Punctuation

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Does the Period Go Before or After Parentheses?

Parentheses are an excellent way to offset the main sentence’s explanations, detail, and asides. They are easy to use and provide clarification and information to your reader. However, they come with their own set of punctuation rules. When my students are taught how to use parentheses, providing them with the rules of end marks and commas helps them integrate their use into their own writing. First, let’s review what a parenthesis is and how it is used. Then, let’s look …

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7 Types of Commas – Usage & Examples

Every grammarian you speak to will label commas differently, but all will agree on the rules of their use. Commas are essential to help create organization and understanding of complex sentences, but occasionally comma rules can be confusing to new writers. Sometimes breaking down these rules into labels help give names to each type of comma. These names are sometimes easier to remember. I’ve broken down the six main rules of commas with examples and put them into seven comma …

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21 Common Punctuation Mistakes (With Worksheet)

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by all the rules of punctuation and dealing with punctuation errors? You aren’t alone. Collectively there are dozens of punctuation rules and knowing them all feels like an impossible task. However, chances are you already apply them without knowing since so many apply a common sense approach. Instead of focusing on the many rules you should know, why not focus on the common punctuation mistakes most people make in order to avoid them? I’ve …

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Commas in a List – How To Use Them Correctly

The comma is the most common punctuation mark in writing but is also the most misused. Commas are used in various ways to help combine sentences, introduce information, and offset details, but they are most notably used to separate list items to avoid confusion. When explaining commas to my students, I like to start with how they are used in lists since their placement is easy to see and understand. Separating items the students have already recognized as different makes …

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Test Your Punctuation Skills (Quizzes With Answers)

Before delving too deep into punctuation and grammar exercise practice, it’s worth testing your knowledge of basic punctuation and conventions with a pre-test. This quiz provides the questions you need (with answers) to test your skills and determine if you need to review. End Marks Punctuation Inserting Commas Exercise Using Colons and Semicolons Exercise Quotation Marks Exercise Inserting Apostrophes, Hyphens, and Dashes Exercise You can also download the printable worksheet with answers below:

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Commas and Conjunctions – Ultimate Guide (with Worksheet)

Commas are the most common punctuation mark you can use in your writing. They indicate a brief pause and provide sentence structure and clarity to your reader. Conjunctions are linking words, the most common parts of speech to create sentence fluency and add detail to text and speech. Together they work to combine grammatically correct sentences and add sophistication to your material. But, what rules of grammar concerning conjunctions should you know? For example, do commas belong before conjunctions? Or …

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When to Use a Comma Before Which

Rules about commas can be confusing, especially when used with pronouns and adjectives. The word which is one such example that, although not commonly used, can create some questions concerning proper punctuation. Does which need a comma? It depends on how you are using it. I find the best way to introduce the use of commas in relation to a word is to explain to my students when and how to use a word in the first place when writing. …

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Does the Comma Go Before or After Quotation Marks?

Punctuating quotations raises many questions, and when instructing a class on proper comma placement, I am often met with blank stares unless I first break down the elements involved: 1) rules of quotation and 2) rules of commas. Once students have reviewed both uses, they can more easily combine them into a properly punctuated, understandable piece of text. Let’s review both quotation mark use and commas to fully understand where to place commas both before and after a quote. Quotation …

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How to Use Semicolons in a List – Worksheet & Examples

Semicolons are one of the most misunderstood and underused punctuation marks. Most of my students have never used one, nor do they recognize how it is used. I find it interesting they have never truly learned its use since it is such an easy element to include in their writing. One of the best ways to use this mark is to help clarify lists in complex sentences. Becoming comfortable with this use also makes it easier to use between clauses. …

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10 Tips to Help You With Punctuation

Communication is a powerful tool, and if you can speak and write properly, it is much more likely you will be taken seriously. These are the tenets of my classes, and when I have a group of students in front of me, I remind them constantly that proper grammar and punctuation (or otherwise) are likely the first things a future employer will see when they pick up their resume. This simple punctuation guide provides the tips you need to apply …

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