The Period USE A PERIOD [ . ] AT THE END OF A SENTENCE that makesa statement. There is no space between the last letter andthe period. Use one space between the period and the firstletter of the next sentence. This goes against the grain forpeople using the typography instilled by generations of old-fashioned typewriter users, but modern word-processorsnicely accommodate the spacing after a period, and double-spacing after a period can only serve to discombobulate thegood intentions of ones software.
The Comma The comma is the most important punctuation mark after the full stop. Its main use is for separating parts of sentences. Commas function in five main ways:1. Before or after adverbial clauses and groups. Recently, the number of service enterprises in wealthier free-market economies has grown rapidly.2. Before various connectives to join two independent clauses. What we require is a National Emergency Government, but no two men I meet can agree how this can be formed.3. To separate some non-defining phrases from the rest of the sentence. Malaria, once a widespread disease, is under control.4. To separate words, groups and clauses in a series. Many U.S. firms attempt to tap emerging markets by pursuing business in China, India, Latin America, and Russia and other Eastern European countries.5. To separate adjectives that separately modify the same noun. Critics praise the novels unaffected, unadorned style.
Common mistakes A comma cannot separate subject from predicate. The following sentences are not possible:*A man of his great abilities, would always be successful.*The number of service enterprises in wealthier free-market economies, has grown rapidly.*Only occupants of the deep oceans or the darkest recesses of caves, will escape such rhythmic influences.*Experience indicates that, these rhythms do not result wholly from our life-style. A comma cannot be used to join grammatically separate sentences. The following sentences are not possible:*London is a very cosmopolitan city, there are people from many culture living there.*Learning a new language is like learning to swim, it takes a lot of practice.*Students in Higher Education face many problems, for example, they have to cope with a new culture.
A question mark is used at the end of a sentence which is a question. Have the students completed the exam? Be careful not to put a question mark at the end of an indirect question. The instructor asked the students what they were doing. Be careful to distinguish between an indirect question (above), and a question that is embedded within a statement which we do want to end with a question mark. We can get to Boston quicker, cant we, if we take the interstate? If a question mark is part of an italicized or underlined title, make sure that the question mark is also italicized: My favorite book is Where Did He Go?
THE EXCLAMATION MARK The main use of the exclamation mark is to end sentences that express: an exclamation: Ow! That hurt! Hello! How are you? direct speech that represents something shouted or spoken very loudly: ‘Look up there!’ she yelled. something that amuses the writer: Included on the list of banned items was crochet hooks! An exclamation mark can also be used in brackets after a statement to show that the writer finds it funny or ironic: She says she’s stopped feeling insecure (!) since she met him. People tend to use a lot of exclamation marks in informal writing such as emails or text messages, but you should avoid using them in formal writing.
THE SEMICOLON The main task of the semicolon is to mark a break that is stronger than a comma but not as final as a full stop. It’s used between two main clauses that balance each other and are too closely linked to be made into separate sentences, as in these two examples: The road runs through a beautiful wooded valley; the railway line follows it. An art director searched North Africa; I went to the Canary Islands. You can also use a semicolon as a stronger division in a sentence that already contains commas: The study showed the following: 76% of surveyed firms monitor employee Web-surfing activities, with 65% blocking access to unauthorized Internet locations; over one-third of the firms monitor employee computer keystrokes; half reported storing and reviewing employee emails; 57% monitor employee telephone behaviour, including the inappropriate use of voicemail.
THE DASH Hyphens should not be confused with dashes. Dashes arelike brackets; they enclose extra information. A colon andsemicolon would work just as well in the example opposite.Dashes are rarely used in academic writing. Although often used in pairs, dashes can also beused singularly.Examples:To the three divisions of the economy—agriculture,manufacturing, and service industries—Jones has added afourth.Have an orange—or would you prefer a banana?
PARENTHESES Parentheses are brackets used to include extra ornonessential material in sentences. Parentheses should beused sparingly and always appear in pairs. In citation systems like Harvard, parentheses are used toinclude in-text references.Example: It was unusual to see Paul awake so early (as he oftenstudied late into the night) and Jane greeted him withamazement. Larsen and Greene (1989) studied the effects of pollutionin three major cities.
Apostrophe ( )There are two uses for the apostrophe:1. Contractions A contraction is a shortened version of a word. An apostrophe is used to show that something has been left out, and where it has been left out. dont (do not) Itll (It will) shell (she will) the dogs tail (belonging to a single dog)2. Possessives An apostrophe is used to indicate ownership/possession with nouns. To show ownership by a single individual, insert the apostrophe between the noun and the s. To show ownership by more than one individual, use the apostrophe at the end of the word.Be careful: Its is the contraction of it is. Its is not a possessive (a possessive denotes ownership). the womens magazines boys football boots (belonging to more than one boy) Einsteins theory of relativity Avagradros number
Quotation Marks We use quotation marks to show (or mark) the beginning andend of a word or phrase that is somehow special or comes fromoutside the text that we are writing. Quotation marks can bedouble ("...") or single (...) - that is really a matter of style (butsee below for more about this).1.We use quotation marks around the title or name of abook, film, ship etc.2.We use quotation marks around a piece of text that we arequoting or citing, usually from another source:3.We use quotation marks around dialogue or direct speech:4.We use quotation marks around a word or phrase that we see asslang or jargon:5.We use quotation marks around a word or phrase that we wantto make "special" in some way: