Use proper punctuation for clarity and reading ease.

  • Do not use a comma before a conjunction in a simple series: The flag was red, white and blue.
  • Use a comma before a conjunction in a complex sentence: Military OneSource provides information for military leaders, service and family members, and service providers.
  • Place a comma between two independent clauses that connect with a coordinating conjunction such as and, so, but, nor, yet and or: Department of Defense Education Activity schools within the United States may open enrollment to other children, but it will be on a space-available basis.
  • Use a comma to set off introductory elements: For more information on requirements for Department of Defense Education Activity schools, contact your local school.
  • Place periods and commas inside of closing quotation marks: Use the words “website,” “email” and “text.”
  • If a web address is at the end of a sentence, follow it with a period.
  • Do not use exclamation points when writing for Military Community and Family Policy, unless it’s part of an official name such as the Department of Defense-Morale, Welfare and Recreation Summer Reading Program, Reading Takes You Everywhere!

Punctuate dates and date ranges as follows:

  • Month, day, year: Sept. 7, 2018
  • Date range: Nov. 10-15 [hyphen]
  • Date range: I will be here from Oct. 14, 2020, to Oct. 18, 2020. [Use a comma after the year and before “to.”]
  • Date range: August – November [en dash (not em dash) with one space on either side of the dash]
  • To indicate someone’s lifetime: May 1, 1921, to Aug. 16, 1974 [no hyphen or dash, use “to”]