English Punctuation and Mechanics


This course is designed as a practical resource. In the twenty-first century, we write much more than our parents did in the twentieth. We send emails, SMS’s, join blogs, forums and chat-rooms on the Internet. When we apply for a position, the first impression on the potential employer is made by our CV, not by the way we talk or behave. Consequently, to assume a certain standard of professional communication, one must organize his or her writing clearly, making it look professional.

This is where our course might help. By giving sentences from prominent writers and well-known personalities for both examples and exercises, we hope to show the full range of possibilities for punctuation in contemporary writing as well as expand your background knowledge, which is crucial for non-native speakers of the language. You will see how punctuation can give you the freedom to write new kinds of sentences and express ideas in more effective ways.

Surely, there is one supreme rule: that punctuation is best which best serves to make writing subtle, supple, delicate, nuanced and efficient. Of course you can write using only periods and commas for punctuation. You can cook using only salt and pepper for seasoning. But why do it when there are so many seasonings pleasing to a mature palate? – George Will

A part of the course is dedicated to mechanics – conventional rules such as the one requiring capitalization of the first word of a sentence or writing titles of books and films. You need to follow the conventions so that your writing will look the way formal writing is expected to look.

Can you really master punctuation and mechanics? Of course, you can! It is just a matter of knowing the rules the course provides.

Lecturer: Associate Professor Anna Chesnokova (Kyiv National Linguistic University).

© Ukraine-Europe Linguistic Centre