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Basic Writing


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Look at the sentence and the different way each sentence is punctuated.

  • A woman without her man is nothing.
  • A woman, without her man, is nothing.
  • A woman: without her, man is nothing.

All three sentences have the exact same wording. But the punctuation provides very different meanings. Punctuation is important. It helps readers understand the information being shared. When we speak, we have tons of ways to share our meaning. We can emphasize certain words, and use rhythm, and even pauses. In written communication, it is punctuation that helps emphasize text. In this lesson, you will learn to…

  • Use periods correctly (.).
  • Use question marks correctly (?).
  • Use exclamation points correctly. (!).
  • Use colons correctly (:).
  • Use italics correctly (italics).
  • Use quotation marks correctly (" ").

Key Terms

  • Period - Marks at the end of statements and abbreviations. (.)
  • Question mark - Mark at the end of a direct question. (?)
  • Exclamation point - Mark at the end of commands or statements with strong emotions. (!)
  • Colon - Mark used before a list; to separate numbers in time designations and ratios; after the greeting in a business letter. (:)
  • Quotation marks - Marks used to designate direct quotes, newspaper articles, poems, short stories, songs, and chapters of books. ("")
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