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WREN Webinar: COP 5 01 – Parenthetical Phrases and Punctuation - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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WREN Webinar: COP 5 01 – Parenthetical Phrases and Punctuation. Mr. Loeb English II Kenwood Academy High School 2014-2015. Our Goals. Kenwood Academy 10 th grade writers will… Achieve 3 points growth between the pre-PLAN and post-PLAN.

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WREN Webinar: COP 501 – Parenthetical Phrases and Punctuation

Mr. Loeb

English II

Kenwood Academy High School


Our Goals

  • Kenwood Academy 10th grade writers will…

    • Achieve 3 points growth between the pre-PLAN and post-PLAN.

    • Achieve 85% mastery on all English and Reading College Readiness Skills covered in the course.

    • Score an average of 85% on all writing assignments by the end of the year.


  • As writers we oftentimes want to provide extra information that enriches a sentence but is not necessary to the reader’s overall understanding of the sentence meaning.

  • When these opportunities arise, it is important to use punctuation to help the reader understand which information in a sentence is necessary and which information is extra and not essential to his/her understanding of the sentence.

Explanation of Skill

  • Important Terms:

    • Parenthetical Phrases: Extra information in a sentence that helps to add detail but is not necessary to the overall understanding or grammatical function of a sentence and may be removed without harm.

    • Introductory Prepositional Phrases: Prepositional phrases that introduce a sentence or clause are usually surrounded by commas.

    • Parenthetical Phrases are also referred to as nonessentials.

  • Key rule of this skill: ALL nonessentials MUST BE SURROUNDED BY PUNCTUATION.

Explanation of Skill

  • First, before delving into the punctuation we use for parenthetical phrases / nonessentials, it is important to understand the difference between essential versus nonessential information.

  • Oftentimes, writers are conflicted about whether information is to be considered essential versus nonessential.


    Nonessential: Company managers, seeking higher profits, hired temporary workers to replace full-time staff.

    Essential: The person checking tickets at the counter asked for a form of identification.

Explanation of Skill

  • We’ve already learned about nonessentials. There are several ways to set off nonessentials: using commas, using parentheses, or using dashes.

    Using Commas

    Harry and Barbara, the two crazy neighbors who live three doors down, put their house up for sale today.

    Using Parentheses

    Harry and Barbara (boy, they are a crazy couple) put their house up for sale today.

    Using Dashes

    Harry and Barbara—who live two doors down and are both crazy—put their house up for sale today.

Explanation of Skill

  • Introductory Prepositional Phrases are usually set off with commas.


    At the county fair, our bull one first prize.

    In the corner of the kitchen, you will find the Cuisinart blender.

    Over that hill, you will find the next town.

WREN Skills Practice:

COP 501

Practice: Highlight the essential/nonessential clause in each sentence and identify it as either essential (E) or nonessential (N). If it is nonessential, insert appropriate punctuation.

  • The moon which had been shining brightly suddenly disappeared behind a heavy cloud.

  • Britain which was busy with a European war paid little attention to the War of 1812 until Napoleon was defeated.

  • “Green Willow” which I am reading for English class is a Japanese folk tale.

  • Michael Jordan is the athlete whom I would most like to meet.

  • Many Arawaks died of diseases that European explorers brought to the West Indies.