How the Writing Center Can Help with Punctuation

  • Confused by commas? Stumped by semicolons? The Writing Center can help you find and fix punctuation mistakes.

    If you’re struggling with punctuation, Writing Center tutors can help by…

    • explaining the basic “comma rules” and helping you identify comma errors, such as comma splices.
    • explaining how semicolons, colons, and ellipsis are used.
    • identifying run-on sentences and helping you use proper punctuation to fix them.
    • showing you where and how to use punctuation when citing something in MLA or APA style.
    • providing help sheets, reference books, and online resources.
    • helping you locate errors on your own by reading the paper aloud with you.
    • giving you time to proofread your paper for punctuation on your own. Many students are able to work alone to fix errors once they know what to look for.
    • offering suggestions for proofreading your papers on your own, including reading it aloud to yourself or someone else.

    As a reminder, tutoring sessions typically...

    • last 30 to 45 minutes.
    • focus on one or two writing issues.
    • help to develop and focus ideas as you talk one-on-one with a tutor.
    • identify aspects of the paper you need to improve on your own.
    • conclude with a short evaluation form.
    • respect the confidentiality of your visit; a tutor will send a report form to your instructor only at your request.

    Written by: Chris Taylor