Purdue Writing Lab College of Liberal Arts
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"When I'm having trouble getting started, I free-write in a notebook with my favorite pen. Something about that pen moving across the paper sparks all my ideas."
-Rachel A., Tutor
The Writing Lab will be closed during Fall Break.  Don't procrastinate!  If you need an appointment make sure you get in before it's too late.
Tailoring Your Resume for a Job Application - Oct 2
Is there a specific job that you’ve been wanting to / or are in the process of applying for? This workshop will help you tailor your résumé to meet that goal. Audience members are encouraged to bring computers/tablets and material(s) in progress to use during the workshop.

Registration is required for all workshops, so visit our online schedule and choose the "Group Programs" schedule from the menu.  All workshops are held in HEAV 220, 1:30-2:30 PM.

See all our workshops.
Our next Writers' Room will be on Oct 2.

This fall the Writers' Room will be available the first and third Wednesday of every month from now until Dec 4.  All Writers' Rooms will be held in WALC 2124, 4 pm - 6 pm. The seatsare powered, so feel free to bring laptops.

Registration is required, so visit our online schedule and choose the "Group Programs" schedule from the menu.

Visit our daily conversation groups to enhance your English language skills. Held in HEAV 220 Sep 2 - Dec 11.  Registration is required, so visit our online schedule and choose the "Group Programs" schedule from the menu.
  • Mon –  10:30 am-11:30 am
  • Tues (TV Snack Chat) – 1:30 pm-2:30 pm 
  • Wed – 3:30 pm-4:30 pm 
  • Thurs – 11:30 am-12:3A0 pm 
  • Fri – 10:30 am-11:30 am
By Ara A., Tutor

In a recent tutorial, I worked with a writer who used semicolons to punctuate pauses in his writing. That tutorial served as an inspiration for this article.

A semicolon is used to indicate a pause in a sentence. In appearance, it looks like a combination of a comma and a period. You can think of the semicolon's pause as longer than a comma's pause but shorter than a period's pause.

Semicolons can be used as commas in situations where you want to break up a list that contains phrases instead of single words. In this situation, using too many commas in the sentence will distort the meaning and make the writing appear clumsy. For instance, with commas only:

The famer's basket had red, juicy tomatoes, sweet honey, large, red strawberries and delicious sandwiches.

Now, with semicolons:

The famer's basket had red, juicy tomatoes; sweet honey; large, red strawberries and delicious sandwiches.

You can also use semicolons to link up two related, independent clauses (sentences that could stand alone):

Dana is a great writer; she studied creative writing for 5 years at Purdue.

A a comma cannot be used in the same way. While two independent clauses can be connected using a semicolon and no conjunction, replacing the semicolon with a comma will also mean that a conjunction should be introduced into the sentence:

Dana is a great writer, and she studied creative writing for 5 years at Purdue.

Semicolons are one of many punctuation tools we can discuss at the Writing Lab. A tutor may bring up your punctuation with you in any session as a part of the overall conversation, and you can always let us know if it's something you want to specifically focus on.
The Weekly Writer is published each week by the Writing Lab while classes are in session.  Please check our website owl.purdue.edu for more information on our services and hours.

Contact Us: writing.lab@purdue.edu

Tutoring Schedule & Locations

Schedule a tutoring appointment at any location with our online scheduler.

Please note: If you have issues logging in, please call the Writing Center for assistance scheduling your appointment

Phone: 765-494-3723

Virtual Hours (Summer 2020)

Only virtual appointments are available at this time.

Monday - Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM