Begin each sentence by capitalizing the first word of the sentence as in this example. You will most often terminate a sentence with one of three standard sentence terminates: a period, a question mark or an exclamation mark. Separate sentences with either one or two spaces. Place no space after the last sentence of a paragraph.
In this blog post, I discuss sentence terminators to help you improve your writing.
The Three Standard Sentence Terminators
In most cases, terminate each sentence with a single period (.). For example:
This is a simple sentence.
If the sentence is asking a question, terminate the sentence with a single question mark (?). For example:
Can I ask you a simple questions?
To add emphasis to a sentence, for example, if the sentence is being shouted, terminate the sentence with an exclamation mark (!). Note that I use exclamation marks most often when writing dialogue. For example:
Don’t open that box!
Don’t Repeat Sentence Terminators for Emphasis
Do not repeat sentence terminators for emphasis except in very informal writing. For example, don’t write these examples:
What time is it???
Don’t look now!!!
Introducing a List with a Colon Sentence Terminator
Terminate a sentence with a colon to introduce a list. It is typical to indent the list being introduced. You might also choose to make your list a bulleted list. For example:
This is a list:
This is the next sentence.
Note that you should use this form of sentence terminator in informal writing only and, most often, in nonfiction writing.
Terminating an Incomplete Sentence with an Ellipsis
Terminate a sentence with an ellipsis to indicate an incomplete thought. Type an ellipsis as three periods with no spaces in between. Again, this technique is most often used when writing dialogue. For example:
“I need to remember to… Dang, I can’t remember what I was supposed to do.”
I hope this helps and I’ll see you in the classroom,