SPARC 2008-2009

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					SPARC 2008-2009 Punctuation and Grammar: A review of some common problems
Referenced From
Straus, Jane.(2008) The blue book of grammar and punctuation. Philadelphia:Jossey-Bass. with examples from SPARCs

Punctuation Rules
Spacing • With a computer, use only one space following periods, commas, semicolons, colons, exclamation points, question marks, and quotation marks. The space needed after these punctuation marks is proportioned automatically. Example: today, by opening dialogue….. • Use no spaces on either side of a hyphen. Example: We saw twenty-three students today. Example: four-time SPARC award recipient…..

Punctuation Rules Continued
Hyphens between Words • To check whether a compound noun is two words, one word, or hyphenated, you may need to look it up in the dictionary. If you can't find the word in the dictionary, treat the noun as separate words. Example: Schoolwide learning results…. Examples: eyewitness, eye shadow, eyeopener

• Hyphenate all compound numbers from twenty-one through ninety-nine. Example: twenty-two varsity sports teams…… Example: The teacher had thirty-two children in her classroom.

• To avoid confusion, use commas to separate words and word groups with a series of three or more. Example: We assist students in resolving conflicts safely and peacefully, instill in students skills that promote academic success, and intervene in moments of personal crisis. Example: My $10 million estate is to be split among my husband, daughter, son, and nephew. Omitting the comma after son would indicate that the son and nephew would have to split one-third of the estate.

• Use the colon after a complete sentence to introduce a list of items when introductory words such as namely, for example, or that is do not appear. Example: The following evidence illustrates the achievements of our team:….. Examples: You may be required to bring many items: sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.

• Capitalization and punctuation are optional when using single words or phrases in bulleted form. If each bullet or numbered point is a complete sentence, capitalize the first word and end each sentence with proper ending punctuation. The rule of thumb is to be consistent. Example: Our SSPT has been recognized by the Los Angeles County Office of Education as an Academy Award winner the last five years.

• The following are requested: (a) Wool sweaters for possible cold weather. (b) Wet suits for snorkeling. (c) Introductions to the local dignitaries. OR • The following are requested: • (a) wool sweaters for possible cold weather (b) wet suits for snorkeling • (c) introductions to the local dignitaries

• Use parentheses to enclose words or figures that clarify or are used as an aside. Example: is to assess annual data (see the Healthy Kids Survey)…… Example: I expect five hundred dollars ($500).

• Use full parentheses to enclose numbers or letters used for listed items. Example: We need an emergency room physician who can (1) think quickly, (2) treat patients respectfully, and (3) handle complaints from the public.

• Use the apostrophe to show possession. Place the apostrophe before the s to show singular possession. Example: Guidance Department’s Student Support Program……
Examples: one boy's hat one woman's hat

• To show plural possession, make the noun plural first. Then immediately use the apostrophe. Examples: two boys' pens; two women's hats; two children's grades; the Changs' house and the Joneses' golf clubs

• The plurals for capital letters and numbers used as nouns are not formed with apostrophes. For example: She consulted with three M.D.s. BUT She went to three M.D.s' offices. The apostrophe is needed here to show plural possessive. Additional examples: She learned her ABCs. The 2009s not the 2009's The '90s or the mid-'70s not the '90's or the mid-'70's

Example: The counseling team has been
awarded five SPARCs…..

• Exception: Use apostrophes with capital letters and numbers when the meaning would be unclear otherwise. Examples: Please dot your i's. You don't mean is. Ted couldn't distinguish between her 6's and 0's. You don't mean O's.

• Do not capitalize the civil title if it is used instead of the name. Example: Examples: assessments are critical to a successful counseling program….The principal has helped to create…. • All senators are expected to attend.

• Do not capitalize little words within titles such as a, an, the, but, as, if, and, or, nor, or prepositions, regardless of their length. Example: Los Angeles County Office of Education Examples:The Day of the Jackal What Color Is Your Parachute? A Tale of Two Cities

• Do not capitalize names of seasons. • Capitalize words derived from proper nouns. Example: I must take English and math. English is capitalized because it comes from the proper noun England. Example: Advanced Placement Biology was offered for the first time this year. • Capitalize the names of specific course titles. Example: The counseling staff was instrumental in implementing the Algebra 2 requirement

Spelling, Vocabulary, and Confusing Words
• a vs. an. Use a when the first letter of the word following has the sound of a consonant. Keep in mind that some vowels sound like consonants when they’re sounded out as individual letters. Example: A member of our guidance team…..

• Use an when the first letter of the word following has the sound of a vowel. Remember that some consonants sound like vowels when they’re spoken as individual letters. Example: An immediate goal of the counseling program….. • Examples: an FBI case (F is pronounced ef here) • an honor (H is silent here)

• affect vs. effect • Use effect when you mean bring about or brought about, cause or caused. Example: He effected a commotion in the crowd. Example: showed the effectiveness of the student support team………. • Use effect when you mean result. Example: Example The “Counselor of the Day” had an immediate effect……. • Affect is used as a noun to mean emotional expression. Example: After the group session there was a marked change in affect of the students.

• e.g. for example • i.e. that is, in other words Example: My living expenses have increased, e.g., rent, food, and utilities. Example: support personnel for students i.e. (House Leaders),…… • Example: My living expenses have drained my finances, i.e., I have less money in the bank at the end of every month.

• Irregardless no such word exists • Regardless in spite of, without regard Example: Regardless of the background of the students, they scored well……. • To in the direction of, toward; Example: improvement to aid in student achievement…. • Too also, to an extensive degree Example: The administration went along with the plan too.

Writing Numbers
• Spell out single-digit whole numbers. Use numerals for numbers greater than nine. Examples: The are four new counselors this year and………. There was a 79%….. • Always spell out simple fractions and use hyphens with them. Examples: A two-thirds majority is required for that bill to pass in Congress.

• A mixed fraction can be expressed in figures unless it is the first word of a sentence. Example: We expect a 5 1/2 percent wage increase. Example: The results of the test showed a 35 1/2 percent increase…….

• The simplest way to express large numbers is best. Round numbers are usually spelled out. Be careful to be consistent within a sentence. • Example: You can earn from one million to five million dollars. • Write decimals in figures. Put a zero in front of a decimal unless the decimal itself begins with a zero. Example: The plant grew 0.79 of a foot in one year.

Simple example of a book citation (one author) in APA style. • Baxter, C. (1997). Race equality in health care and education. Philadelphia: McGraw Hill.

This is a very helpful site: • CAPAFormatting.html