Tag Archives: writing
CJHS contributor Jessica Mayra Ferreira shares five tips for researchers wishing to publish in English when it is not their first language.
To kick off the University Press Week Blog Tour (November 12-17), our Social Media Specialist, Tanya Rohrmoser, reflects on the many ways in which social media can be used as a vehicle for communicating research in the arts and humanities.
Author Robert J. Muckle highlights how much the world of archaeology has changed since the initial publication of his book in 2006.
Good morning, dear readers!
We are pleased to announce our blog's newest feature: writing tips! Each month we will be posting writing tips that we hope you will find helpful in your work. Remember, whether you're writing the next best-selling novel or your next A+ paper, everyone loves reading a good, clean sentence.
Today we aim to help you in your lifelong quest to answer the age old question: Does this sentence call for a semicolon or a colon?!
Three things to remember about the semicolon:
(1) it’s stronger than a comma.
(2) it’s weaker than a period.
(3) the parts on either side of it must be able to stand on their own.
They had had no dinner the night before; as a result, they were famished.
They had had no dinner the night before; which meant they were famished. [second clause is grammatically incomplete; semicolon should be replaced by comma]
They had had no dinner the night before, as a result, they were famished. [comma isn’t strong enough; semicolon needed]
Three things to remember about the colon:
(1) it must be preceded by a complete sentence.
(2) it has a logical function: the thing after it must explain the thing before it (or, in rare circumstances, the other way round).
(3) you can’t use it to introduce a list unless the introduction is a complete sentence. This is true even in the case of a bulleted or numbered list, although it's increasingly common (especially in marketing materials) for people to insist on a colon before a list “because it looks weird not to have one”.
The restaurant offers three colours of pasta: green, red, and black.
The wallpaper, my dear, is precisely the problem: its vomitrocious pattern completely ruins the ambiance.
The restaurant has on the menu: green, red, and black pasta. [introduction is not a complete sentence; there should be no punctuation in that spot at all]
The wallpaper has a vomitrocious pattern: the table is ugly too. [second clause doesn’t explain first clause and is, indeed, almost completely unrelated; a semicolon should be used instead]
And there you have it — the basic difference between a semicolon and a colon. For more great tips on the proper use of a semicolon, check out Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips.
Stay tuned for more writing tips in the future!
In the second of a short series of blog postings, author Robert J. Muckle discusses his experiences as an educator...