How to Use This Guide

This document is intended to highlight resources available to address the resource goal of Punctuation in a First-Year Writing Course.  All resources are Open Access and can be downloaded or added to a Course Management System via hyperlink.


This description is intended to apply to a range of First-Year Writing courses, from highly conceptual to more traditional presentations, in regards to punctuation. It will cover definitions of the most common punctuation terms, examples of proper usage, and exercises that demonstrate proper usage. These descriptions and exercises can be incorporated regardless of the types of readings chosen for the course, the genres a course may focus on, etc. This guide is intended to work as a handbook on general punctuation rules and usage.

Learning Objectives

This module is designed to address the following learning objectives:

  1. Explain and illustrate common comma errors

  2. Illustrate comma usage with conjunctions

    1. Coordinating conjunctions

    2. Conjunctive adverbs

    3. Subordinating conjunctions

  3. Illustrate comma usage with clauses

    1. Relative clauses

    2. Dependent and Independent clauses

  4. Explain and illustrate use of apostrophes

  5. Explain and illustrate use of semicolons

  6. Explain and illustrate use of colons

  7. Explain and illustrate use of quotations

  8. Explain and illustrate use of hyphens

  9. Explain and illustrate use of parentheses

  10. Explain and illustrate use of dashes

English Language Arts, Composition and Rhetoric
Material Type:
Unit of Study
Community College / Lower Division
  • Tme0012