This unit contains exercises that ask you to use all the information you’ve learned and all the skills you’ve acquired in Chapter 3.

A few important words about the exercises

In these exercises, you will be using commas, colons, and semicolons. Commas, of course, will be used most frequently because the comma has so many different functions. But not every exercise will call for all three punctuation marks. And some sentences will call for no additional punctuation. Furthermore, some sentences will lend themselves to more than one interpretation or more than one method of punctuation.

If punctuation is needed to introduce a direct quote, it will be supplied for you. You’ll learn how to punctuate quotes in the next chapter.

Label the key parts of clauses if that practice is helpful to you.

Finally, mark up the book! Most often, if you take a look at the books of students who are really improving in their writing, you find that those books are completely marked up with notes, labels, underlinings, and symbols. The marks give testimony to a lot of hard work and show that those students are making the information their own. Develop a system—whether it’s circling conjunctions, drawing wavy lines under embedded clauses, or whatever—and use it. And when you’re stuck on a particular sentence, if you can’t figure it out, put a question mark in the margin and move on. You can come back to it later.

Exercise 3.13

Insert commas, semicolons, and colons where they are needed.

1. Sea of Slaughter which was published by Atlantic Monthly Press was written by Farley Mowat.

2. Mowat who is a Canadian is a naturalist and a writer.

3. Focusing on the northern part of the Atlantic seaboard Mowat examines the history of man’s relationship with wildlife since the first Europeans arrived on this continent.

4. Although Farley Mowat’s research is limited to one geographical area his conclusions can be said to hold true for the entire continent of North America.

5. According to the author human beings have meant almost nothing but death for the mammals birds and fish of North America in fact Mowat estimates that the entire “biomass” has been reduced by perhaps as much as 95 percent through human destruction.

6. Animals have been “overkilled” basically for three reasons economic recreational and scientific.

7. Economic reasons include the killing of animals for meat hides and fur.

8. Some species have survived but they have survived only with great difficulty for example the wolf the Plains buffalo and the grizzly bear were depleted by the millions because of wanton slaughter by human beings.

9. Other animals such as the passenger pigeon the sea mink and the Eastern buffalo are gone forever driven into extinction by the planet’s supposedly most intelligent creatures.

10. These are harsh tragic realities and they are not only a matter of history animals continue to die for sport for fashion for food and for experimentation.

Exercise 3.14

Insert commas, semicolons, and colons where they are needed.

1. Sea of Slaughter a substantial book of more than 400 pages points out that human beings destroy their own rich history when they destroy any part of the natural world.

2. Many people for example believe that the great auk was only a myth.

3. Farley Mowat assures us that this fascinating bird which could dive to a depth of 300 feet and stay underwater for a quarter of an hour did exist.

4. While the great auk once numbered 100 million its natural enemies numbered only one.

5. That enemy of course was deadly it was man.

6. Mowat also reminds us that the whale once one of the most stable of all life forms is now in danger of disappearing from the planet.

7. The author sees only one animal that has succeeded in thriving against all odds the coyote.

8. Mowat credits the coyote for being adaptable and just plain smart.

9. Lamenting man’s role as a predator Mowat concludes that there is some hope for the future but the best hope lies with aware and sensitive individuals not with massive organizations.

10. Although books like Sea of Slaughter are rare they can make important headway in forming sensitive aware human beings. As Robert W. Smith said in a review of Mowat’s publication it “deserves to stand with Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring as an outstanding indictment of man’s stupidity in alienating himself from nature.”