Punctuation is very important for several reasons. Using correct and appropriate punctuation all the time will make it easier for your reader to understand exactly what you want communicate. This is the main function of punctuation, and the main reason we should all learn to do it right.
Moreover, breaking the rules or using inappropriate punctuation will affect our texts in much the same way as bad spelling or the use of inappropriate vocabulary (e.g. slang words in academic writing) would, that is, readers will get a bad impression of your text, and they will not give the text's actual content the attention it may deserve.
In this section we discuss the use commas, semicolons, colons, apostrophes, hyphens, dashes, and various brackets. We have not found it necessary to include explicit information about full stops (periods), question marks, and exclamation marks. Quotation marks are discussed in the AWELU section on references:
This section on punctuation coontains the following subsections: