Your Punctuation Tool Kit

Time to add two simple but important punctuation marks to your Workplace Writing Tool Kits:

Quotation Marks

* Use quotation marks to indicate the exact words of a speaker or writer. Always use them in pairs to indicate the beginning and end of a quote. Example

She said to Ann, “The project charter is incomplete. It must be completed.”

* With a long quote – four lines or more – indent the quote and omit the quotation marks.

* Use quotation marks to name a “word,” “expression” or “term.” Example:

The word “megabyte” is often misspelled.

* Use quotation marks to indicate song titles, magazine and newspaper articles and themes. Examples:

The journal featured an article titled, “Exceeding Customer Expectations.”

We launched the “Claims Management System (CMS)” last week.

The Apostrophe

* Use an apostrophe to form a contraction. The apostrophe replaces an omitted letter. Examples

“He can’t (from cannot) make the meeting.”

“She won’t (from will not) approve the changes.”

“I’ve (from I have) worked on the project for a year.”

* Use an apostrophe for possessive nouns. Examples

“She works in the department’s quick response center.”

“The plan determines the project’s time schedule.”

* Add an apostrophe and an “s” to show possession. Examples

“Where is Mr. Jager’s auditing report?”

“I need Ms. Kenny’s approval before I can start.”

“That is my administrative assistant’s folder.”

* For possessive plural nouns ending in “s”, only add an apostrophe. Examples

“Three systems analysts’ terminals were down.”

“Our developers’ requirements are being followed.”

* Use an apostrophe to indicate ownership. Examples

“Martin’s and Wilson’s consulting firms (separate ownership)…”

“Harley and King’s consulting firm (joint ownership)…”

“Last year’s results … ‘

Happy Punctuating!!