Resources for business and technical writing

Using the comma

The comma we have today came from the virgule (/) used in the 13th to 17th centuries to indicate a pause in our reading. Since then, we have developed roughly nine specific uses of commas, and these usages can even influence the clarity and meaning of the sentence.

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Rewriting for our reader’s sake

This course focuses on some key aspects of the third stage of writing; rewriting. The goal of this course is to help your writing become clearer, more concise, and more readable by polishing up your rewriting and editing skills. During this course we will examine spelling, grammar and punctuation challenges frequently encountered in technical and business writing; we will consider word choices and phrasing that reduce ambiguity and bloated writing; and we will work with sentence structure and organization to improve readability and support the points we are making.

Rewriting for our user’s sake micro-site

If you ever struggle with when to use a comma or a semicolon, are vague about using which or that, or find you use too many words to make your point; this course is for you.

We recommend that you take the Effective Writing for Business and Technology course before taking this course. This rewriting course focuses on one aspect of writing and builds on the concepts discussed in the effective writing course.

The semicolon, more that just a wink

Use of the semicolon has increased recently by combining it with a hyphen followed by a closing parenthesis to indicate a wink ;-) (tip your head to the left), but otherwise it is often avoided because writers aren’t confident how to use it.

The semicolon (;) is a delightful looking punctuation mark that provides a grammatical break that is greater than a comma, and less than a period (or full stop). So let’s look at some ways of using the semicolon.

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