Book Recommendation: The Best Punctuation Book, Period. (2014) by June Casagrande

Most writers know how to use a comma, period, exclamation point, and quotation marks, but very few will know how to modify the use of the aforementioned punctuation marks for the multiple, different style formats without guidance. For example, is it correct to place a comma before or after and? The answer is: sometimes, sometimes not (it depends on the format one is writing within).

To mitigate confusion one could simply look up the rules online through a grammar website, but that would generally take far longer consulting a dogeared and highlighted copy of grammar book, since you would have to find a website with all the grammatical rules in question (often this would required hopping around from site to site) and then find a site (or sites) which contained the requisite style formats to be used.

To circumvent the aforementioned scenario and, at the same time, improve your grammar, one could do worse than to consult June Casagrande’s The Best Punctuation Book, Period. The book contains numerous examples of proper use (and abuse) of the comma, period, exclamation point, question mark, em dash, en dash and many more, and also features a lengthy, alphabetically-organized section, titled ‘Punctuation A To Z,’ which lists a word, phrase, or abbreviation, alongside its recommended variations across multiple, primary-style formats (such as: book style, news style, science style and academic style).

For general purposes, Casagrande’s punctuation compilation makes for excellent reference material. There is even utility in the book’s last-page synopsis-advert:

Great writing isn’t born, it’s built—sentence by sentence.