Analyze The Function Of Three Types Of Punctuation

Analyze The Function Of Three Types Of Punctuation

Running head: PUNCTATION 1






Here are examples and analysis of the em dash, colon, and semicolon punctuation types.

Em dash

Sample: ‘“And he said the new proposal would “help shift the nation’s electronic documentation away from overly long, form-driven, hard-to-read documents written primarily to satisfy billing requirements to what it was originally intended for – providing high- quality care to patients.”’

Source: This example of effective use of the em dash comes from a Healthcare IT News.comarticle about the U.S. federal government’s changes with interoperability.

Analysis: Using the em dash in this case, replaces the use of a colon to add attention to the end of the sentence.  In this case, the reason to use the em dash is to emphasize that the new proposal discussed in the quote provides a higher quality healthcare to patients.

Rule: “The em dash can be used in place of a colon when you want to emphasize the conclusion of your sentence.  The dash is less formal than the colon.”  (The Punctuation Guide)


Sample: “A new reality also came to light in May: EHR interoperability gets all the attention but lacking information exchange also makes rev cycle work more difficult.”

Source: This example of effective use of the colon comes from a Healthcare IT article about interoperability initiatives in the healthcare IT industry.

Analysis: The colon is used to emphasize what was realized in May regarding Electronic Health Record interoperability getting all of the attention, while the lack of information sharing in revenue cycle management adds to the difficulty of that area.

Rule: “The colon can be used to emphasize a phrase or single word at the end of a sentence. An em dash can be used for the same purpose. In the second example below, an em dash is more common than a colon, through the use of a colon is nevertheless correct.”  (The Punctuation Guide)


Sample: “For example, as of Jan. 31, 2018, for the diabetic A1c test, 5,120 external completions out of 42,619 total completions were pulled into UNC’s EHR; that’s 12 percent of completions due to external data.”

Source: This example of the effective use of a semicolon came from a Healthcare IT News.comarticle about a healthcare facility using data to create a better, more comprehensive view of the patient data.

Analysis: In this case, a semicolon combines what could have been two separate sentences into one single sentence. By using a semicolon, I feel that this improves the readability of the sentence by keeping the same topic within the same sentence, vs. separating similar thoughts into separate sentences.

Rule: “Most commonly, the semicolon is used between two independent clauses (i.e., clauses that could stand alone as separate sentences) when a coordinating conjunction (forandnorbutoryetso) is omitted.”  (The Punctuation Guide)

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