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The Punctuation Pause

Bill Allen
Bill Allen
Apr 20, 2022
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Punctuation gives meaning to the text

Instructions for Using Punctuation Marks:

Punctuation marks are used to represent the author’s meaning while having a one-way conversation with the reader. These punctuation marks indicate pause points of different lengths -- hesitate, half stop and full stop – so that the reader can understand the thought process.

If the reader misses his pause points/punctuation marks, they will have a reading wreck.  A reading wreck leads to inaccurate or no comprehension.

Learn to use the Rhythm of Punctuation Marks to Understand the Author’s Meaning

#1: HESITATE Punctuation Marks – Stop for Count of 1

Imagine your eyes are on your first two fingertips.  Move your fingertips together along the line of text as you read or see each word, until your fingertips hit the first hesitate punctuation sign (comma, quotation marks, ellipses, parenthesis) … stop for the indicated count of 1… proceed along the line to the next hesitate punctuation sign… hesitate for a count of 1… continue to the last hesitate sign… hesitate for a count of 1. Be sure to continue to read to the end of the line of text, which will have a full stop punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation mark).

#2: HALF STOP Punctuation Marks – Stop for Count of 2

Imagine your eyes are on your first two fingertips.  Move your fingertips together along the line of text as you read, until it hits the first half stop punctuation sign (semi-colon, dash) … stop for the indicated count of 2… proceed along the line to the next half stop punctuation sign… stop for a count of 2… continue to the last half stop sign… hesitate for a count of 2. Be sure to continue to the end of the current line of text, which will have a full stop punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation mark).

#3: FULL STOP Punctuation Marks – Stop for Count of 3

Imagine your eyes are on your first two fingertips.  Move your fingertips together along a line of text as you read, until it hits the first full stop punctuation sign (colon, period, question mark, exclamation mark) … stop for the indicated count of 3… then proceed along the next line of text to the next full stop punctuation sign… stop for a count of 3.  Be sure to finish by continuing to the end of the current line of text and its full stop punctuation mark (period, question mark, exclamation mark).

#4 NO STOP – 0 count

For underline and hyphen marks there is no stop when the reader sees them.  The reader reads right through these marks noting the change the marks indicate (e.g., important words are underlined; hyphen connects words that go together; apostrophe shows possession; and slash separates words and ideas).

Now Test Your Reader with Reading New Text Material

  1. Ask your child to read a new paragraph of text and stop their fingertips at all kinds of punctuation marks/stops they encounter. Review #1-4 pause point information if the reader regularly misses stopping for the correct count at one kind of punctuation mark.

  2. Finish with your child successfully reading and stopping at all the punctuation marks with the correct counts – for the time of the pause.

Learn the rest of Reading and Comprehension Step 3 in the video: Punctuation Mastery 1,2,3 - where the use of rhythmical punctuation stops is used to build comprehension of what is read.

Learn to Read, so you can Read to Learn. ™

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