Intern’s Corner: Grammar Refresher and Essentials Tutorial: Semicolons and Colons

I am taking an ethics in communication class this term, and one of the suggestions our instructor has given us is to brush-up on our grammar by using the Excelsior Online Writing Lab’s (OWL) Grammar Refresher. Therefore, I thought it would be fitting to end my last few weeks of this internship working on those refresher courses as well as the Grammar Essentials tutorials the OWL offers. This blog post will focus on the Grammar Refresher: Semicolons and Colons and the Grammar Essentials’: Semicolons and Colons.


Image of semicolon and colon.



Grammar Refresher: Semicolons & Colons

Despite popular belief, semicolons are not strong commas; they are used to separate two independent clauses and are closer to a period than a comma. Check out the tutorial the OWL offers regarding Semicolons & Colons. This tutorial shows you how to use semicolons and colons, while also providing practice questions throughout the tutorial and a quiz to test your knowledge at the end.


Screenshot of tutorial for semicolons.

Grammar Essentials: Punctuation: Colons

There is another tutorial the OWL offers regarding colons called Colons and Try It Out: Colons. This tutorial is interactive in that is asks you to place the colon in the appropriate area with several entertaining texts the OWL has put together.

Screenshot of practice using colons.

Grammar Essentials: Punctuation: Semicolons

Grammar Essentials: Punctuation: Semicolons has a little bit more offered in the way of examples and tutorials. This thread of grammar help provides an introduction to Semicolons but also Joining Clauses, In Lists, Tips from the Professor, and Try It Out.


Tips from the Professor

Tips from the Professor is a quick video explaining how semicolons are used as well as frequently asked questions by students.

Screenshot of video from Tips from the Professor where a student is asking a quetions.

Try It Out: Semicolons

Try it Out: Semicolons is another fun, interactive tutorial the OWL has put together for students regarding how to use colons in real time and provide interesting scenarios, yet again.

Screenshot of Try it Out: Semicolon.

Final Thoughts

Brushing up on grammar is helpful no matter where you are in your academic career. The OWL addresses misconceptions about punctuation and makes grammar fun and less intimidating. The OWL is here to help, and if you have any added suggestions they would love to hear from you. So provide some feedback when you see the pop-up survey! Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. Next blog post I will look at apostrophes.


Ginger Hamblin is an intern for the Excelsior University Online Writing Lab. She has been a student of Excelsior University for almost two years and is pursuing her Bachelor of Science – Liberal Arts in Professional and Technical Writing. She is a writing enthusiast, painter, wife, and mother of three boys.