Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Common Writing Mistakes--Part 2

Warning signImage via Wikipedia

This is the second and last part of our 2 part series about some of the common mistakes people make when writing articles, web site content and email.

Last week we talked about 3 common types of improper word usage.

This week we'll discuss the punctuation rules and recommendations for online writing.

11 Punctuation Rules and Recommendations for Online Writing

7 Rules:

  1. Periods, exclamation marks, question marks and commas always go inside of quotation marks.

  2. There is never a space before a period or before a comma.

  3. In hyphenated words there are no spaces on either side of a hyphen.

  4. Use a question mark only after a direct question.

  5. If the last word in a sentence ends in a period (a.m.), do not follow it with another period.

  6. There is never a space before or after punctuation marks included in a number ($2.97, 1,234, 10:05).

  7. There are no spaces before or after an apostrophe used in a contraction (don't).

4 Recommendations:

  1. Only 1 space only is required after every punctuation mark (period, exclamation mark, question mark, colon, semicolon, commas, etc.), including bullets and numbers.

  2. Don't use Excessive Punctuation (!!!!!) in the content of your articles and web page content. Headlines and Sub-Headlines may violate this rule occasionally but not too often.

  3. Only use 3 dots when doing this "..."

  4. When using dashes, use two in a row like in the title of this tip.

Unfortunately HTML editors and word processors won't help you catch punctuation errors. I typed "this is a test to see . if twenty - five" into both Frontpage and Word and neither of the violated rules (2 and 3) were caught.

The best way to verify your punctuation is to carefully proof read what you've written and check your punctuation marks.

Remember, when writing for the web you want to write as if you're talking to someone however you must also remember they are actually reading your words. And to have them read what you're saying you must use the correct words and punctuation.

If you liked today's tip or would like to add to the list please leave a comment. - Thanks.

To Your Success,

Tags: , , , , , ,

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]