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Choosing Punctuation for Effect: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Punctuation for Effect
  • 1:12 Types of Punctuation
  • 4:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

If you've ever listened to someone read a story and it was totally boring, they probably didn't use punctuation with effect. In this lesson, you will learn how to use punctuation to add more enthusiasm to your writing. Let's see how.

Punctuation for Effect

Let's take a look at the following examples. Which one do you think shows more emotion or enthusiasm?

Example 1: 'Today is the best day ever. I get to celebrate my birthday,' said Bob. Bob always wanted a black Labrador retriever puppy. As part of his birthday gift, he gets to pick out a soft, cuddly new friend.

Example 2: 'Wahoo! Today is the best day ever. I get to celebrate my birthday!' exclaimed Bob. Bob always wanted a black Labrador retriever puppy. He gets to pick out a soft, cuddly new friend--the best birthday gift ever!

Notice the types of punctuation in the second example. This one has much more enthusiasm, doesn't it?

You already know that an exclamation point shows excitement, but what other punctuation can be used to add emotion to writing? Punctuation is the mark that's used in writing to separate sentences or separate parts within sentences. Certain types of punctuation can add emotion to your writing.

Let's take a look at making your writing more exciting!

Types of Punctuation

Each type of punctuation has a specific importance. Take a look at the chart on types of punctuation to learn more.

Punctuation Chart

Parentheses are used to separate a word or phrase that you want to include in a sentence, but it's not necessary to the meaning of the sentence. You could take the word or phrase out and the sentence still means the same. There are some rules that go with using parentheses. Let's take a look at not only the rules, but some examples.

Parentheses Rules Examples
Put end marks in the parentheses when the end mark goes with the word or phrase inside the parentheses. I got to pick the most adorable puppy today. (Yippee!)
Put end marks outside the parentheses when the word or phrase goes with the sentence. I'll be playing with my puppy all day (that's for sure)!
Put a period inside the parentheses only if the phrase is a complete sentence. I think you should buy a black Labrador retriever. (They make the best of friends.)
Commas usually come after the parentheses. As soon as I got up for school (the puppy was sleeping), I got myself ready.

Try some on your own.

Think about where the parentheses go in each of the following:

  • I'm so excited to show my puppy to my friends. They will love him.
  • I think I'll name him Midnight like jet black.

(If you need to pause the video while you work, just restart it when you're done placing your parentheses.)

Let's check your answers:

  • I'm so excited to show my puppy to my friends. (They will love him.)
  • I think I'll name him Midnight (like jet black).

Now let's try punctuating with dashes. A dash is used in a sentence to add emphasis. After the dash, you add another group of words to the sentence, which shows their importance.

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