1) A dash--as shown
here--is made by two hyphens with no space before, after, or between.
A single dash used at the end of an independent clause indicates a shift
in thought--a useful tool in some rhetorical instances.
2) A semicolon is used to separate
two independent clauses. Be certain that the material on both sides
of the semicolon are independent clauses; otherwise, it will be a sentence
3) When you insert an interrupter
into your independent clause, such as this one, make certain that a comma
both precedes and follows it.
4) Do not link two independent
clauses with only a comma; to do so results in a comma splice. You
may connect two independent clauses with a comma if you follow it with
“for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” or “so,” and you would then have
made a compound sentence.
5) If you start a sentence with
the word “if,” then make sure that the word “then” is preceded by a comma.
If you decide to drop the “then,” make sure you retain the comma.
6) Restrictive phrases and non-restrictive
phrases are things that are very confusing. Just remember that using
“which” near the end of the sentence will require a comma, which means
that the information is extraneous to the clause it is connected to.
7) A writer’s sentences must
always use apostrophes correctly. Lois’s sentences are usually very
well written, but the rest of the students’ apostrophes need work.
1) Short quotations
(3 or less lines of poetry; 3 or less typed lines of prose) should be run
on in your text.
2) Short quotations of poetry
must use “the slash / With a space on either side / To indicate line changes”---note
that capitals are retained if they begin each line.
3) Longer quotations should
be indented according to block format and made to look as much like the
original text as possible.
4) When incorporating quoted
material into your sentences, subordinate the syntax and punctuation of
the quotation to your syntax and punctuation:
a) When the information
given prior to the quotation is an independent clause, you will have to
use a colon before the quotation (this is the most frequent case).
b) Sometimes there will be “no
punctuation” before the quoted material, even if the quotation is a block
c) Occasionally a comma may
be used before a quotation, “but only if your syntax warrants it.”
d) In all of the above cases,
the logic and syntax of the sentences as a whole dictate what punctuation
e) All sentences, even
those with quoted material at the end, must end with a period, and the
period replaces rather than follows the original punctuation “in the quotation.”
Do not let question and exclamation marks fool you: “Why did you
think they would actually change the punctuation as a whole?” (14).
5) When you use “parentheses”
to give page numbers in your text (32), the “punctuation” follows the parentheses
(34). Also note that the citation should not come directly after the quote
but at the end of a grammatical unit or sentence. If you are citing
a block quote, the parentheses and page number remain OUTSIDE of the quotation’s
6) In parentheses, line 32 should
be abbreviated (l. 32); lines 32-33, (ll. 32-33). DO NOT abbreviate
page 21 as (p. 21). Numbers in parentheses without an abbreviation
are assumed to be page numbers.
7) In parentheses, act, scene,
and line numbers should be given as follows: (2.3.21-25).
8) Semicolons and colons must
be placed outside quotation “marks”; periods and commas must be placed
inside quotation “marks.”
9) You must use brackets when
you interpolate your own words or changes into quoted material. I
will always use brackets “when [I] interpolate [my] own words” into quoted
10) Use single quotation marks
within double when material you quote has quotation marks already in it.
"I will always use brackets 'when [I] interpolate [my] own words' into
quoted material" (2).
11) Block quotes do not have
quotation marks unless the quotation marks appear in the original text.
12) Initial and terminal ellipses
are not necessary; hence you may begin and conclude a quotation “on the
use of parentheses” in this fashion (15).
13) Internal ellipses should
always be used correctly: three “spaced . . . periods” when ellipsis
does not go over a sentence and a period; a period plus three spaced periods
when ellipsis go over a sentence “and a period. . . . In this latter case,
what follows the ellipsis must be an independent clause.” If it cannot
be so, then rewrite the sentence to allow two sets of quoted materials.