The Devil You Don't Know

The Devil You Don't Know - The Devil You (Dont) Know...

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The Devil You (Don’t) Know Rudimentary Punctuation for College Students Ann Horbey Program in Writing and Rhetoric Stony Brook University
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1 A. Horbey 6/2009 Introduction You’ve probably always been held responsible for using correct punctuation. And when you didn’t, you received back papers doused in red ink—this and no further comment or explanation. Chances are, if you’re an avid reader, you already have good intuition when it comes to punctuation. But intuition isn’t always enough. Sometimes it would be helpful to have a rule to validate a comma or semicolon or nothing at all. This packet provides those rules. But merely reading rules will not make you an impeccable punctuator; as you read and as you write, think about the sentences you encounter. Notice where the author provided punctuation and where he didn’t. Consider your own sentences and the clauses and phrases within them. Then go back to the rules. Read, write, repeat. It’s only through reading, writing, and lots of thinking that your punctuation—and your writing—will improve.
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2 A. Horbey 6/2009 Commas Place a comma anytime you want a pause in a sentence. This probably sounds familiar to you, which is unfortunate because it is very, very wrong. If this were true, William Shatner would be forbidden to use a pen. There are, in fact, specific comma rules that should govern everything you write. Some of these are probably second nature to you; the rest will become second nature with some practice. (Journalists: Also consult your AP Stylebook for specific rules regarding journalistic style.) Rule 1 Use a comma to separate items in a series. Example: Hewey, Dewey, and Louie inherited $1 million. N.B.: Journalism majors do not use a Harvard comma. In journalistic style, the above sentence would be as follows: Hewey, Dewey and Louie inherited $1 million. Also use a comma to separate adjectives in a series is the adjectives are of equal importance. Example: Zeus is wrinkly, stout, and muscular. Rule 2 Use a comma to keep numbers clear. Example: There are 525,600 minutes in a year. Rule 3 Use a comma to clarify dates and addresses. Examples: The Ford Mustang debuted on April 17, 1964. We hope you will attend our party at 123 Fake Street, Stony Brook, NY 11790. Rule 4 Use a comma to set off dialogue when the introduction ends with said, says, or a similar expression. (See page 7 for more information on punctuating a quotation.) Example: Robert Louis Stevenson said, “And when I say “writing,” O believe me, it is rewriting that I have chiefly in mind.” Rule 5 Use a comma to set off the noun in a direct address. Examples: Hemingway, you break the rules so well! May I borrow your quill, Will?
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3 A. Horbey 6/2009 Commas, continued Rule 6 Use commas to set off titles.
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The Devil You Don't Know - The Devil You (Dont) Know...

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