An exclamation mark usually shows strong feeling, such as surprise, anger or joy. Using an exclamation mark when writing is rather like shouting or raising your voice when speaking. Exclamation marks are most commonly used in writing quoted speech. You should avoid using it in formal writing, unless absolutely necessary.
1. Use an exclamation mark to indicate strong feelings or a raised voice in speech:
She shouted at him, “Go away! I hate you!”
He exclaimed: “What a fantastic house you have!”
“Good heavens!” he said, “Is that true?”
The question mark can be used within a sentence (not just at the end of it) if wished, although you might prefer to use commas and leave the question mark for the end of the sentence it’s your choice, as both ways are correct. For example, take the situation of someone leaving their house in a hurry before a disaster and wondering what they might have time to take with them. The sentence could be written both of the following ways, noting that the second way provides a lot more emphasis:
This is a preview of
Know how to insert question marks into a sentence
. Read the full post (171 words, estimated 41 secs reading time)
Comma usage is one of the most complex, and most misunderstood, questions of proper punctuation. In some cases there are widely accepted rules governing comma usage; in a few cases, there is more than one acceptable approach. Students often think it’s silly to worry about things such as punctuation: after all, isn’t the legal analysis what really counts? However, when one applies for a job or submits written work to a supervisor, nothing will leave a more negative impression than ignorance of the basic rules of punctuation.
- When you begin a sentence with a phrase or dependent clause to introduce a subsequent independent clause, separate the clauses with a comma.
For a researcher to choose a topic for a project, it is important to consider a broad area of inquiry and interest. This may be as broad as global eye health or personality psychology, but it should be an area that is of interest to the researcher. However, a broad area is useful only at the beginning of a research plan. Within a broader topic of inquiry, each researcher must begin narrowing the field into a few subtopics that are of greater specificity and detail. For example, a researcher may be interested in global eye health, but could focus more specifically on proper eye care and how it affects individuals. Although this topic is still too broad for a research project, it is more focused and can be further specified into a coherent project.
The full stop is a punctuation mark indicating a strong pause. It is used most commonly at the end of a complete sentence like this one.
- This is a short sentence. This is another.
- It happened suddenly in 1996.
- There are two reasons for this (in my opinion).
The full stop is the strongest mark of punctuation. It is sometimes called the period.
Permanent link to this post
(67 words, estimated 16 secs reading time)
You use punctuation marks to structure and organise your writing. The most common of these are the period (or full stop in British English), the comma, the exclamation mark, the question mark, the colon and semi-colon, the quote, the apostrophe, the hyphen and dash, and parentheses and brackets. Capital letters are also used to help us organise meaning and to structure the sense of our writing.
You can quickly see why punctuation is important if you try and read this sentence which has no punctuation at all:
This is a preview of
Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences.
. Read the full post (276 words, estimated 1:06 mins reading time)
One of the most lucid and sensible answers to this question appeared a few years ago in–of all places–a position statement on the teaching of grammar in American schools. Published by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the report is blessedly free of educational cant. Here’s how it begins:
Organizing thoughts into a coherent piece of writing can be a daunting task. The best way to pin those ideas down and put them into a form that others can follow is to use an outline. The tried-and-true I-II-III A-B-C outline works whether you have to churn out a paragraph, a page, or a paper. Here’s how to use it for a strong single paragraph;
Write the numbers 1-5 on a piece of paper.
- Next to #1, write your answer to the question, or your opinion on the topic, in a complete sentence. For example, if asked to write a paragraph about your favorite person, you might write, “My favorite person is my mother.”
Whether you’re composing a blog or a business letter, an email or an essay, our goal should be to respond clearly and directly to the needs and interests of our readers.
Follow these ten quick tips to improve your writing whenever you set out to inform or persuade.
- Lead with your main idea.
As a general rule, state the main idea of a paragraph in the first sentence–the topic sentence. Don’t keep your readers guessing.
- Vary the length of your sentences.
In general, use short sentences to emphasize ideas. Use longer sentences to explain, define, or illustrate ideas.