Punctuation ~ American English: punctuate with confidence!

Punctuate emails, blogs, and marketing copy: Punctuation marks covered? Quotes, colons, dashes, and much more!
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  • Lectures 13
  • Length 1 hour
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 11/2015 English

Course Description

Do you struggle with knowing where to put commas and colons and exclamation points? Do you get fewer "opens" on your marketing emails than you'd like? Do you worry about people on Facebook thinking you're stupid because of punctuation mistakes?

If you've ever worried because your punctuation is not all that great, then this course is perfect for you. There are loads of examples to study, clear instructions (Sally struggled with this herself, so she teaches it without all the fancy jargon that only makes your head want to explode), and plenty of downloadable cheat sheets, as well as quizzes to help you grasp what you're learning.

Sally has over 1300 satisfied students on Udemy so come on in and let her help you with your punctuation.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING about this course:

Sally takes a subject that at best seems daunting (at worst, insanely boring) and makes it accessible--meaningful, even.~ Abby


This course is a great resource for punctuation rules whether you struggle with punctuation or just need a review. ~ Cheryl


. . . a great alternative to Strunk & White's "Elements of Style". ~ Becky


Ms. Apokedak . . . manages to make the learning fun ~ Debbie


. . . a fantastic overview for those who are new to English or those of us who've forgotten a little over the years. ~ Hannah


And here's what some have said about Sally's conference classes, retreats, and online courses:

. . . thank you again for a fabulous weekend. I left encouraged and energized . . . It was a wise investment and fun.

~ Jean Wilund



We had so many wonderful comments about you and your class on our evaluations. We hope you'll be able to join us again next summer.

Blessings, Lindy Jacobs, OCW Summer Conference Director


Hello Sally,

I hope you realize how much wisdom and knowledge you imparted during your time at the wik13 conference in Birmingham. . . .

~ Heather L. Montgomery Assistant Regional Advisor Southern Breeze SCBWI


Thank you for your incredible class. It was a valuable, valuable learning experience. . . .

~ Kimberly


Thank you so much. I got a lot out of the class and it gave me a lot to think about. I'm grateful for all the feedback.

~ Christie


Thank you so much for your feedback . . . throughout the course. I appreciated how much you know about this field and your willingness to share your expertise.

~ Sandy


In Sally's video lectures, she made me think about writing like I hadn't before, especially the weeks about voice and theme.

~ Margo


What this course promises:

To teach you how to use punctuation so you can write blog posts, emails, marketing copy--whatever you write--in a more interesting and compelling way.

What this course does not promise:

That it will be fast and easy: the course is fast and easy, but these punctuation skills will only become second nature to you as you use them. And that takes time and practice.

The great news is that you have a lifetime membership to this course, so you'll have easy access, forever, to the lessons and the examples of proper punctuation.

Some questions this course answers:

  • What is a serial comma?
  • Do you capitalize the first word after a colon?
  • Do commas and semicolons go inside quotes or outside?
  • What are em dashes and how are they different from parentheses?

What are the requirements?

  • Please bring a desire to learn.
  • This is not a grammar course, so it would be helpful if you had a basic understanding of the English language.
  • This is a course that reaches an intermediate level, but it's fine for beginners, too: no advanced knowledge needed.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Punctuate English with confidence.
  • Know when to use a colon and when to use a semicolon, as well as when to use all the other American English punctuation marks.
  • Know how to use commas to make your meaning clear.
  • Never be embarrassed by poor punctuation again!

Who is the target audience?

  • ESL writers who struggle with American punctuation will benefit from this course.
  • American writers who have never "gotten" punctuation will gain skill and confidence.
  • Business persons selling to Americans on the Internet will be able to make their sales copy look more professional.
  • If you are writing a scholarly article or book and you want to discover how to punctuate, annotate, and cite sources, this course is not for you.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Get Punctuating with an American Flavor
10 questions

Take this quiz before you begin to see which sections you can safely skip and which sections you may want to watch twice. Then take the closing quiz at the end to see how much you've improved your punctuation power.

Section 2: End Marks

There are three marks that go at the end of sentences: periods, question marks, and exclamation points.

Section 3: Commas ~ the bane of every writer's existence

In which we discover why we need that last dratted comma, along with the word "and," when we are listing items in our sentences.


We look at commas. We look at small conjunctions. We look at both of those things, and we look at how to use them to tie two sentences together.

Commas ~ before "because"

When you have a sentence that needs to have parenthetical info add, because sentences can often benefit from added info, you set the parenthetical phrase apart with a pair of commas.


In which we finish out the comma lectures by talking about fun, fascinating coordinating adjectives, and super duper cumulative adjectives. We are having a good time, not a dull time. Let's be clear on this.

8 questions
Section 4: Semicolon

For one thing, semicolons can stick two related sentences together; they don't need conjunctions the way commas do.

5 questions
Section 5: Colon

Not many people know where colons go: after complete sentences and before lists and other information that clarifies or explains the sentence that came before.

5 questions
Section 6: Em Dash and Parentheses

Add some voice to your writing (you might add in some wandering thoughts or insightful commentary) by adding in dashes--brilliant idea!--and parentheses.

Section 7: Ellipses

How many spaces come come before and after and in between? How many dots are there in an ellipsis? Watch this lecture to find out the fascinating answers to these questions , , , and more.

Section 8: Apostrophes

I've got an idea that you'll want t watch this lecture if you don't know the difference between the mouse's cheese and the mice's cheese.

Section 9: Quotation Marks

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things . . . " Learn, in this lecture, how to quote others.

Section 10: Bonus! Discounts, downloads, and deals, oh my!

Get all the downloads here, in one easy location. Also keep an eye on this section for deals on my other Udemy courses and for discounts on my editing services. Thanks!

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Instructor Biography

Sally Apokedak is a literary agent with the Leslie H. Stobbe Literary Agency who wades through thousands of queries from hopeful authors every year. She's also a popular speaker at writing conferences. These things put her in a good position to understand writers' struggles. She aims, in all her courses and conference workshops, to help writers complete manuscripts that will compel agents to offer representation or that will compel readers of self-published works to buy books and turn pages. 

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