Apostrophe

used to show possession or mark omissions in contractions.

· Forms the possessive case of nouns and pronouns.

Sean’s book the boy’s mother Aristophanes’ play

· Marks the omission of letters and numbers.

didn’t o’clock class of ‘89

· Forms plural of numbers, figures, punctuated abbreviations, symbols, and letters referred to as words.

His 7’s look like 1’s. The two teachers have Ph.D.’s.

Colon

used to call attention to words that follow it — follows a completed main clause, and comes before one of the following: a list of items, a word, phrase, or clause that explains or restates the idea expressed in the main clause, or a direct quotation.

· Must be followed by two spaces when typed.

· Follows the greeting of a formal or business letter.

Dear Sir: Dear Ms. Smith:

· Separates numerals indicating hours and minutes or volume and page numbers.

10:00 A.M. VII: 108-110

· Introduces a list.

Purchase the following ingredients: flour, sugar, and vanilla.

· Is always placed outside quotation marks.

Semicolons

used to connect major sentence elements of equal grammatical rank.

· Separate independent clauses not connected with a coordinate conjunction.

Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice H.L. Mencken

· Separate independent clauses connected with a conjunctive adverb or a transitional phrase.

Many corals grow slowly; in fact, the creation of a coral reef can take centuries.

Speeding is illegal; furthermore, it is dangerous.

· Separate items in a sentence that contain commas.

Classic science fiction sagas are Star Trek, with Mr. Spock; Battlestar Galactica, with its Cyclon Raiders; and Star Wars, with Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Darth Vader.

End Marks – two spaces follow end marks when typed

· A Period

o ends a sentence that makes a statement.

o follows an individual’s initials.

o follows some abbreviations.

o does not follow abbreviations that are acronyms.

o always placed inside quotation marks.

o My mother said, “I know you’ll do well in college.”

· A Question mark

o ends a direct question.

o does not end an indirect question.

o is placed inside quotation marks when it punctuates the quotation.

o He asked, “Can you help?”

o is placed outside the quotation marks when it punctuates the whole sentence.

o Did she say, “Finish it tomorrow”?

· An Exclamation point

o ends a sentence that expresses strong feelings, but usually should be avoided.

o is placed inside quotation marks when it punctuates the quotation.

o He screamed, “Help!”

o is placed outside the quotation marks when it punctuates the whole sentence

o She said, “Finish it tomorrow”!

Parentheses

used to enclose supplemental material, minor digressions, and afterthoughts — use sparingly.

· Enclose explanatory material that interrupts the normal sentence structure.

· Punctuation goes inside the parentheses when intended to mark the material within.

· Punctuation goes outside the parentheses when intended to mark the whole sentence.

o Have you ever skied at Big Sky? (I haven’t, but I intend to this winter!)

Brackets

used to enclose words or phrases that the writer inserts in an otherwise word-for-word quotation.

· allows the writer to insert other material for clarification

· Audubon reports that “if there are not enough young to balance deaths, the end of the species [California condor] is inevitable.”

Quotation Marks

· enclose direct quotations and some titles such as magazine, newspaper articles, episodes of television or radio programs, songs, poems, and short stories.

· Periods and commas always go inside quotation marks. Semicolons and colons go outside.

· Exclamation points and question marks go either inside or outside, according to the demands of the quoted material.

o They again demanded “complete autonomy”; the demand was rejected as promised.

o “Brian,” called Mom, “I can’t hear you.”

Underlining or Italics

-designate titles of longer works with underlining or italics.

· The writer may use italics when typing material. When using the web, underlining may indicate a hot link.

· When underlining or italics is not available with email, precede and follow the word with one underscore or an asterisk.

Spelling

· Use a dictionary and check the spelling of unfamiliar words.

· Use a spellchecker on any word-processed work. Part of your job is to check for correct spelling.

Numbers

· Numbers that can be expressed in one or two words are usually spelled out; three or more words are usually spelled out.

ten twenty-seven 394 2001

· A combination of words and numerals can be used for larger numbers.

26 million

· Use words, not numbers, to begin a sentence.

One hundred fifty children need immediate dental treatment.

· Use numerals for money, time, date, pages, address, and statistics.

$102,00 4 out of 5 consumers average age 37, average weight 180

volume 3, chapter 4, page 42 4:00P.M.