How to Use a Comma When Writing

by admin on April 14, 2011

how to use a comma when writingCommas seem quite innocent at very first glance, and a large number of human beings have no problem mutilizing them in their daily writing. Nonetheless, there is a lot more to a comma than meets the eye;comma use can vary, and a misplaced comma can cause a world of difference in the interpretation of a sentence.Commas can be a notation to indicate a pause in speech, and this is how they are used most effectively to get a standard message across. Even so, commas can do a lot a lot more than this.Learning how to make use of a comma appropriately will boost your prose and provide additional tools for use in your writing.Just a few of the uses for commas are covered below.

Commas are used to separate three or more words or phrases in a list, as shown in the following sentence: “An author’s bio needs to encompass his writing history, publishing credits, and any relevant background information.” The comma also can be used to separate a list of adjectives prior to the noun. For example, “Checking your grammar ensures you’re presenting a proper, concise, and professional manuscript.”

In each of the above examples, one particular item in my list always takes an “and.” It doesn’t matter whether you employ a comma before the “and,” which can be a matter of style preference, it must be utilized consistently. In America, the extra comma(known as the “serial comma”),is common, with a small number of exceptions. In the UK, the serial comma is avoided, though some publishing houses (Oxford University Press, Harvard University Press) use the serial comma due to the fact—they argue—that it prevents ambiguity. Whatever style you select, your editor likely will be in the position to look over your manuscript to ensure that your usage is consistent throughout.

Commas also are utilized to join two independent clauses collectively into a single sentence by means of a coordinating conjunction (and, but, but, so, for, or, nor).As an example, “Writing a first-off draft is often an amazing accomplishment for nearly any author, but the very first draft is only the beginning of a lengthy procedure.”These two clauses have the ability to be stand-alone sentences, but the comma combined with the coordinating conjunction links together and shows the relationship between them.

An additional use for the comma is in this introductory phrase:“To give your manuscript the best chance, work with an impressive editor.” These are not independent clauses; rather, the initial phrase introduces the second part of the sentence. This works for single-word introductions as well. For example, “Unfortunately, many writers do not know how to write an author’s bio.”

Commas also can be utilized for parenthetical information—that is, additional information that is in fact not a necessary part ofthe principal sentence structure. This information can appear in the middle of a sentence, for example this phrase right here, using a comma on each side.Commas also can be used to separate the contrasting parts of a sentence; for instance, when a person needs to say that something is “this way, not that way.”
Commas also are used for displaying dialogue or quoted speech.

A comma introduces the spoken materials. For example: Oscar Wilde mentioned, “This morning I took out a comma, and this afternoon I put it back again.” Quoted material or dialogue also may beinterrupted with commas signaling the break: “This morning I took out a comma,” Oscar Wilde stated,“and this afternoon I put it back once again.” It is a good thought to continuously examine fiction or quoted materials to learn the many ways that commas can be utilized for dialogue.

When in doubt, hire an expert editor before you publish; the editor will help you weed out any stray commas, or add them exactly where needed to ensure your materialis clean and clear. It can be all too easy to alter the meaning of a sentence using a misplaced comma, but when they are used well, they can perform all kinds of magic in your writing.

{ 1 comment }

keith mason May 4, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Can you send me additional information and examples on how to use a comma when starting a introductory phrase and in an essay

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