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Punctuation Guidelines For Writing

Writing in the same manner in which we speak can be difficult. When we are speaking verbally, when know how to change tone of voice to indicate emphasis and when it is appropriate to use a brief pause to separate thoughts and ideas. This becomes much harder when it comes to writing, however, and learning the rules of punctuation can take a lifetime to master. At BestEssayHelp, our team of talented experts is always available to share their skill and knowledge with you. In the paragraphs that follow, we will offer a brief guide to one of the most common forms of punctuation.

The Comma

The comma is both the most commonly used and the most improperly used piece of punctuation in writing today. Knowing when to use (and when not to use) a comma is critical. Let’s take a look at some examples of proper comma usage.

A Comma Should Always Be Used to Separate Clauses

If your sentence has two independent clauses, they should always be separated not only by the correct conjunction, but by a comma as well.

Example: It was raining outside, so Mike had to grab his boots and umbrella.

The same holds true following two dependent clauses, as well as following an introductory phrase.

Example: After the rain ended, Mike was happy to be able to put his sneakers back on.

Commas Are Also Used to Separate Multiple Elements

When you have three or more elements in a sentence, a comma is used to separate them. The comma is optional before the last item, but is commonly employed within academic writing.

Example: Mike needed his boots, umbrella, and jacket before he could go out into the storm.

Commas to Separate Nonessential Elements

Commas are also used when a sentence contains an aside, or a piece of nonessential information.

Example: Mike’s umbrella, made of yellow vinyl, was more than large enough to keep him dry.

Commas in Dates

Commas are used to separate months from years, as well as to separate days of the week from months any time that these two things are listed side-by-side.

Examples: December, 4, 2011
Sunday, December 04, 2011
04 December 2011

Commas in Quotes

Last, commas are used in quotes in order to separate what is being quoted from what the author or narrator is writing.

Example “I need to find my umbrella,” Mike said, “because it is raining outside.”