Can you use dashes in academic writing?

Can you use dashes in academic writing?

In prose or academic writing, an em dash is commonly used to separate an idea, an author's comments, or an aside from the main clause of the phrase. It is used to show an abrupt change in thought and may also be used to emphasize a statement. An em dash can express the author's point of view or a change in tone. These uses are similar to those of a parenthetical remark.

An en dash is used within a word or words at the end of a sentence as part of some languages' typographic conventions for showing separation between sentences, sections, or parts of a single article or book. Because it is not found in English dictionaries, it cannot be incorporated into ordinary writing by editors or publishers. However, because it is included in many typefaces, users may include en dashes in their own texts by typing four hyphens (--) instead. En dashes are also called soft hyphens.

A hard hyphen is used within a word at the beginning of a sentence to indicate that what follows is to be interpreted as a new word or phrase rather than a continuation of the previous one. For example, this website uses hard hyphens to indicate page breaks in manuscripts and other documents created before the adoption of electronic publishing tools. A hard hyphen can also be used in text files to insert line breaks.

To produce a hard hyphen in Microsoft Word, go to Tools -> Options -> Advanced. Then click on the Hard Hyphen button.

What is an em dash used for in writing?

Em-dashes can be used to indicate an afterthought, to separate supplementary information inside a sentence, to indicate a sudden change, or to highlight a notion or statement. To paraphrase or exemplify a notion. Em-dashes can be used to summarize or explain a notion, as shown in the example below. They can also be used to connect ideas within a single sentence.

The use of the em-dash indicates that what follows is additional information that does not necessarily follow from what came before. For example, a writer may include this kind of material when trying to explain something away or reduce its importance. An editor might use this technique when putting together a biography or history book to bring attention to important facts or details that would otherwise be overlooked.

Writers often use em dashes to separate items in a list. For example, a writer could list three reasons why someone might want to move out of their home state by using em dashes to separate each reason: relocation, employment, and education are reasons that people move for. This example uses punctuation to create a list because there are no spaces between the words "reasons" and "that" to make them look like items on a grocery list.

Another example would be if a writer wanted to mention several things that cannot be inferred from the context of the sentence alone. In this case, em dashes would be used to separate each item in the list.

Is the em dash informal?

In professional writing, use an em dash sparingly. Em dashes can be used in place of commas, semicolons, colons, and parentheses in informal writing to signify increased emphasis, an interruption, or a sudden shift of thinking. In formal writing, a semicolon would be used here. An en dash (--) can be used in place of an em dash when the omission of the hyphen does not cause confusion.

What dash do you use for quotes?

To attribute a quote, use an em dash. When a quote's author is listed, an em dash is occasionally used before the author's name, as in: Live long and prosper. —Abraham Lincoln

An en dash should be used when introducing a term or concept which may not be familiar to the reader. For example, if you were writing about someone who had never heard of Facebook but wanted to include a brief description of what it is, you could say: Facebook is a website where people can connect with others nearby and around the world. This would use an en dash because many readers might not know what it is yet.

A single quotation mark is used for quotations within quotations. For example, "I like green eggs and ham," said Alice. Using the quotation marks correctly ensures that your text does not become run-on speech; instead, sentences are completed properly with punctuation.

A double quotation mark is used for direct quotations. These occur when you are quoting words directly from another source. For example, if I told you that Abraham Lincoln said "Lincoln freed the slaves," this would be a direct quotation. It would be written as two sentences for clarity: Abraham Lincoln said "Lincoln freed the slaves" and this is how he did it.

Why do authors use dashes in their writing?

A dash, in effect, permits you to reframe what you just wrote, making it more explicit. You may also use a dash, as seen in the opening phrase of this paragraph, to frame an interruptive or parenthetical statement that you don't want to downplay. Dashes are used to indicate omission, separation, or contrast.

An author might use dashes to create emphasis, to connect words together as a glossary, to signal shifts in point of view, or to describe various events in time. They're often used in dialogue when you want to show the speaker stopping for a moment before continuing.

In fiction, a dash can be used instead of a period to signal the end of a sentence or thought. This allows the writer to provide a brief pause before starting the next sentence or section of text. For example, if I were writing about a character who was thinking about going to the gym but didn't know how he felt about working out, I could write: "He shrugged off his jacket and turned toward the door- no, wait! He first needed to go to the bathroom. So he dashed into the bedroom, grabbed some sweatpants and a T-shirt from his closet, then returned to the living room to tell us he would go to the gym later."

In non-fiction, a dash is used to separate major points in a story or argument.

About Article Author

Mary Small

Mary Small is an educator and writer. She has been passionate about learning and teaching for as long as she can remember. Her favorite thing to do is find ways to help others succeed by using the skills she's learned herself.

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