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Editing for Punctuation

Editing for Punctuation

 

Highlight/Circle the FANBOYS.

• Is there a COMPLETE sentence on either side?

 

• If yes, use a comma; if no, do not.

For

And

Nor          Further study must be done, and results must be analyzed in terms of gender.

But          Additional results must be obtained and analyzed in terms of gender.

Or

Yet

So

 

Highlight/Circle conjunctive adverbs.

1. If the conjunctive adverb is combining two sentences, use a semi-colon before & comma after.

 

2. If the adverb is in the middle of a single sentence, separate it out with commas.

The data suggest that gender is significant; however, these results are not generalizable.

The data suggest that gender is significant. These results, however, are not generalizable.

 

Some conjunctive adverbs:

however

therefore

in addition

otherwise

instead

nevertheless

thus

moreover

likewise

finally

on the contrary

as a result

furthermore

similarly

next

on the other hand

consequently

also

afterwards

then

 

Highlight/Circle subordinators.

1. If the subordinator is at the BEGINNING of the sentence, use a comma.

 

2. If the subordinator is in the MIDDLE of the sentence, DO NOT use a comma.

 

3. Make sure you have TWO subjects and verbs if you use a subordinator.

Until we obtain a large enough corpus, results cannot be generalized.

Results cannot be generalized until we obtain a large enough corpus.

NO          Until we obtain a large enough sample to generalize the results.

 

Some subordinators:

when

because

even though

if

while

since

although

unless

before

given (that)

despite

as soon as

after

due to

in spite of

until

 

Highlight/Circle the word THAT.

1. DO NOT use a comma before THAT unless it is in a list.

The data suggest that gender is a contributing factor.

We analyzed additional data that suggest age might also be a significant variable.

Our results show that age is slightly significant, that gender could contribute to differences, and that motivation is the most significant variable.

 

Highlight/Circle semi-colons.

1. Only use semicolons if you could use a period and capital letter instead!

The data suggest that gender is insignificant; however, these results are not generalizable.

The data suggest that gender is significant. However, these results are not generalizable.

NO: The data suggest that gender is significant; but, these results are not generalizable.

NO: The data suggest that gender is significant. But the results are not generalizable.

 

2. EXCEPT: Use a semi-colon if items in a list have commas.

Members of the committee include Cara Stanley, Student Learning Center Director; Margi Wald, Academic Literacy Specialist; and Gregg Thomson, Director of the Office of Student Research.

 

Highlight/Circle colons.

1. Use a colon at the end of a complete sentence.

NO:

Members of the committee include: Cara Stanley, Student Learning Center Director; Margi Wald, Academic Literacy Specialist; and Gregg Thomson, Director of the Office of Student Research.

YES:

The committee is comprised of the following members: Cara Stanley, Student Learning Center Director; Margi Wald, Academic Literacy Specialist; and Gregg Thomson, Director of the Office of Student Research.

 

Other stuff

• Between a subject and verb, use TWO commas or ZERO commas. Never use ONE.

NO:

The man whom I met yesterday, is a famous Nobel Laureate.

YES:

The man whom I met yesterday is a famous Nobel Laureate.

 

NO:

Professor Greenberg, whom I met yesterday is a famous Nobel Laureate.

YES:

Professor Greenberg, whom I met yesterday, is a famous Nobel Laureate.

 

• Check--does your sentence begin with a subject?

If not, separate introductory elements from the rest of your sentence.
As shown in the Fall 2000 data, 35% of UC freshmen were born outside of the US.

Having suffered abuse a a child, this writer incorporates themes of isolation and hostility into his works.

 

 

Margi Wald

Student Learning Center, University of California, Berkeley

©2000 UC Regents

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License