Writing: A College Handbook - End Marks (Ch. 31)


For learning: English

Base language: English


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Created Nov 24, 2008
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Use a period to mark the end of a declarative sentence, a mild command, or an indirect question: “The days are growing shorter, and the nights are becoming cool.” When typing on a computer, skip one space after the period before beginning the next sentence. (On a typewriter, skip two spaces.) Use a period to mark the end of some abbreviations: “Dr. Boyle”. (NOTE: MLA recommends not using periods in abbreviations that include capital letters, such as PhD and BC.) Generally, you don’t need periods with acronyms (words formed from the initials of a multiword title), with capital-letter abbreviations of technical terms, or with abbreviated names of states, agencies, and organizations: “IBM”. But you do need periods with abbreviations standing for the names of political entities: “U.S.A.” For guidance, see your dictionary. Use a period to mark letters or numerals used in vertical lists. If you give the information in a sentence, enclose the letters or numbers within parentheses and omit the periods.

Through four successful editions, Writing: A College Handbook’s positive approach has not only empowered students to write effectively, it has challenged students to consider why good writing matters. The Fifth Edition builds on this emphasis, exemplifying in clear, engaging prose the skills that students need to communicate in a wide variety of rhetorical contexts. A reliable and easy-to-use reference tool and an up-to-date rhetoric and research guide, Writing: A College Handbook invites students to discover the power of effective writing.