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Master Your Writing Skills Using Comma Correctly In Your Academic Writing


Commas in dates may seem not so important. Nonetheless, it is necessary to use them, since punctuation is very important for the sense of sentence and the whole paragraph.

Basic Comma Rules

A comma is a punctuation sign that means a stoppage or separates the components of a sentence. A comma can be one of the most problematic punctuation marks due to its wide range of purposes. Mainly, a comma is vital for:

  • separation of the words and expressions, presented in a series of several times. 

My husband is handsome, affectionate, and smart.

  • splitting of two words that describe one noun

My wife is kind, considerate.

  • dividing two or more segments of the sentence 

All friends gathered together, but Alan still didn’t arrive.

  • pasting the additional or minor details:

Megan, a friend of my sister, works in a bank.

I will deliver the packages to his neighbor, Anastasia. (the name Anastasia is dispensable).

  • dividing the first character in a thousand (except for the years, page numeration, and address)

The book store sold 2,564 examples last week.

The income was $5,651.

On page 1652 of the book;

5648 Old Dallas Road.

  • scientific degree and accreditation mentioned after a name of the professional

Dylan Swift, Ph.D., is the author of the dissertation.

  • vocative case

Myranda, close the door.

His coming, Judi, was a disaster.

Welcome back, Johann.

  • separation of the detailed location

The citizen of New Orleans, Louisiana, was imprisoned.

They relocated from Southampton, United Kingdom, to Melbourne, Australia, when his father died. 

The residence is in Tukums, Zemgale, Latvia.

  • introductory element to divide it from the primary sentence

For this reason, the countries developing is a challenge.

Telling the truth, the meeting was dull.

Yes, that is a brilliant idea.

  • afterthoughts except for the meaningful adverbs

We have not missed the train, luckily.

You are kind of creepy, aren’t you?

Bring the things to my house tomorrow, please.

We hate Chinese food, to be honest.

The cases when a comma is not required:

We go to Russia too.

We used self-service instead.

  • joining the independent clauses in a compound sentence except for the cases when the meanings are very close

She agreed to participate, but something disturbed her.

That territory has won the right to existence, but none state has recognized it legally.

Do you prefer a hectic life, or does your office work prevent you from living so?

They canceled my application in March, so I will not apply for that vacancy again.

The exception: he ran the marathon while they watched.

  • to divide the dependent close from the independent one in complex sentences

Due to weak eyesight, I have to wear glasses.

Because of the accident, the policemen blocked the traffic.

Although I doubt his honesty, I can not reject him.

If you read many books and do all your homework, you will be smarter.

A comma is not required when the dependent clause comes after independence.

Postpone your car journey if there is fog outside.

We rejected the vacation because of the quarantine restrictions.

Comma in Dates

Most students use comma inappropriate, especially for the most frequently used comma formatting: separation of a weekday from a month and a year. For instance, Tuesday, September 19, 2000. For the time frame that includes several compounds or more, pause during the reading.

If a day includes only a month and a year, a comma is inappropriate. 

We have been dating since October 2019.

If a date consists of the day, month, and year, a day requires separation, but not a month.

The date of their arrival is November 15, 2020.

When a date includes a weekday, month, and year, put a comma to separate these parts.

We come on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

When a date is at the beginning o the sentence, separate the date with a comma too.

February 18, 2019, is the assembly meeting. 

If you mention a date in the middle of a sentence, put a comma after a year for month/date/year dimensions. For month/year or month/day formatting, put commas from both sides of the date.

His departure on Monday, October 15, 2001, was the start point of independent life.

The weather in January 2018 was cold.

The weather on January 16, 2018, was snowy.

When the studying course finished on June 1, we went to celebrate it.

However, a comma is not required when the date is at the end of the sentence.

My nephew was born in November 2001.

While the month/date/year format is ordinary for the United States, the rest of the world uses inverted formatting (date/month/year). Hence, 5/1/1995 means May 1, 1995, in America, but January 5, 1995, in European countries.

The inverted data formatting does not require a comma.

We met on 3 October 1995.

However, when a date includes a day, a comma is vital to separate it from the entire date.

We married on Monday, 3 February 2020.

Formatting a Year

Years usually have a numeric format except for the cases when a year starts the sentence. It is generally considered inappropriate for academic writing. Therefore, if you need to begin a sentence with a year, write it in words. A few examples:

The year 1826 was the beginning of the war between Russia and Persia initiated by Persians.

Eighteen twenty-six was the beginning of the war between Russia and Persia initiated by Persians.

The terrific events in the international scene started in 1914.

Nineteen and fourteen was the start of the terrific events in the international scene.

Nineteen fourteen was the start of the terrific events in the international scene.

A year formatting does not require a comma.

Formatting a Decennary

To write a decenary correctly, write a two-digit number adding an apostrophe before it and using «s» after. (for instance, ’80s). Writing a complete decenary is appropriate too (the 1980s). Also, you can use a word expression for ten years (the eighteen).

Learning this rule is easy when you understand the role of an apostrophe. It aims to shorten the entire date to two digits. Meanwhile, there is no sense to put it between a numeral and zero. Placing it is an error.

Wrong: In the 70’s

Right: in the ’70s

A sentence can start with a decenary. Then a comma is required to separate the time frame for the entire phrase. For instance,

In the ’70s, fashion was different.

In the seventies, fashion was different.

When mentioning a decenary centrally in the sentence, a comma is not required. 

He remembers the ’80s with a warm feeling.

Learning these rules once and forever will make your assignments shine with pure correctness. Transmitting the information right is essential for academic writing. Punctuation errors can distort the meaning significantly. Write your text using the punctuation signs correctly, fulfilling your paperwork with the right sense.

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