General rules for punctuation
Commas and periods
- Use between elements of a series in running text. Only use a comma before the final "and," "or" or "nor" to avoid confusion.
- PS: - appears with colon and without periods.
- Acronyms should be all caps, no periods, no spaces.
- GPA, ID cards
- Quotation marks are placed outside commas and periods and inside semicolons and colons.
- Question marks and exclamation points are placed inside quotation marks if they are part of the quote and outside if they are not.
- Items placed inside quotation marks include article titles, direct quotes, parts of books, and short poems.
Dashes and hypens
- en dash (longer than hyphen, shorter than em dash): use in ranges, such as dates and times, and to connect nouns.
- 3:00–5:15 p.m., June 6–10
- human–computer interaction
*To make an en dash, press ctrl+minus. Looks like: –
- em dash: use as a strong comma or parenthesis—or for extra emphasis
*To make an em dash, press ctrl+alt+minus. Looks like: —
- hyphen: use hyphens in compound adjectives
- 12-year-old world-class athlete
- Use one space, not two, between the end punctuation of one sentence and the beginning of the next.
- When using a slash "/" omit surrounding spaces.
- An ellipsis ( ... ) is used to indicate an omission from text or a quotation. Insert one space before and after the ellipsis. No further punctuation is required when an ellipsis ends a sentence.