s of Punctuation &
ood Guidelines to Grammar
Sister Gayle Rockwood
M COM 320
You will be expected to know each of the rules outlined below. This list does not contain a complete
explanation nor an example of each rule; you will be expected to find explanations and examples from
the reading required.
Divide independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet).
May omit if first clause is five or fewer words; the comma is optional (per Baker).
Place after many introductory elements: dependent clauses, introductory phrases, prepositional
phrases, and transitional words. (E.g.,
When you have finished,
please return the style manual
If you need help,
please call me in the afternoon
Since we need more clerks,
we will begin advertising
To qualify for the position,
you must have two years’ experience
the hikers reached the summit by noon
Prepositional phrases totaling five or more words
unless essential and don’t interrupt
In the spring of the year
, our thoughts may be diverted from academics.
In some instances
a single parent must work alternate hours.
Use a comma before a dependent clause at the end of a sentence only if the dependent
clause is an afterthought.
Please return the style manual when you have finished.
I plan to leave at 3:30, if that meets with your approval.
Divide all items in a series of three or more.
Note: Some sources say the last comma before the conjunction is optional.
Note: Be sure to distinguish between single-word items and double-word items.
We were served salads, macaroni and cheese, and crackers.
Macaroni and cheese
is a single item.)
Divide adjacent adjectives that modify the same noun (independent adjectives).