The Comma Splice

Your teachers point them out all the time, but what actually is a comma splice? Continue reading “The Comma Splice”

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A Comma Rule To Forget

You’ve probably heard it many times:

“Place a comma wherever you naturally pause.”

While it’s true that commas are meant to help readers know where to pause, and that they often go where you would naturally pause, this rule can make for comma-happy writers. Continue reading “A Comma Rule To Forget”

Positively Appositive

Appositives are nouns or noun phrases that rename another noun, and they are usually surrounded by commas. They allow writers to color in the vague outlines of their subjects, giving them depth with shading and detail. Even if you’ve written them before, writing appositives regularly is a great way to train your mind to go deeper with descriptions.

Examples:

“The dog, a husky Labrador, romped outside.”

“We gathered at Henry’s, an eclectic coffee shop where local bands played.”

“Wendy pulled up her hair, a tangled mess after her trek in the rain, and covered it with a hat.”

Grammar blogs you should be following

If you write anything (even if you think you don’t write, you do) or say anything, no matter the medium or situation, expressing your point and clearly communicating with your audience is important. Good grammar is an essential tool in doing so; grammar provides the rules that make what we say and write make sense. If you want to be a better reader, writer, speaker, listener, and communicator, here are the grammar blogs you should be following: Continue reading “Grammar blogs you should be following”

Punctuation: Remember your marks!

There are days when I thank all that’s good that we don’t have to use punctuation when we speak out loud.  However, these little annoying marks seem to be the only thing that keeps order in our written language.  They’re our bread and butter.  I’ve come to embrace them.  But there are so many, and their rules can get complicated.  So … what’s the best way to approach the stuff?
Use humor to remember them.  There’s funny stuff all over the internet that can help you remember the basics.  Thanks to “The Oatmeal” (a beautiful website that’s already been referenced once in this article) and other funny internet sources, I’ve put a few pics up here for everyone to see.  There are three punctuation marks discussed below: the apostrophe, the comma (in its Oxford comma use), and the semicolon.
Of course, these examples aren’t all that the apostrophe, comma, and semicolon can do, but they’re excellent examples of fun ways to jog the memory concerning punctuation.  Good punctuation is crucial to making good papers.  If you’re ever in doubt about a mark, don’t be afraid to look up what it does.  Learning punctuation is always a continual process; even professionals screw it up sometimes.  And, if you have to, find funny ways like these to remember how they work.
– Amanda

This post was originally published on April 27, 2013.