List or quotes

Notice how the colons are working when introducing a list or a quote:

The assessment is based on certain criteria: engagement with audience, technical ability, evidence of improvising, and creativity.

The introduction does several things: it sets the tone, provides background information, and explains why the topic is important.

Johnson (2004) offered this perspective: "The birth order of a child in the family is influential" (p. 6).

Signaling evidence

Colons offer an explanation or evidence of the sentence that precedes it. To check if you have used the colon correctly (for both this use and that of Part 1 previously) insert the phrase "namely" (or "...and that is…" or "…and those are…") where the colon is. It should still make sense.

Check to see if that strategy works for the following examples.

Bob had only one thing on his mind: getting out of there.

Severe measures are needed to save the Eurozone: reducing national debt, cutting public sector spending, and curtailing borrowing.

He has taken the first step to recovery: admitting he has a drinking problem.


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