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Celebrate Punctuation! Period.

Get your keyboards and pens ready, Turnitin-ers. Yesterday, September 24th, marked National Punctuation Day - a day for throwing punctuation into the spotlight, and subsequently, hurling its misuse under the bus.

Our in-house writers spend many a moment scrutinizing their spelling, punctuation, and grammar to ensure that they all get along swimmingly. This all-important triad is the cornerstone of every great piece of writing, from an effective essay to the famous works of literature we read and reread time and time again.

Turnitin’s objective is centered around delivering an intuitive platform where students can receive quality instructor feedback and accurate similarity reporting. We’re dedicated to helping students learn from their Turnitin experience to become better, independent writers.

While the small addition of a punctuation mark in the right place may seem trivial, this can result in a swiftly improved grade and a far more reliable similarity score. By losing sight of the importance of punctuation, a paper can quickly lose meaning.

Ready to produce a well-penned paper with punctuation that you can be proud of? Let’s get to work...

Cite it right!

Without correct citation, Turnitin can’t exclude quotations in your report; it’s impossible to decipher your original writing from your quotations. This could result in a higher-than-expected score.

Wrapping quotation marks around your quotes provides you with a more reliable similarity score. This can be particularly helpful when submitting a qualitative study.

☑ Turnitin will exclude text between the following quotation marks: “this” «this» »this« and „this“

☒ Some quotation marks aren’t accepted, so avoid using the following: 'this' 『this』and「this」

The option to exclude quotes from a Similarity Report is set by your instructors. Why not inquire about this before submitting?

The run-on sentence

A paragraph without a period makes it quite difficult to decipher where one sentence ends and another begins. Being exhausted from chasing these stampedes of run-on sentences, we’re now politely requesting that all sentences contain periods to allow for a well-deserved breather.

The same is true of the comma splice - more of a never-ending walk than a run - occurring when commas are used instead of periods to separate independent sentences.

Out of place apostrophes

It's time to help your apostrophes feel more at home!

The apostrophe is the most commonly misunderstood - and therefore misused - punctuation mark. Allow us to briefly explain when and why they’re used.

Some apostrophes are used to show possession e.g. Arthur's seat, while others omit letters to produce a contraction e.g. you're.

As a general rule, apostrophes shouldn’t be used for pluralization, but you may use apostrophes to pluralize single letters and numbers e.g. The TA’s.

Ready to submit?

Phew. That's a lot to take in, right? Not to worry! You can find a whole host of online resources at your fingertips. Even Turnitin writers aren't afraid to admit they need to rely on these now and again.

Both instructors and the e-rater® engine are experts in identifying punctuation mistakes. So cut your writing a break; before hitting the Submit button, check and double check that...

  • your periods are in all the right places;

  • your commas and periods aren’t interchangeable;

  • those misplaced apostrophes are history; and

  • the quotation mark is used in earnest.