Skip to main content

Video Transcripts

Crash Course in Punctuation for Scholarly Writing

Last updated 1/31/2017

 

Visual: Video opens with the title of the video and the description “The 4 areas of scholarly writing in 4 minutes or less” and a picture of a stop watch.

Audio: Welcome to the Writing Center’s crash course in punctuation for scholarly writing! Crash course videos are a great fit if you are new to or have not used scholarly writing or English grammar in some time.

 

Visual: Screen changes to show the following: Not familiar with a punctuation mark, tip, or term? Look it up!

Punctuation

  • Period
  • Comma
  • Semicolon
  • Colon
  • Parentheses
  • Quotation Mark

Audio: There are many punctuation rules in English, but in this video we’ll focus on the most commonly used types of punctuation in academic writing: periods, commas, semicolons, colons, parentheses, and quotation marks. We’ll give you quick tips and introduce you to the correct and incorrect way to use each punctuation mark, but we won’t be talking about them in-depth—remember, this is a crash course!

Instead, get out a pen and paper. If you’re not familiar with one of these punctuation marks, write it down so you can look it up later! At the end of the video we’ll show you where to find more information on our website. Let’s get started!

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Period: Comes at the end of a complete sentence

Correct: The public library has study rooms.

Incorrect: Has study rooms.

Audio: Periods are the most common type of punctuation, and they come at the end of a complete sentence. This example is correct because it is a complete sentence – it has a subject, verb, and a complete idea, and ends with a period.

This example is incorrect because it is not a complete idea.  It is only a phrase, or a group of words, and not a complete sentence.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Comma: #1: Connects two complete sentences with
a word like and, but, or so.

Correct: The instructor posted the article, but some students did not see it.

Incorrect: The instructor posted the article but some students did not see it.

Audio: Commas in academic writing follow a few patterns, and we’re going to focus on two common uses of commas.  First, commas are commonly used to connect two complete ideas in one sentence with a coordinating conjunction word like and, but, or so.  The first example is correct because it includes a comma before the word but and the sentence includes two complete ideas.

The second example is incorrect because it is missing the comma before the coordinating conjunction but.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Comma: #2: Separates clauses and nonessential phrases from the rest of the sentence

Correct: The survey, which was included in the appendix, had 12 questions.

Incorrect: The survey which was included in the appendix had 12 questions.

Audio: The second common way we use commas is to separate clauses and phrases from the rest of the sentence, usually extra information that is not essential to the basic meaning of the sentence. This example is correct because the extra information is surrounded by commas.

This example is incorrect because the extra, nonessential information is not surrounded by commas.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Semicolon: Connects two complete sentences that have related ideas

Correct: The bookshelves are full; there are hundreds of books.

Incorrect: The bookshelves are full; and there are hundreds of books.

Audio: Semicolons connect two complete sentences that have related ideas. This example is correct because the semicolon connects the two complete sentences. 

This example is incorrect because the second part after the semicolon is not a complete idea.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Colon: Separates an idea from a complete sentence

Correct: I reviewed literature on the following topics: extensive reading, vocabulary development, and vocabulary size.

Incorrect: I reviewed literature on: extensive reading, vocabulary development, and vocabulary size.

Audio: Colons separate an idea from a complete sentence, like a list or a related idea. This example is correct because the information before the colon is a complete sentence and the information after the colon is a list.

This example is incorrect because there is not a complete sentence prior to the colon.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Parentheses: Set off nonessential information within a sentence

Correct: Cub Foods sells twice as many gluten-free products as their competitors (see Table 3).

Incorrect: Cub Foods sells twice as many gluten-free products as their competitors, see Table 3.

Audio: Parentheses set off nonessential information within a sentence; this is information that is not relevant to the meaning of the sentence, but might be helpful to the reader. Parentheses are also used in APA style for citations.

This example is correct because the extra information is set off in parentheses.

This example is incorrect because the nonessential information is only set apart by a comma.

 

Visual: Slide changes to show the following: Quotation Marks: Indicate information taken from another source

Correct: Samson (2010) stated, “Mirror neurons allow for imitation and empathy” (p. 214).

Incorrect: Samson (2010) stated, Mirror neurons allow for imitation and empathy (p. 214).

Audio: Quotation marks indicate information taken from another source. This example is correct because the Samson’s wording is in quotation marks, showing the reader that it is a direct quote.

This example is incorrect because the quotation marks are missing, so the reader wouldn’t know this wording is from Samson.

 

Visual: Screen changes to show the list of punctuation marks again, and then the Writing Center website: http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter

Punctuation

  • Period
  • Comma
  • Semicolon
  • Colon
  • Parentheses
  • Quotation Mark

Audio: Now that you’ve learned about punctuation for scholarly writing, it’s important to look at more examples and find out more about any punctuation marks you aren’t sure about. To do so, search our website to find the examples and detailed information we have about these punctuation marks.

Use the search box at the top-right corner, the Quick Answers box, or the main menus to find more information and begin learning!