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Dot Comma: Punctuate Right Now! – Training Course Outline
Do you get annoyed when you read long, rambling sentences with little or no punctuation?
Do you hesitate when you’re writing because you’re not sure if that comma really belongs where you just put it?
If you’ve answered “yes” to either of those questions, you’re not alone. Punctuation has not been taught in any depth in schools for years. Word processors and input from databases and other business applications have also changed the way we use punctuation. These changes have been rapid and are ongoing, so even if you do remember being taught a few rules in school, there’s a good chance some of those rules no longer apply.
Poor punctuation makes writing look ungrammatical and will distract readers from your meaning. But correct punctuation isn’t rocket science, and investing a few hours to refresh your grasp of the basics can build your confidence, and make writing something you tackle with ease.
Emails, letters, reports – all types of business correspondence look more professional when you punctuate them properly.
What you will learn on this punctuation course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Recognise the pitfalls of incorrect punctuation
- Use all types of punctuation confidently and correctly
- Adapt your sentence length for clarity and meaning
How we deliver the Dot Comma Punctuate Right Now! course
It is available as a half-day tutor-led Virtual Classroom.
It combines short presentations with lively examples of wrong and correct usage that make the difference clear. You then practise each point with exercises using relevant business examples.
All delegates receive a printed course handbook with hints and tips you can refer to afterwards, copies of the slides and all the exercises. We also give you a refresher quiz to do in your own time a week or two after the course.
Course Contents: commas, apostrophes, colons, oh my!
1. Punctuation – why it matters
- A quick tour of confusing punctuation
- How getting it wrong can cost serious money!
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
2. A few pointers on sentence construction
- What is a sentence, anyway?
- Phrases and clauses: how to bolt them together—or take them apart
3. Punctuation you’ll use all the time
- End of sentence markers: their uses and all-too-frequent abuses
- Why the comma is so confusing: all the different jobs it does
- Colons and semicolons: which one’s which and what they’re for
- The Great Apostrophe Catastrophe!
- Hyphens and dashes aren’t the same
- Capitals and small capitals: yes, there’s a difference
- Abbreviations aren’t written like that any more!
- Punctuating letters
4. A trip to the dark side—less-used hence more confusing punctuation
- Quotation marks
- Miscellaneous: italics, boldface, parentheses, square brackets, ellipses, the slash, numerals, fractions and dates
- Referring to published works
5. Other resources