Use a colon to introduce an amplification, an example or a formal question or quotation.


The CP style book covers commas thoroughly. However, it is worth noting the need for commas around non-restrictive modifiers:

WRONG: Dr. Thode's wife Sadie stood with the president for photos.
RIGHT: Dr. Thode's wife, Sadie, stood with the president for photos.
If there are no commas around "Sadie," it is implied that Dr. Thode has more than one wife.

A subject should not be divided from its verb by a comma no matter how lengthy the subject:
WRONG: The student sitting at the top of the pile, asked if she…
RIGHT: The student sitting at the top of the pile asked if she…

Following CP, do not use the serial comma (the comma before "and" in lists of three or more items: "The colours of the U.S. flag are red, white and blue.")


One space on each side of an em-dash: The name is Bond - James Bond.


Ellipsis indicates something has been edited out of a direct quotation. It is unnecessary at the beginning or
end of the quotation, but is necessary when parts of the middle of the quotation are missing.
“Few things are impossible....Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.” –Samuel Johnson


Use only when a word or phrase is truly parenthetical, and not for editorial explanations or clarification. Use brackets [ ] for the latter and try to keep them to a minimum.

Quotation marks

Titles of papers should be enclosed in quotation marks. For example, use as follows: Dr. Henry Jacek recently gave a paper titled, "War and Peace in Bertrand Russell's Thought," at a Russell symposium in New York.


The main test for the correctness of a semi-colon is whether or not the items on either side of the mark are complete sentences. The ideas in each part should also be related.
WRONG: Faculty will be unhappy with a wage freeze; and angry. [The item following the semi-colon is not a complete sentence.]
RIGHT: Faculty will be unhappy with a wage freeze; staff will be unhappy, too. [Complete sentence on both sides.]

The semi-colon is also correct when separating phrases that contain commas.