Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

Degree Discipline



Statement of the Problem

The problems of punctuation in the written form of language appear to have caused the teachers of Prairie View College much concern. There have been many criticisms of the college students who continually grow worse in punctuating essay-type examinations, compositions, periodical reports, letters, and investigative papers.

This study deals with the punctuation errors of students beginning college work in English, The problem that confronts this research is:

1, What are the punctuation needs of the average Prairie View Student?

2, What alterations in the English curriculum should be made to satisfy these needs?

The following questions should be pertinent in finding the answer to the above problems for freshmen students :

1, Are punctuation errors of the Prairie View students numerous enough to suggest special remedial attention?

2, Is there any relationship between the- student1 s background and his ability to punctuate?

3, Is the present program in English adequate to take care of the punctuation needs of the students?

Source of Data

The data for this study were obtained from the work in individual folders that are kept by the teachers of the English department for each student in their classes. At the beginning of the school term, the students give their folders to their teachers. As assignments are written up by the students, they are put in the folders and kept, after the student has seen his grade and checked his errors, Examinations are filed the same way.

The student's work as it appears in the folder has already been corrected by the English teachers. The writer studied the punctuation errors, including those marked by the teacher and others, appearing in three hundred folders, using 197 folders from the freshman class which entered college in September 1944, and 103 folders for the freshman class which entered college in February 1945, The folders contain letters, lists of sentences, compositions, tests, periodical reports, and Biblical stories, as prescribed by the English department. In the selection of this material only those punctuation marks receiving the most frequent usage were considered: namely, the period, the comma, the colon, the semicolon, the question mark, the quotation marks, and the hyphen.

Committee Chair/Advisor

E. D. Sheen

Committee Member

J. M. Drew

Committee Member

J. H. Windom

Committee Member

H. A. Bullock


Prairie View State University


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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