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Ch 20: Punctuation in Writing

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons and learn about commas, colons, parentheses, quotation marks and more. Take the quizzes that follow each lesson to gauge your learning.

Punctuation in Writing - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Review the basics of sentence structure and learn the role punctuation plays in joining independent and dependent clauses. You can use this knowledge to head off common grammatical errors and improve the quality of your work. Video lessons and quizzes also show you how to use quotation marks, hyphens, parentheses and other punctuation with ease. This chapter is designed to teach you how to:

  • Use commas to separate adjectives and list items
  • Offset introductory phrases and nonessential clauses with commas
  • Identify sentence structure errors involving commas
  • Correctly use colons, semicolons and other forms of punctuation

Video Objectives
Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination Learn the differences between independent and dependent clauses. Explore methods for joining them with subordinating and coordinating conjunctions.
Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules Use commas to separate adjectives and items in a series or offset introductory words and phrases. Find out how commas are used with quotation marks.
Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts Master the use of commas to offset nonessential clauses and contrasting parts of a sentence. Explore how commas and coordinating conjunctions are used to separate two independent clauses.
Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences Learn what a sentence fragment is lacking. Identify comma splices and run-on sentences.
Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods Examine the use of colons to introduce lists and clauses. Observe how semicolons are used to clarify lists with internal punctuation and connect independent clauses.
Additional Punctuation Marks: Question Mark, Brackets, Exclamation Point, Dash, Ellipsis, Hyphen, Parentheses, Quotation Marks & Apostrophe Get tips for using these forms of punctuation.

10 Lessons in Chapter 20: Punctuation in Writing
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

1. Independent & Dependent Clauses: Subordination & Coordination

This lesson is about independent and dependent clauses, and how they make up a sentence. Dependent clauses, like the name suggests, rely on other elements in a sentence. Independent clauses, on the other hand, can stand alone. Learn more in this lesson.

Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules

2. Commas: Correct Usage & Basic Rules

Think that you know commas? You may be surprised. Even the most experienced writers have problems remembering all the rules. Learn the basics of comma usage in this first of two lessons on the comma.

Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts

3. Comma Usage: Avoid Confusion in Clauses & Contrasting Sentence Parts

Learn more about comma usage from the pros! There are just too many ways to use the comma (it's a basic punctuation mark, after all) to fit in one sentence. Watch here to learn about some of the more common traps students fall into when trying to put commas in the right place.

Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

4. Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences

Sentence fragments, comma splices, and run-on sentences are grammatical and stylistic bugs that can seriously derail an otherwise polished academic paper. Learn how to identify and eliminate these errors in your own writing here.

Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods

5. Punctuation: Using Colons, Semicolons & Periods

Periods, colons, and semicolons all have the ability to stop a sentence in its tracks, but for very different purposes. In this lesson, learn how and why we use them in our writing.

Question Mark: Definition & Use

6. Question Mark: Definition & Use

A question mark (?) is a form of punctuation placed at the end of a sentence. Its main purpose is to specify a query or question. In this lesson, we will take a look at when you should and should not use a question mark in your writing.

Exclamation Mark: Use & Meaning

7. Exclamation Mark: Use & Meaning

The exclamation mark (!), also called the exclamation point, is a form of punctuation that is sometimes used at the end of a single word, phrase or complete sentence. Its goal is to express an extremely strong and intense statement.

Apostrophe: Use & Examples

8. Apostrophe: Use & Examples

In this lesson, we will learn about the apostrophe and how it's useful to us. See a few examples of common apostrophe mistakes and learn how to correct them.

Parentheses and Dashes: Correct Usage

9. Parentheses and Dashes: Correct Usage

Parentheses and dashes are two different (but often confused) ways of setting off a chunk of information within a sentence - do you know how to use them correctly?

Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

10. Using Hyphens, Brackets, Ellipses & Quotation Marks

Writing not only consists of letters and words but many forms of punctuation. Watch this video lesson to learn about four types of punctuation: hyphens, brackets, ellipses, and quotation marks.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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