When people speak face to face, they use several verbal and non verbal cues to convey meanings (e.g. grimaces, frowning, smiling, pitch, intonation ..etc ). These cues and other body language signals are very important elements in any communicative situation. In writing where there is no direct contact with the interlocutor, these cues are represented in punctuation. Without proper punctuation it would not be easy to understand what is being communicated in a text. Sometimes, not being able to use punctuation correctly results in a totally different meaning which could amount to a total misunderstanding. The visual below documents one of the most popular instances of ‘mis-punctuation.’
That being said, punctuation is a complex system especially when it comes to writing academic and term essays where advanced forms of punctuation are called for. To help students learn how to effectively use different punctuation forms and enhance the communicatively of their written discourse, the guide below is definitely a must have.
A Rough Guide to Punctuation is a two-page PDF guide prepared by Ian Collinson, Pam Mort and Tracey Lee Downey for the Learning Centre of the University of New South Wales. The guide provides explanations of various punctuation forms together with examples showing their proper usage. You can access and download this document from this page..