How the Writing Center Can Help with Punctuation

Confused by commas? Stumped by semicolons? The Writing Center can help you find and fix punctuation mistakes.

If you're struggling with punctuation, Writing Center tutors can help by…

  • explaining the basic “comma rules” and helping you identify comma errors, such as comma splices.
  • explaining how semicolons, colons, and ellipsis are used.
  • identifying run-on sentences and helping you use proper punctuation to fix them.
  • showing you where and how to use punctuation when citing something in MLA or APA style.
  • providing help sheets, reference books, and online resources.
  • helping you locate errors on your own by reading the paper aloud with you.
  • giving you time to proofread your paper for punctuation on your own. Many students are able to work alone to fix errors once they know what to look for.
  • offering suggestions for proofreading your papers on your own, including reading it aloud to yourself or someone else.

As a reminder, tutoring sessions typically...

  • last 30 to 45 minutes.
  • focus on one or two writing issues.
  • help to develop and focus ideas as you talk one-on-one with a tutor.
  • identify aspects of the paper you need to improve on your own.
  • conclude with a short evaluation form.
  • respect the confidentiality of your visit; a tutor will send a report form to your instructor only at your request.

Written by: Chris Taylor