Learning How to Punctuate Sentences: Learning How to Appreciate Life
A learner’s ability to apply punctuation correctly—and sometimes creatively—in writing is critically important. Without applying the proper usage of punctuation, a writer may unintentionally provide the wrong message, which, at times, can be unintentionally comical or offensive or unintelligible to read. Moreover, pertaining to school, studies show that some students find it difficult to use punctuation marks during reading and writing, and research shows that students do not practice adequately nor sensibly enough to master the skill of punctuation. Therefore, learning how to apply punctuation correctly while writing and reading is necessary.
Punctuation is a useful tool because it indicates pauses and emphases on ideas and thoughts that are in context of a discourse. Consider the following two statements: “I’m sorry! I love you!” compared to “I’m sorry. . . I love you.” The first statement displays an angry tone with the use of an exclamation point (!), whereas the second statement displays a calm, sincere tone with the use of the period (.) and the ellipsis points (. . .). Depending on the message the writer intends to convey, the knowledge of punctuation will guide her in choosing the correct marks for the right delivery and tone in writing.
To maintain a good tone and delivery, according to research, punctuation helps to support two levels of its own: (1) A sentence level that connotes the structures of a discourse and (2) a sentence level that links words. These structures of words help make sense out of the intended context when the structures are punctuated properly. Without applying the levels of punctuation, sentences will be incomprehensible and possibly annoying to readers.
The point of punctuation is to ensure the learners’ writings are expressed in the manner that they intended. Therefore, if students take the time necessary to understand how to use punctuation in their writing, they will be able to discern how learning about punctuation is beneficial, especially if they aspire to become business leaders or script writers. Learners will need to possess good writing skills to compete for professional job titles.
When learning how to apply punctuation marks correctly in writing, learners may need to repeat practicing lessons often in order to fully understand a punctuation mark’s concept. This type of repetition for learning could be time consuming and tedious. Thus, a method to help facilitate this learning is to practice punctuation by analyzing thought-provoking sentences that require a second or a third reading due to the sentence-complexity. Trying to unravel the meaning of the sentence gives learners an opportunity for punctuating sentences in different mediums, extending the extra practice for learning. The sentences may compel learners to think about the implication of the sentences constructed and to discern how the sentences transport relevance to their lives.
Usually, when learning about punctuation, the pupil encounters plain sentences, ones that have insignificant life meanings. The sentences are usually ordinary even though they are easy to follow. Yet, in advanced studies, studies that reveal carefully constructed sentences, learners may encounter sentences that relate to real world issues. The sentences can help illustrate survival lessons. Besides, well-constructed sentences provide rigor in thinking and elicit the workout necessary for punctuating sentences correctly— or creatively.
To learn more about punctuating and analyzing rigorous sentences, try practicing using the exercises found within the pages of Life Is How You Punctuate It 2! by Cynthia Mathews with Yulia Grecu. The 6 X 9 paper/felt cover in full color with authors’ pictures displayed in dialogue form throughout the book will help guide learners in understanding the rules of punctuation. Each practice sentence is pungent in tone; moreover, the book offers stimulating activities based on Bloom’s Taxonomy and provides answer keys immediately after each lesson.
In life, learners must be vigilant about learning and living; Life Is How You Punctuate it 2! will express how learners may proceed. In any case, learn about punctuation and how to apply it to writing. Readers will feel grateful for the life’s lessons.
Cynthia Mathews, Author
Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction