Punctuation

  • Breaking up sentences using punctuation marks, like full stops and commas, helps to convey your meaning clearly. Punctuating accurately is important as incomplete or awkwardly written sentences can be confusing and get in the way of your message.

    Our top tips

    Commas and full stops

    Understanding when to use the most common punctuation marks is key. If you find you are just guessing, or you are not confident why a sentence would need a comma in a certain place, look at this clear and concise overview:

    Practice

    The best way to learn appropriate punctuation is by reading examples and then testing yourself on the principles. The two sites below have clear explanations and short tests to check your understanding:

    Fragments

    If you are getting feedback about awkward sentences, it may be they are not sentences at all, but fragments! They are punctuated to look like sentences but they are incomplete. Look at this explanation of what fragments are and how to turn them into complete sentences:

    Part of academic writing

    Well punctuated sentences are the building blocks of good academic writing. Some of our other pages on writing effectively may also be helpful: