Perfect Punctuation: Commas, Colons and Co.

Become au fait with the full stop, comma, question mark, colon, semi-colon, dash, apostrophe, hyphen, ellipsis, exclamation mark and solidus, along with their partnered comrades: quotation marks, parentheses, brackets and braces – and for extra fun, learn the three ways to set up a bulleted list, better known as dot points! Punctuation is the key to clarity of meaning in any document. Learn how to put your guys to work so your message is pleasant, effective, alive, clear and enduring rather than waffly, ambiguous and ridiculous; that is, make peace, not war, with your readers and be proud of your output.


  • Face to face


  • Doyle, D., (2003). Grey Areas and Gremlins: A grammar and punctuation refresher, ISBN 9780646424835; optional to purchase as a paperback or PDF after the class or via


The course contains succinct definitions, clear explanations, many examples and several interactive exercises in relation to each of the following elements:

  • The full stop (.)
  • The comma (,)
  • The question mark (?)
  • The colon (:)
  • The semi-colon (;)
  • The ‘textual dash’ (en dash [ – ] and em dash [—])
  • The en dash (–) used as a linking device
  • The apostrophe (’)
  • The hyphen (-)
  • The ellipsis (. . .)
  • The exclamation mark (!)
  • The solidus (/)
  • Quotation marks (single: ‘[word/s]’ and double: “[word/s]”)
  • Parentheses (round brackets)
  • Brackets [square brackets]
  • Braces {curly brackets}
  • The three ways to set up a bulleted list (dot points)

Please bring a ruled A4-size notepad, a four-colour pen (red, blue, green and black), a yellow highlighter pen, a pencil, an eraser and a bottle of correction fluid.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. use all the punctuation marks correctly
  2. use the most effective punctuation mark when there’s a choice
  3. explain the uses of hyphens, en dashes and em dashes
  4. make any bulleted list internally consistent
  5. use easy ways to solve common grammatical problems
  6. justify any and all changes and corrections.

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