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Punctuation

A person should read their work out loud as well as have someone neutral to read their work. Punctuation and grammar are important in writing a "good" essay. Some basic common errors to consider are due to grammar or punctuation errors. Often students write fragmented sentences (a sentence fragment is a sentence that is incomplete). Every sentence needs a subject and verb. Often sentence fragments begin with words such as often, that, or because. The best ways to recognize fragments in an essay is to read the essay out loud. Comma splices are often found in essays. A comma splice occurs when a comma separates two complete sentences. The best ways to correct these comma splices are to make it into two complete sentences using a period or to use a semicolon instead of the comma. Sometimes adding a conjunction is a great way of fixing these types of errors.

Use common sense. Punctuation should help reading - to make clear the thought being expressed. If punctuation does not help clarify the message, it should not be there.

When more than one punctuation mark (not including quotation marks, parentheses or brackets) could be used at the same place in a sentence, use only the "stronger" - or more necessary - of the two. Question marks and exclamation points, for example, are stronger than commas and periods: "Have all the ballots finally been counted?" asked the reporter. (The question mark fills the role of the comma.) The topic of his speech is "We demand justice now!" (No period following the exclamation point.)

Ampersand (&)
Apostrophe (')
Brackets ([ ])
Colon (:)
Comma (,)
Dash (—)
Ellipsis ( ... )
Exclamation point (!)
Hyphen (-)
Parentheses ( )
Period (.)
Question Mark (?)
Quotation Marks (" ")
Semicolon (;)
Virgule (/)

Punctuation absorbs more of my thought than seems healthy for a man who pretends to be well adjusted.

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