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Review: The Cozy Punctuation Course

“Remember the purpose of punctuation is clarity of meaning.” Marie Rackham

Quick, how many punctuation marks can you think of? Ten? Fifteen? We’re not talking hundreds here, so why is punctuation so hard to master? Retired English teacher Marie Rackham doesn’t think it’s difficult and she has the course to prove it!

The Basic Cozy Punctuation Course covers all aspects of punctuation from periods and commas to hyphens and interrobangs. Comparing punctuation marks to street signs, she reminds the student that the primary purpose of punctuation is to alert the reader to stops, pauses, and detours in the written work. In addition, she also covers parts of speech and types of sentences along with the appropriate punctuation.

Consisting of 170 minutes of streaming video this self-teaching course offers fifteen lessons taught on camera by Mrs. Rackham. These lessons are beautifully filmed at various scenic locales near the author’s home in Campbell River, British Columbia, and are accompanied by an assortment of classical music selections. Onscreen text provide examples to complement Mrs. Rackham’s delightful presentation.

Referring to hand copying as a lost art, Mrs. Rackham recommends that students copy the online exercises by hand as they complete the work. There is a full page of exercises for each of the fifteen lessons and the introductory lesson. The companion online workbook section is followed by an answer key, and appendices that cover capitalization, italics, and a glossary of terms.

Watching the video lesson, reviewing the lesson notes, and completing the online practice exercises will take the average student about an hour for each lesson.

This course is beautifully presented, designed for self-teaching, and quite thorough. I highly recommend it for junior high and high school students who haven’t yet mastered punctuation rules.

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