THE FCE BLOG by Claudia Ceraso

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Punctuation

Punctuation matters. Period.

Is that all?
Well, you may say:

Don't stop.

Or

Don't, stop.

There's a difference, right? When I read, I don't like wondering what you meant. I want you to spell it out to me.

Writing is about making it easy and enjoyable for the reader. I usually tell my students that when they plan a paragraph, they are signalling a road for the reader to have a pleasant journey.

Extending this journey metaphor...

"Think of punctuation and mechanics in terms of driving your car. Punctuation and mechanics provide direction and signal the information to which you need to pay attention. Without punctuation and mechanics, phrases and sentences would run into each other and would be unclear, and your writing would go virtually nowhere. The purpose of punctuation and mechanics is to make your meaning clear by telling the reader when to pause, when to stop, when to take notice, etc" (I found it here.)

The power of punctuation is better explained by examples. Then you need some general rules. Above all, you need exercises!

The Purdue University website has a good menu to cover the punctuation you need to know.

If you find that too much, you may wish to do a quick quiz instead.

In the middle of your writing, you may need to consult a guide about specific punctuation marks. This one is quite comprehensive. This one is faster and has exercises.

A quick cheat-sheet to have near you while you write could be this Oxford site.

Last, but not least...

Too much? OK.

Period.


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2 Comments:

  • Hello everyone, Im taking composition 1 this semester, one of my assignments is to complete an independent composition objective. I choose to improve in punctuation, part of this goal is to write in a punctuation blog, well here I am
    Would be nice if someone would give me feedback about my blog entries and let me know if they see improvement from one entry to the next.
    I will write about any subject, mainly my goal is to be able to place my comas, semi colons, and so for in the correct spots.
    Thanks everyone for your help.
    Truly yours
    Jose

    By Blogger Jose, At 2:33 am  

  • Hello Jose,

    Here in the FCE Blog we do not correct people who comment, but I think you have a good idea starting a blog of your own and focus on your writing objectives.

    Make sure the blog is listed in your Blogger profile or come back here to post the link when it is ready, so our readers can find you.

    Good luck!

    By Blogger Claudia Ceraso, At 9:57 am  

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