Editing Punctuation & Format

Punctuation is important for keeping the meaning of sentences clear, and errors in punctuation can increase a reader’s problems considerably. Inappropriate or inconsistent formatting can also distract your reader.

The following are some important points to consider:


Appropriate use of commas is particularly difficult to master. Review your essay carefully for correct comma usage. For a brief guide to the use of commas see the Using Commas resource.

Review each sentence in your essay for appropriate use of quotation marks and apostrophes.

Check to be sure that you have capitalized all proper nouns, titles, and headings.

Check that the format of your essay is consistent throughout and adheres to the assignment guidelines. Look at margins, font size, line spacing, title page, page numbers and word count.

For a convenient listing of the most important questions to ask yourself in the editing process, see the Editing Checklist in Resources.