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I'm correcting something which my friend wrote. He wrote about incidents that had occurred while working in a mine, and stated that although the cause of each incident may have been different, they had in common a single reason: the workers did not follow the rules.

Here is the sentence:

Although, the causes of each incident may have been different, the same common reason applies:...

I believe that placing a comma after although is incorrect. My friend believes that it is correct. Would you please shed some light on this?

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Definitely not ok. In an essay commas ought to be avoided in general [Edit: This is a ridiculous statement. I only meant they are often overused]. Furthermore, "Although," with that comma implies that he's contradicting something he just said. It sounds like he's reinforcing his thesis, so he definitely doesn't want to do that.

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    Can you cite a source for the statement "In an essay commas ought to be avoided in general"? – Kristina Lopez Dec 17 '13 at 20:41
  • Haha, no, that was excessive. What I meant was "people often overuse commas in essays", that was my mistake. Good catch. I can't cite that either, that's just my empirical experience. – McGurk Dec 19 '13 at 20:10
  • Gotcha, @McGurk! :-) – Kristina Lopez Dec 19 '13 at 20:30
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Commas are disjunctive and do not suit well with conjunctions. Putting a comma after a conjunction is only acceptable if it is one of a pair of commas bracketing a parenthetical remark:

OK Although, to be sure, the causes may have been different ...
 ∗  Although, the causes may have been different ...

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