Punctuation need not be mysterious or problematic. The number of punctuation marks is small, and once mastered, they become tools that help shape your meaning and vary the rhythms and patterns of your sentences.

Commas, periods, and apostrophes are three basic marks you can't get along without. Quotation marks, also, are often necessary. First master those four, then move on to the others.

Although you're probably familiar with these marks, take time to read the brief discussions in this section. Each discussion begins with an explanation of how the mark is used, including examples of correct and incorrect use, and ends with some activities for application and practice.

But don't stop with the activities; carry your new punctuation expertise over into your writing. That's the real point of it all.