RECORDED: April-June 2019: Punctuation Precision

Everything You Need to Know About Punctuation

This course is for REPLAYS of the live sessions after they are posted.

There are no CEUs offered for this course.

Course Description

This course is the alternative to the “hit and miss” hour or two that we tend to get during conventions. Though there is value in any class that deals with the rules of punctuation, rather than a comma rule or two here and a little instruction on whether to put the dash inside or outside the quotes, the goal of this class is to offer a more comprehensive look at the rules we use to punctuate.

In this 20-hour class, we will begin with a look at clauses -- how they work and how to punctuate them. We will move to the period, the question mark, and the quotation mark and then on to the colon, the dash, and the semicolon. We will wind up with the plethora of comma rules that haunt our days and nights. As we go, we will mix in a look at number form, the hyphen, the apostrophe, and even a little capitalization.

This is a rare chance to look at the overall picture of the rules that govern how we punctuate the spoken word and see how these rules work together and interrelate -- a crucial class for every reporter, scopist, proofreader, teacher, and student . As a matter of fact, every person who deals with the language would benefit from this class.


The two-hour sessions will be conducted via PowerPoint with handouts of the slides for each session available for purposes of note-taking and study. There will also be some resource handouts offered for download.

The recommended texts for the class are Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation and the accompanying Workbook, available at margieholdscourt.com. Assignments will be made from these books for those who want to reinforce what we are covering; however, purchasing the books is optional.

Class Meetings

Once a session is completed, a recording of that session will be posted, which can be listened to any number of times and which will be available for one month after the class concludes


Saturday times

8:30 to 10:30 Pacific
9:30 to 11:30 Mountain
10:30 to 12:30 Central
11:30 to 1:30 Eastern

Sunday times

2:30 to 4:30 Pacific
3:30 to 5:30 Mountain
4:30 to 6:30 Central
5:30 to 7:30 Eastern


Punctuation Precision LIVE, April to June The course will remain open for access to recordings and materials through July 31.

April to June

Sunday, April 28
Saturday, May 4
Sunday, May 5
Sunday, May 19
Saturday, May 25
Saturday, June 1
Sunday, June 2
Sunday, June 9
Saturday, June 22
Sunday, June 23


There are no CEUs offered for this course.


We are using a platform called eLecta for the live lectures. You will need to download eLecta. (Instructions are below.) There will be a link right here on this site for you to follow each week to get into the live class. eLecta will be open a half hour before each class begins.

There will be a chance for you to ask questions in the live class.

I will use PowerPoint slides as the vehicle for teaching the class. They will be loaded into the session in eLecta before we begin the class. Before each class session, you will have access to handouts of the slides for the session.

The slides are offered with three slides to a page, which come with lines next to each slide for purposes of note-taking. The handouts are also offered printed six to a page, which saves paper but does not offer much space to take notes.

You will obviously save paper by printing them back to back. There are many, many pages of these handouts. Whether or not you choose to print the handouts is entirely up to you.

Materials for the first session of the class will be available a few days before the class begins. You can log in at that time to access the handouts of the PowerPoint slides and the other materials for the first week of class.

If you have any questions prior to the start of the class, please email me at mww@margieholdscourt.com.

Please send any technical or web-related issues to our support team via the green "Support" button at the bottom right of your screen.

Your Instructor

Margie Wakeman Wells
Margie Wakeman Wells

Margie Wakeman Wells is a lifetime credentialed teacher in the state of California and is certified as a CRI. She is in her sixth decade of teaching -- with 40 of those years in the field of court reporting. As a reporting instructor, she has taught from the theory level through the exit speeds as well as all manner of English courses – both on campus in a bricks and mortar school and online.

She has presented, under the auspices of NCRA and state court reporting organizations, over 300 seminars for reporters on English-related topics as well as seminars for teachers and students.

Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation, her best-selling reference text, and the workbook that accompanies it are available at margieholdscourt.com. In addition, she has published Word Pares, Pears, Pairs, a reference work of 2,000 word pairs with definitions, examples, and idioms for the words, and is currently writing a grammar text. She has also written a drill book series for improving accuracy: Practice Really DOES Make Perfect.

Margie operates “Margie Holds Class,” her online school, for both live and recorded classes and writes her blog, “All Things English,” at margieholdscourt.com. Margie currently serves as the Education Liaison for the California Court Reporters Association.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.

Class Curriculum

  Module 1_General Terminology
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  Module 2_Parts of Speech
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  Module 3_Sentence_Run-On_Fragment
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  Module 5_Comma Basics_Separating_Setting Off
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  Module 6_Commas Basics_Parentheticals
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  Module 7_Comma Basics_You Had to Be There_Things Change
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  Module 8_Essential_Nonessential_Where It Applies
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  Module 9_Essential_Nonessential_How to Apply It
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  Module 10_Fragments
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  Module 12_Elements of the Language_Overview
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  Module 13_Elements of the Language_Verb Phrase
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  Module 14_Elements of the Language_Verbal Phrase
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  Module 15_Elements of the Language_Prepositional Phrase
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  Module 17_The Noun Clause_How It Can Function
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  Module 18_The Noun Clause_How It Is Punctuated
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  Module 19_The Adjective Clause_How It Is Punctuated
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  Module 20_The Adverb Clause_How It Is Punctuated
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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a preferred browser for the class?
We use two different platforms for our school - Teachable and eLecta Live. They are both web based and work with both PC and Mac. Most web browsers work just fine, but you may need to be prepared to try what works for you. We have reportedly had good luck with Chrome and Firefox.
Will I be able to log in on my iPad or smartphone?
Yes. The Teachable platform is a fully responsive web interface and works well with desktops and all mobile devices. For eLecta Live sessions, there are mobile apps available for iOS and Android devices.
Do I need a microphone?
No. As a matter of fact, you will not be using a microphone at all. Because of problems with the audio when several microphones are on, we will disable all microphones (except mine) during the sessions.
Are there books I need for this class?
It is strongly recommended, though not required, that you purchase "Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation" and the accompanying workbook. Assignments will be made from both the text and workbook throughout the course. They are available at margieholdscourt.com.
What if I have technical issues/questions?
Justin is my media manager and will respond to these inquiries. You can email tech questions, including forgotten user ID and/or password, to Justin at support@margieholdscourt.com. Please understand that Justin has many other clients besides Margie Holds Court; so contact him only at the support email, not at his personal email or by phone. Although he will try to answer your questions in a timely fashion, please allow up to 48 hours for him to respond.
What if I have connection issues during a session?
It is sometimes the case that a person will be thrown out of the course while it is in progress. Usually you can log back in and be okay. It is often helpful to log completely out or even reboot your computer before attempting to reenter the class. If all else fails, the class will be recorded so that you do not completely miss the material.
Is it mandatory that I print the handouts of the slides?
It is absolutely not mandatory. It is entirely up to you. The handouts of the slides are provided in three forms for your convenience: printed one to a page, three to a page, and printed six to a page. The three-to-a-page formats provides lines on the right for you to take notes; the six-to-a-page format does not allow space for much note taking but does give you a way to follow along. The one-to-a-page format is suitable for a tablet.
What if I cannot make it to a session and am absent?
If you cannot attend a class, there will be a recording of the class that will be posted no more than 48 hours after the class ends. If you want CEUs for that class session, you must write a detailed summary of the content and submit it within two weeks of the date of the missed class.
What if I have a question while I am studying/reviewing the material?
You can always email a content question to me at mww@margieholdscourt.com or send a question through Margie Holds Court on Facebook Messenger.. Although I will try to answer your questions in a timely fashion, please allow up to 48 hours for me to respond.
What if something happens and I cannot complete the course?
We do not issue refunds but will offer you a spot in the next class that is offered. Emergency issues will be handled on an individual basis.

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