Parentheses

Posted on Sunday, October 7, 2007, at 10:59 pm

Parentheses indicate that the writer feels that the material contained within is of less importance or should be deemphasized. Rule: Use parentheses to enclose words or figures that clarify or are used as an aside. Examples: I expect five hundred dollars ($500). Note: Another grammar tip entitled "Writing Numbers as Both Numerals and Words," treats …

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Capitalization After Colons

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2007, at 6:46 pm

Have you run across the situation where one sentence ending with a colon is followed by another sentence? Do you capitalize the first word of that second sentence? Why would you use a colon between the two sentences rather than a period or a semicolon? Rule for colons between sentences: Use a colon instead of …

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Commas with Appositives

Posted on Sunday, September 2, 2007, at 7:11 pm

The definition of an appositive is a word or word group that defines or further identifies the noun or noun phrase preceding it. Rule: When an appositive is essential to the meaning of the noun it belongs to, don’t use commas. When the noun preceding the appositive provides sufficient identification on its own, use commas …

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Dialogue Writing Tips

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2007, at 11:00 pm

The most common way to indicate a new speaker's dialogue is to start a new paragraph. Here is an example from my novel Touched: Rashan slouched into a nearby folding chair, not bothering to get one for Georgia. He moved a few braids from his forehead, but they fell back over his eyes. After a …

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Colons with Lists

Posted on Saturday, August 11, 2007, at 8:09 pm

Rule 1: Use the colon after a complete sentence to introduce a list of items when introductory words such as namely, for example, or that is do not apply or are not appropriate. Examples: You may be required to bring many items: sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing. I want the following items: butter, sugar, …

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