Editing Punctuation & Format

Punctuation is important for keeping the meaning of sentences clear, and errors in punctuation can increase a reader’s problems considerably. Inappropriate or inconsistent formatting can also distract your reader.

The following are some important points to consider:

  • Appropriate use of commas is particularly difficult to master. Review your essay carefully for correct comma usage. For a brief guide to the use of commas see the Using Commas resource.
  • Review each sentence in your essay for appropriate use of quotation marks and apostrophes.
  • Check to be sure that you have capitalized all proper nouns, titles and headings.
  • Check that the format of your essay is consistent throughout and adheres to the assignment guidelines. Look at margins, font size, line spacing, title page, page numbers and word count.
  • For a convenient listing of the most important questions to ask yourself in the editing process, see the Editing Checklist in Resources.