Don’t be confused by the period that has door knob above it. The dot at mid-level indicates a need to stop before readers open a new area of related information.
- Think of the Closed Door.
Like the period, the colon requires a full stop, ending a complete sentence before proceeding to an explanatory sentence or a list of items. If the phrase is an incomplete sentence, think of an open door with no need for the doorknob. You need only a pause, so use a comma.
- The speaker offered an important insight: “When we’re in the valley,” he said, “we should look up, for all deep valleys are surrounded by mountain peaks.”
- Writing has three important elements: editing, revising, and rewriting.
The colon points to a book title’s subtitle1, introduces the verse number after the chapter number in Scripture2, announces a quotation3, and completes a formal salutation3.
1 Eyewitness: The Life of Christ Told in One Story
2 Matthew 5:13
3 To whom it may concern:
- Next to Quotation Marks.
Unlike periods and commas, which always go inside, the colon always goes outside the quotation marks.
Example: Here’s what I put at the top of my “to-do list”: wake up, brew a cup, and write.