Using colons and semicolons — Lesson 1
Video (from Youtube): How to apply colons and semi-colons (Watching time: 3m:56secs) by VideoJugEducation (new tab). This video has information to help you with this lesson and the next lesson in this series (on semicolons).
Colons lesson - Part 1
Colons used to indicate the beginning of a simple list, or a direct quote.
Introducing a list or quote
Notice how the colons are working in these examples.
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).
Colons lesson - Part 2
When a colon signals extra evidence after a proposition or statement.
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 "&hllip;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..
Complete the quiz items below to see if you have understood this lesson. Then click the blue arrow at the bottom of the page to check your answers.
Instructions: Hover or tap the questions below to see the reason for the answers given in the quiz.
1.True or false: All quotes should be introduced with a colon.
Why: There are different ways to incorporate a quotation into your work and the colon is just one way.
2. Yes or no: Information on both sides of the colon should be independent stand-alone sentences.
Why: There needs to be a complete, stand-alone sentence only prior to the colon. Following the colon may be just one word, an incomplete sentence, or a complete sentence.
3. There is only one thing I can say in Jim's case_ he got what he deserved.
Insert the correct punctuation
Why: A colon is appropriate in places where you have the words "and that is [that] ..." . It can only correctly be a colon here because the clause following the colon represents an explanation of the initial statement.