From the creator of Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer, one of Udemy's most popular courses, comes Punctuation Mastery: a no-nonsense guide to using commas, dashes, colons and other punctuation with supreme confidence.
One of the top-selling courses in the Business Communications category, with thousands of students and dozens of 5-star reviews.
"Every once in a while, you find that one person who understands you, and teaches you exactly what you wanted to know..." -- JAYANTH S, UDEMY STUDENT
"Didn't realize punctuation could be so cool..." -- RYAN, UDEMY STUDENT
"Exactly what I needed to clear up all confusions I had about punctuation without reading through boring grammar lessons..." -- NIKKI BRUSOE, UDEMY STUDENT
"One of the best courses I have ever taken..." -- RICHARD HAKE, UDEMY STUDENT
"Good for any writer looking to work on their clarity and form..." -- BRENDAN TERRY, UDEMY STUDENT
"Will agonize less when editing..." -- JOAN SALANITRI, UDEMY STUDENT
"Puts you behind the steering wheel..." -- CHRIS HEMMES, UDEMY STUDENT
"Take this course if you want to write like a pro..." -- AARON LEBLANC, UDEMY STUDENT
"Thought I knew how to effectively use punctuation..." -- IGOR MILOSAVLJEVIC, UDEMY STUDENT
"Covers just about everything..." -- KNOWLEDGE GATHERING, UDEMY STUDENT
"Will now write with more confidence..." -- DEVON HALL, UDEMY STUDENT
"My punctuation was terrible... looking forward to applying these techniques..." -- AARON, UDEMY STUDENT
"Clarified a lot of questions..." -- ARIEL JACOBY, UDEMY STUDENT
"One of those people whose products I don't even think about buying. I just buy them..." -- IVAN JURAS, UDEMY STUDENT
Maybe you're among the growing army of people seeking to make a mark on the world by writing an outstanding book or creating a magnificent blog read by thousands.
Well, you won't be able to do that if you're punctuation is sloppy. Nothing gives away an amateur writer more than writing that lacks the discipline that a good grasp of punctuation immediately conveys.
You may already have taken my Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer course and discovered heaps of tactics to fast-track your writing ability.
But do you yet know the basics of how to use commas, colons, semi-colons, hyphens, apostrophes and dashes properly and effectively? And how to do so with style?
If not, trust me, you'll never be able to weave magic with your words.
This course probably isn't for you if you already feel very confident in your use of punctuation, as it goes over the fundamentals—along with some crackling insights that only an editor for major news organizations could provide. The course is also not for "purists" who may wish to learn everything strictly according to ancient technical grammar rules.
But if you basically spend ages wondering whether a comma should go here or there, and then doubt yourself straight afterwards...
Or frequently end up with a random mess of commas and semi-colons littering your page and distracting from your message...
Or have just forgotten the basics and need a refresher...
Then this should put you on a firmer footing.
It will give you the confidence to use punctuation in a way that's acceptable to many good newspapers.
You see, I teach top journalists how to improve their writing and have written and edited for some of the world's biggest news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg News.
In this course I reveal to you how to use punctuation in a clean and stylish way, so that it doesn't get in the way but rather enhances your writing.
The best professional writers don't treat punctuation as a set of rigid rules to blindly follow.
As with grammar, they use it as a tool for making their communication more clear and elegant.
In other words, they use punctuation strategically to enhance the power and beauty of their thoughts.
I'm going to teach you how to do the same thing by revealing the diverse uses of each type of punctuation one by one.
You'll see first-hand how each symbol can be used to create a specific impact on your writing.
And I'll aim to teach you without all the usual jargon that surrounds most courses on the subject.
I've studied how the best editors use punctuation strategically to make their articles sing. The truth is, it's really quite easy.
Your college tutors may have taught you punctuation in a highly technical, jargon-laden way that left you bored or mystified.
You may dread going back to the subject.
I'm going to steer clear of all that. In fact, by the end of the course you may well wonder why nobody told you that punctuation could be so interesting.
I've designed this course to help get you the understanding as quickly as possible so you can apply your knowledge straight away, without hesitation.
I explain punctuation in a way that anyone with even a cursory knowledge of the English language can understand. There'll be plenty of exercises, too, so you'll feel confident using punctuation forever after.
What could that do for your career or business?
By the end of the course, you'll hopefully see commas, dashes, semi-colons and other types of punctuation in a new light.
You'll discover that a comma doesn't just help create useful pauses in a sentence, but that it can be a mighty weapon letting you express your ideas with clarity and grace.
You'll discover that colons don't only give you a neat way of introducing lists; they can be used to heighten drama and anticipation in your writing.
In fact, you'll come to see that each little symbol that you thought was so mundane has its own unique power to create special effects throughout your writing.
This course will also prevent the bad use of punctuation that may be killing the authority of your writing.
After all, how seriously would any boss take a cover letter that lacks a basic knowledge of punctuation?
And how much more seriously would the letter be taken if your punctuation enabled you to express your background, skills and qualities with style and flair?
How much better would your college essays, articles, blogs and books look?
You're one step away from discovering these methods, which will change your writing forever.
How commas can be used to sharpen your meaning and prevent misunderstanding
How commas can add a touch of elegance to your prose
How commas can be used to extend a point you are making
How commas can help you insert points within points
Test your knowledge of commas
How colons can help draw attention to an upcoming list of items
How colons can be used to split ideas and answer one thought with another
How colons can be used to create drama in your writing
Test your knoweldge of colons
The various uses of exclamation marks
Test your knowledge of exclamation marks
How and when to use quote marks
How to use quote marks for sarcasm and colloquial expressions
Quote marks to avoid
Test your knowledge of quote marks
Basic uses of apostrophes
How to use apostrophes to sound less stiff
Test your knowledge of apostrophes
Why you should be wary of using brackets
Where brackets can be useful
Test your knowledge of brackets
How dashes can be used to add some excitement to your writing
How dashes can be useful in drawing attention to something
How dashes can prevent readers getting confused
Test your knowledge of dashes
Why using hyphens can be complicated
How hyphens can prevent misunderstanding
How hyphens can be used to help readers grasp ideas more quickly
Test your knowledge of hyphens
Shani Raja teaches top journalists how to improve their writing and has written and edited for some of the world's biggest news organizations, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Financial Times and Bloomberg News. Shani has also taught advanced writing skills to professionals and edited for leading global companies from Microsoft and IBM to PwC. He also teaches journalism to undergraduates.