Day 9: Advanced Punctuation and Academic Style

Advanced Punctuation

In this lesson you will learn:

--to make informed and appropriate decisions about using punctuation in your writing;
--how to use the most common punctuation marks (comma, semi-colon, colon, dash, parentheses, quotation marks) in academic papers.

Discuss with your partners:
Do you think that punctuation is important? Why/Why not?
Is English punctuation really different from the one you use in your first language? If yes, in what way?
How do you usually choose punctuation marks when you are writing in English?

Let us have a look at these two texts now and see how punctuation may change the whole meaning of your message:

Text # 1:

Dear Thomas,

I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy--will you let me be yours?


Text # 2:

Dear Thomas,

I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me. For other men, I yearn. For you, I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart, I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?


Today we are talking about advanced punctuation. This PPT will help you better understand the importance of using correct punctuation in your writing.      

Coordinating Conjunctions Practice

Do this Punctuation Quiz to check your knowledge.

Check your results here--do not open this document until you are done with the Quiz, otherwise the exercise is not going to help you identify your punctuation weaknesses.

Do these additional OWL Purdue exercises if you need more practice.

Also review this OWL Purdue link to revise coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.

Academic Style

Although students are aware of the fact that they have to sound formal and academic in their papers, some of them forget about it from time to time, others do not really know how to do that.

Discuss the following questions in groups:

1. What is the difference between something being formal and something being informal?
e.g. formal behavior vs informal behavior;
formal language vs informal language;
formal meeting vs informal meeting; etc

2. How and according to which criteria can you tell that something is formal/informal?
3. What is formal language?
4. Make up two sentences describing one and the same idea, using formal language in the first sentence and informal language in the second one.
5. Do you think it is important to use formal language writing academic research papers? Why?
6. What tools do you think one can use to make a sentence sound more formal?

Academic Style PPT

Plagiarism PPT

Watch this video to learn what you should avoid in your writing.

Answer these Questions:

1. Who are the FANBOYS, and why should we avoid using them in a research paper?
2. Can we use contractions writing a research paper?
3. Elaborate on the idea of using your strongest language while writing research papers.
4. Should we address our reader directly? Ask readers vague philosophical rhetorical questions? Why? Why not?
Additional exercise Plagiarism Quiz

Check your answers here. And again do it only after you are done with the Plagiarism Quiz.


Submit your Diagnostic Analysis this Friday by 11:59 PM.