When used correctly, punctuation and mechanics can help to make writing clear and readable. At the very least, poor usage makes the writer appear unprofessional; at worst, it impedes meaning. This workshop addresses all the most troubling marks of punctuation and mechanics, including the appropriate use of the comma in a wide variety of sentence constructions. Offer all the topics below in a one-day interactive seminar, or choose from among these topics for a shorter session.
- When is it appropriate to use a comma before and?
- When can commas be used with conjunctions such as however, furthermore, and also?
- When do we use a comma with dates? With month-day-year dates? With day-month-year dates?
- When do we use commas to separate more than one adjective modifying the same noun?
- How do we know when to place commas around dependent clauses, including those that begin with which and that?
- When do commas help prevent a misreading?
- How should we punctuate with quotation marks and parentheses?
- How do we punctuate and capitalize the items in vertical lists?
- Does a colon always have to precede a vertical list?
- How do a hyphen, an en dash, and an em dash differ?
- Italics, underscoring, quotation marks—which should we use when citing reports, book titles, newspapers, articles, or songs?
- How do we use apostrophes correctly, especially with words ending in s, x, ch, sh, and z?
- Are semicolons more like commas or periods?
- How do colons differ from semicolons?
- What are ellipses and how are they used?
Interested in booking a face-to-face or online seminar?
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