Using punctuation correctly is important regardless of your occupation. If you are a blogger that is even more important; most readers consider the quality of writing determinant for the success of a blog.
The wikiHow website has an comprehensive article titled “How to Use English Punctuation Correctly” outlining the basics of punctuation usage. Below you will find a summary of the article.
1. The colon (:) is used to introduce lists and it appears after nouns.
Example: The Easter basket contained three things: an egg, a chocolate rabbit, and a candy.
Incorrect example: The Easter basket contained: an egg, a chocolate rabbit, and a candy.
2. The semicolon (;) is used to separate two related but independent clauses.
Example: People continue to worry about the future; our failure to conserve resources has put the world at risk.
3. The hyphen (-) is used when adding a prefix to words, when creating compound words or when writing numbers as words.
Example: Laura is his ex-girlfriend.
Example: There are fifty-two playing cards in a deck.
4. The dash (–) is used to make a brief interruption on a sentence, an additional statement or a dramatic qualification.
Example: An introductory clause is a brief phrase that comes–yes, you guessed it–at the beginning of a sentence.
5. The parentheses (()) is used to clarify or to add a personal statement. Its usage is similar to the dash, but it denotes a stronger “side notion”.
Example: Steve Case (AOL’s former CEO) resigned from the Time-Warner board of directors in 2005.
6. The double quotation mark (“) is used to enclose direct quotations from a person or from another text. Notice that commas or periods go inside the quotation marks.
Example: “I can’t wait to see him perform!” John exclaimed.
7. The single quotation mark (‘) is used to indicate possession, to contract verbs and to denote a quotation within a quotation.
Example: Ali said, “Anna told me, ‘I wasn’t sure if you wanted to come!'”
8. The comma (,) is used to indicate a break or pause within a sentence, to denote a series or to separate adjectives.
Example: The powerful, resonating sound caught our attention.