Hello friends! Want to learn how the masters use punctuation? Just need a refresher on when and when not to use a colon? You’ve come to the right place!
Learn how the writing greats use commas, colons, semicolons and em-dashes. In this course, we’ll go over the grammatical rules that govern each mark, and examine how authors use them in prose.
We will examine sentences and brief passages in depth, breaking down how each part of the sentence functions. Just like a basketball player practices free throws or a pianist plays scales, we’ll use these examinations as practice for writing our own sentences. Practicing and understanding how these parts of punctuation work will allow us to write better and more complex sentences.
Each class will begin with an overview of a grammatical mark and what the rules of grammar say about it. From there, we will move to examining how a particular author uses that mark, breaking down individual sentences into their component parts. Once we’ve done that, we will rebuild the sentences with our own words, and share these rewritings with the class.
Bring a writing utensil. Sentences to be examined and rewritten will be available both digitally and on paper.
The goal of this course is to improve our understanding of how punctuation is used in writing prose through an examination of published works and writing drills.
Textbook (not required)
The best punctuation book, period.
By June Casagrande
Recommended Reading (not required)
Building Great Sentences: How to write the kind of sentences you love to read
By Brooks Landon
About the Course Facilitator
Kristen is the President of the board of directors for the People’s Colloquium. She has a copy editing certificate from the University of Berkeley, and she enjoys writing short stories and examining how writers use and break the rules of punctuation.