Uwf writing lab rules of thumb for semicolon and colon use
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UWF WRITING LAB RULES OF THUMB FOR SEMICOLON AND COLON USE. from Real Good Grammar, Too by Mamie Webb Hixon. Does the sentence below require either a semicolon or a colon – or both?.

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UWF WRITING LAB RULES OF THUMB FOR SEMICOLON AND COLON USE

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Uwf writing lab rules of thumb for semicolon and colon use

UWF WRITING LAB RULES OF THUMB FOR SEMICOLON AND COLON USE

from

Real Good Grammar, Too

by Mamie Webb Hixon

Created by April Turner Revised by Mamie Webb Hixon June 17, 2010


Does the sentence below require either a semicolon or a colon or both

Does the sentence below require either a semicolon or a colon – or both?

  • Norman Lear, creator of the television classic All in the Family, took the social upheavals of the time – civil rights, the Vietnam War, the women’s movement – and invited viewers to face these situations with a laugh.


Does the sentence below require either a semicolon or a colon or both1

Does the sentence below require either a semicolon or a colon – or both?

  • NO ADDITIONAL PUNCTUATION IS REQUIRED.

  • Norman Lear, creator of the television classic All in the Family, took the social upheavals of the time – civil rights, the Vietnam War, the women’s movement – and invited viewers to face these situations with a laugh.


Does the sentence below require a semicolon

Does the sentence below require a semicolon?

  • We volunteers worked hard for the Coffee Party candidates we knew, however, they didn’t stand a chance.


Does the sentence below require a semicolon1

Does the sentence below require a semicolon?

  • We volunteers worked hard for the Coffee Party candidates we knew, however, they didn’t stand a chance.

  • YES

  • We volunteers worked hard for the Coffee Party candidates; we knew, however, they didn’t stand a chance.

  • We volunteers worked hard for the Coffee Party candidates we knew; however, they didn’t stand a chance.


Use a semicolon

USE A SEMICOLON

  • Between two complete sentences. Each sentence on either side of the semicolon must be complete with its own subject and verb. Keep in mind that a semicolon functions the same way as a period and a capital letter.

  • EXAMPLES: Not all poetry is serious and difficult to read and interpret; the poetry of Maya Angelou, for instance, is rhythmic, folksy, and easy to read.

  • You is a second-person pronoun rarely used in the South; most Southerners use "y'all" instead.


Use a semicolon1

USE A SEMICOLON

  • Between two complete sentences connected by words such as however, therefore, consequently, nevertheless, and then.

  • EXAMPLE: We are creating study guides to help students prepare for the tests; however, students’ scores are reflecting improvement.


Semicolons colons in use

SEMICOLONS & COLONS IN USE

  • The meteorologist reported the weather in places like Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; Two Egg, Florida; Rome, Georgia; and Pineapple, Alabama.

  • Most Americans have fought for a principal cause: the Equal Rights Amendment, the civil rights movement, gay-lesbian rights, etc.

  • I hate this one course: English.


Examples

EXAMPLES

  • The insurance agent explained the policy and its codicil; then she discussed the premiums.

  • Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion; however, no one is entitled to his or her own facts.


Use a semicolon2

USE A SEMICOLON

  • Between items of a series that have internal commas.

  • EXAMPLE: I bought an old, dilapidated chair; a marble top table, which was in beautiful condition; and a new, ugly white rug.

  • EXAMPLE: We are thinking about moving to Omaha, Nebraska; Gainesville, Florida; or Memphis, Tennessee.


Use a semicolon3

USE A SEMICOLON

  • Between two sentences/independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (fanboys), if one or both of the clauses contains internal commas.

  • EXAMPLE: Success in college, so some believe, requires self-discipline, intelligence, industry, and perseverance; but others, fewer in number, assert that only personality is important.


Warning do not use a semicolon

WARNING:DO NOT USE A SEMICOLON

  • Between an independent clause and a phrase or a dependent clause:

    You should not make such statements;although

    they are correct.

  • Interchangeably with a comma:

    I enjoy sports; particularly tennis, soccer, and

    fishing.

  • To substitute for a colon:

    The military expects one thing from its rank and file;

    obedience.


Remember

REMEMBER:

  • A semicolon is interchangeable with a period.

  • Tell me and I forget; show me and I remember; involve me and I understand.

  • Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.


Use a colon

USE A COLON

  • Between a complete sentence and a list or explanation. Please note that a complete sentence must precede a colon.

  • EXAMPLES: There is one common disease on this campus: computer viruses. (Yes, one item can constitute a list.)

  • The players came from all over the world: Germany, Russia, Japan, Canada, and Australia.

  • There is one major difference between my roommate and me: we are of different religious beliefs.

  • Computer science majors have an advantage in the job market: they are more adept than most people at using computers.


Uwf writing lab rules of thumb for semicolon and colon use

Use a colon with a list even if the list comes first. (Sometimes, reversing the order of the introductory statement and the list creates a rhetorically effective sentence.)

  • These are all words that describe my first few days in college: impressive, overwhelming, exciting, surprising.

  • Impressive, overwhelming, exciting, surprising: these are all words that describe my first few days in college.


Lists without colons

Lists Without Colons

  • I am studying statistics, astronomy, and physics.

  • The key factors to consider when you purchase software are price, performance, and support.

  • Among the top ten sexiest men listed in People magazine were Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington, Danny Glover, and Tom Cruise.

  • The librarian righteously cleansed the library of all "dirty literature" such as Catch 22, Huckleberry Finn, and The Color Purple.


Use a colon1

USE A COLON

  • Preceding a long, formal quotation. Please note that a complete sentence must precede a colon.

  • EXAMPLE: Defending free speech, Voltaire made this statement: “I may disagree with what you say, but I shall defend your right to say it.”


More examples

MORE EXAMPLES

  • EXAMPLE: Ian was dissatisfied with the photos he had taken: all of them were out of focus.

  • EXAMPLE: The reasons he cited for his success are as follows: integrity, industry, and a pleasant disposition.

  • EXAMPLE: Three plays by William Shakespeare will be presented this summer: Hamlet, Macbeth, and Othello.


Rule of thumb

RULE OF THUMB

  • A COMPLETE SENTENCE MUST PRECEDE A COLON:

  • All of my high school teachers said one thing in particular: college is going to be difficult.


Use a colon2

Use a colon

  • After “the following” and “as follows”:

  • The workshop will include the following topics: anger management, stress management, communication skills, and sexual harassment.

  • The strengths of this department are as follows: teamwork, customer service, and professionalism.


Warning do not place a colon in these instances

WARNING! DO NOT PLACE A COLON IN THESE INSTANCES:

  • DO NOT place a colon before or after namely or for example.

  • INCORRECT: We agreed to the plan: namely, to give him a surprise party.

  • CORRECT: We agreed to the plan, namely, to give him a surprise party.


Warning do not place a colon in these instances1

WARNING! DO NOT PLACE A COLON IN THESE INSTANCES:

  • DO NOT place a colon after a verb (are, include, etc.) unless the sentence ends with a verb (There are two things that make us what we are: our heredity and our environment).

  • INCORRECT: The components of this history course are: lecture, recitation, and laboratory.

  • CORRECT: The components of this history course are lecture, recitation, and laboratory.


Warning do not place a colon in these instances2

WARNING! DO NOT PLACE A COLON IN THESE INSTANCES:

  • DO NOT place a colon after a preposition (such as, with, etc.)

  • INCORRECT: Included in our curriculum are many of the physical sciences such as: engineering, biology, and chemistry.

  • CORRECT: Included in our curriculum are many of the physical sciences such as engineering, biology, and chemistry.


Let s practice

LET’S PRACTICE!!!

  • Your sentence seems to be well phrased, however, there are a few minor errors.

  • Your sentence seems to be well phrased; however, there are a few minor errors.

  • I am positive that you cannot resist this one appeal money.

  • I am positive that you cannot resist this one appeal: money.

  • My best friends are: Liz, Terese, and Tasia.

  • My best friends are Liz, Terese, and Tasia.

  • Mark Twain reflects on writing in this statement,“The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

  • Mark Twain reflects on writing in this statement: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”


More practice

More Practice!!!

  • Nominations for the presidency included the names of Mrs. C. B. Jones, member of the Garden Club, Mrs. Alton Pesky, local librarian, and Miss Sonia Black, official of the League of Women Voters.

  • Nominations for the presidency included the names of Mrs. C. B. Jones, member of the Garden Club; Mrs. Alton Pesky, local librarian; and Miss Sonia Black, official of the League of Women Voters.

  • There were three reasons for his success, integrity, industry, and a good personality.

  • There were three reasons for his success: integrity, industry, and a good personality.


Final practice

Final Practice!!!

  • My favorite television shows come on the History Channel, such as: History’s Mysteries and Modern Marvels.

  • My favorite television shows come on the History Channel, such as History’s Mysteries and Modern Marvels.

  • I love several subjects at school, namely: English and statistics.

  • I love several subjects at school, namely English and statistics.


Bonus

BONUS!!!

  • The number of students assigned to each teacher in an individual classroom is as follows; for prekindergarten through grade 3, 21 students, for grades 4 through 8, 27 students, and for grades 9 through 12, 30 students.

  • The number of students assigned to each teacher in an individual classroom is as follows: for prekindergarten through grade 3, 21 students; for grades 4 through 8, 27 students; and for grades 9 through 12, 30 students


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