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ERIC Number: ED208404
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Nov-30
Reference Count: 0
Punctuation and Capitalization: A Review of the Literature.
Punctuation and capitalization are basic, surface features of written communication. However, it was not until the nineteenth century that authorities recognized that punctuation marks should be primarily an integral part of the sentence pattern, not an indicator of pauses. Throughout the literature on punctuation two major purposes recur--to bring together and to separate. More recently, five major purposes for punctuation have been identified: to terminate and separate, to combine and separate, to introduce, to enclose, and to indicate omission. Generally, the rules for punctuation and capitalization are relatively standardized. Because of the large number of rules, however, errors can be expected--even among good writers. For most writers, the smaller set of rules that they know may be sufficient for adequate written communication. Nevertheless, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, and the punctuation of relative clauses are three problems that occur frequently. A review of the literature reveals that very little research has been conducted in the teaching of mechanics. Generally, introduction to mechanics begins with instruction in the rules, followed by mispunctuated or unpunctuated sentences that illustrate the need for appropriate punctuation. Whereas many people suggest teaching mechanics functionally--when students need it--they rarely have any suggestions about how to do this. (HOD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Regional Laboratory for Educational Research and Development, Los Alamitos, CA.