. To combat that, I have put together bell work for practice. We focus on one set of rules one week and then add more the following week. The quizzes then help for retention.
Please feel free to make copies for your and your students’ use. If you like these activities, please rate them and tell a friend. In this document you have a semester’s worth of bell work—three times a week—and quizzes. The big improvement to measure will not just be in quiz scores but in writing conventions. When they write an essay, be sure to have a follow-up assignment. My preference is for an assignment that has them complete a few tasks: write their five most common broken rules, copy down what the rule says, copy down an example sentence from their paper for each rule, and fix the sentence beneath it.