Punctuation Do’s and Dont’s

Students don’t usually pay attention to details. And this bad habit brings them low grades! For instance, punctuation is one of the most disregarded aspects in a paper. Below, we have gathered a series of indications for helping students improve their essay writing.

Things to avoid

  • Creating the plural by adding an apostrophe + s – you just have to add an s at the end of the word (or es, ies, depending on the word’s ending), without any other punctuation signs;
  • Having misspellings or typos in a paper – this is a sign of negligence and lack of respect for the reader, in this case, the professor;
  • Letting punctuation outside the quotation marks – in English, punctuation marks must be placed inside the quotation;
  • Using unclear pronoun reference – whenever you replace a noun by this, that, it, and so on, make sure the meaning of the text is still clear. Otherwise, add a noun too: this man, this event;
  • Using etc. in formal texts – replace it with and so on, and more, and others;
  • Using an ampersand (&) in formal papers – keep this for chats only!
  • Unnecessary capitalization of words – the only words you should always put in capitals are proper names and nouns;
  • Patronizing one gender – whenever you write an essay, avoid terms like fireman, policeman, or maid; instead, use generic nouns like firefighter, police officer and cleaner; for third person singular, always mention both genders like she/he, her/him;
  • Using % sign – instead, write the word percent.
  • In order to know what kind of mistakes you are making, hire an essay writer online to check your texts!

    Things to do

  • Using apostrophes for showing possession – for instance, Maria’s car, the cat’s toy, the boy’s bike;
  • Using commas in numbers of four digits – for example, 13,000;
  • Checking the agreement between nouns and pronouns – always ask yourself who is the subject;
  • Placing adverbs next to the word they refer to – think about the word you want to modify and place the adverb next to it; for example, I only have two bananas vs. Only a child could eat bananas.
  • Inserting one space between sentences – one and no more!
  • Spelling out numbers lower than 10 – so write three apples, nine activities and not 3 apples;
  • Using numerals for 10 and higher numbers – as long as the sentence does not start with the number, you are free to use numerals;
  • Spelling United States for nouns – otherwise, you can use U.S. for adjectives.
  • These were the most common mistakes students do as essay writers. Pay great attention to the indications given above and improve your skills daily.