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PUNCTUATION THE “WRITE” WAY San José State University Writing Center Dr. Jim Lobdell.

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Presentation on theme: "PUNCTUATION THE “WRITE” WAY San José State University Writing Center Dr. Jim Lobdell."— Presentation transcript:

1 PUNCTUATION THE “WRITE” WAY San José State University Writing Center Dr. Jim Lobdell

2 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …between compound elements that are not independent clauses: Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany, and came to the United States. Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany, and came to the United States. Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany and came to the United States. Albert Einstein fled Nazi Germany and came to the United States. Bertrand doesn’t know that his illness is serious, and that he may need an operation. Bertrand doesn’t know that his illness is serious, and that he may need an operation. Bertrand doesn’t know that his illness is serious and that he may need an operation. Bertrand doesn’t know that his illness is serious and that he may need an operation.

3 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …to separate a verb from its subject or object: Zoos that provide natural habitats for the animals, are being built in many cities. Zoos that provide natural habitats for the animals, are being built in many cities. Zoos that provide natural habitats for the animals are being built in many cities. Zoos that provide natural habitats for the animals are being built in many cities. Margaret told Benjie the good news, that she was going to have a baby. Margaret told Benjie the good news, that she was going to have a baby. Margaret told Benjie the good news that she was going to have a baby. Margaret told Benjie the good news that she was going to have a baby.

4 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …before the first or after the last item in a series: Some causes of heart disease are, improper diet, too little exercise, and smoking. Some causes of heart disease are, improper diet, too little exercise, and smoking. Some causes of heart disease are improper diet, too little exercise, and smoking. Some causes of heart disease are improper diet, too little exercise, and smoking. The life of wealth and fame that seems so easy, so free from care, and so glamorous, may actually be filled with tragedy. The life of wealth and fame that seems so easy, so free from care, and so glamorous, may actually be filled with tragedy. The life of wealth and fame that seems so easy, so free from care, and so glamorous may actually be filled with tragedy. The life of wealth and fame that seems so easy, so free from care, and so glamorous may actually be filled with tragedy.

5 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …between cumulative adjectives or between an adjective and a noun: In the attic we discovered an ancient, gold picture frame. In the attic we discovered an ancient, gold picture frame. In the attic we discovered an ancient gold picture frame. In the attic we discovered an ancient gold picture frame. The trip was an expensive, foolish, self- indulgence. The trip was an expensive, foolish, self- indulgence. The trip was an expensive, foolish self- indulgence. The trip was an expensive, foolish self- indulgence.

6 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …to set off essential elements in a sentence: That man, who is wearing the messy clothes, is my sister’s new boyfriend. That man, who is wearing the messy clothes, is my sister’s new boyfriend. That man who is wearing the messy clothes is my sister’s new boyfriend. That man who is wearing the messy clothes is my sister’s new boyfriend. Don’t go to New Orleans at Mardi Gras, unless you love crowds of drunken people. Don’t go to New Orleans at Mardi Gras, unless you love crowds of drunken people. Don’t go to New Orleans at Mardi Gras unless you love crowds of drunken people. Don’t go to New Orleans at Mardi Gras unless you love crowds of drunken people.

7 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …after a coordinating conjunction or after although: Some actors like doing movies, but, I prefer acting onstage. Some actors like doing movies, but, I prefer acting onstage. Some actors like doing movies, but I prefer acting onstage. Some actors like doing movies, but I prefer acting onstage. Although, there are exceptions to the rules, this is not one of them. Although, there are exceptions to the rules, this is not one of them. Although there are exceptions to the rules, this is not one of them. Although there are exceptions to the rules, this is not one of them.

8 DO NOT USE A COMMA… …with a question mark or an exclamation point: “You’re not going in there, are you?”, she asked in disbelief. “You’re not going in there, are you?”, she asked in disbelief. “You’re not going in there, are you?” she asked in disbelief. “You’re not going in there, are you?” she asked in disbelief. “You’re ugly and I hate you!”, she screamed as she ran out the door. “You’re ugly and I hate you!”, she screamed as she ran out the door. “You’re ugly and I hate you!” she screamed as she ran out the door. “You’re ugly and I hate you!” she screamed as she ran out the door.

9 DO NOT USE A SEMICOLON… …between an independent clause and the rest of the sentence: Unless you first make sure that your computer is plugged in; calling customer service may not do any good. Unless you first make sure that your computer is plugged in, calling customer service may not do any good.

10 …to introduce a list: There are a number of actors I’d like to meet in person; Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster, and Vanessa Redgrave, for example. There are a number of actors I’d like to meet in person: Dustin Hoffman, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Depp, Jodie Foster, and Vanessa Redgrave, for example.

11 …between independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction: Some people think of cars as a means of transportation; but others think of them as status symbols. Some people think of cars as a means of transportation, but others think of them as status symbols.

12 HOWEVER, YOU MAY MAKE AN EXCEPTION … …if one of the independent clauses contains one or more commas: Some people think of cars, trucks, and other vehicles as a means of transportation; but others think of them as status symbols.

13 DO NOT USE A COLON… …between a verb and its object or complement: Some important food groups are: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Some important food groups are: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Some important food groups are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Some important food groups are dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats.

14 DO NOT USE A COLON… …between a preposition and its object: A healthy diet is made up of: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. A healthy diet is made up of: dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. A healthy diet is made up of dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats. A healthy diet is made up of dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and meats.

15 DO NOT USE A COLON… …after such as, including, or for example: Jo’s herb garden consists of many varieties commonly used in cooking, such as: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Jo’s herb garden consists of many varieties commonly used in cooking, such as: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Jo’s herb garden consists of many varieties commonly used in cooking, such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Jo’s herb garden consists of many varieties commonly used in cooking, such as parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.

16 DO NOT USE AN APOSTROPHE… …with nouns that are not possessive: The instructor’s for many of my classes have their doctorates. The instructor’s for many of my classes have their doctorates. The instructors for many of my classes have their doctorates. The instructors for many of my classes have their doctorates.

17 DO NOT USE QUOTATION MARKS… …around indirect quotations: Simon stomped out of the room after Maria told him that “he’d better stop hanging around Dolores.” Simon stomped out of the room after Maria told him that “he’d better stop hanging around Dolores.” Simon stomped out of the room after Maria told him that he’d better stop hanging around Dolores. Simon stomped out of the room after Maria told him that he’d better stop hanging around Dolores.

18 PUNCTUATION PROOFREADING PRACTICE Jeanne asked Gladys where she was going because they were almost late for class already. Graciela’s kitten jumped out of its basket, ran across the floor, and scampered up the stairs. If you plan to succeed in this class, two things you must remember are to do your reading assignments and to get your homework in on time.

19 The decade of the ’90s wasn’t as much fun as the ’80s because I was getting older, I had some health problems, and my job became more difficult. The new students came from Beijing, China; Santiago, Chile; Bangkok, Thailand; Madrid, Spain; and Los Angeles, California.

20 Esme said that the tall, handsome, dark-haired guy who was leaning against the fence was Cici’s brother, and she’d really like to meet him. Edison invented the electric lamp and later founded a major power company to supply electricity to millions of homes.


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