1. To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier.



2. Use commas to bracket nonrestrictive phrases, which are not essential to the sentence's meaning.


3. Do not use commas to bracket phrases that are essential to a sentence's meaning.

4. When beginning a sentence with an introductory phrase, include a comma.

5. To indicate possession, end a singular noun with an apostrophe followed by an 's'. Otherwise, the noun's form seems plural.

6. Use proper punctuation to integrate a quotation into a sentence. If the introductory material is an independent clause, add the quotation after a colon. If the introductory material ends in "thinks," "saying," or some other verb indicating expression, use a comma.

7. Make the subject and verb agree with each other, not with a word that comes between them.


8. Be sure that a pronoun, a participial phrase, or an appositive refers clearly to the proper subject.


9. Use parallel construction to make a strong point and create a smooth flow.


10. Use the active voice unless you specifically need to use the passive.


11. Omit unnecessary words.