The simple period is one of the most powerful weapons in a writer’s arsenal. Too often, we see run-on sentences that never end. Writers tend to just keep adding commas and dashes and semi-colons, almost anything to keep the sentence going. Stop it. Use the period. It will disentangle your sentences and, often, force you to use active verbs rather than gerunds.
Don’t take our word for it, though. The legendary New York columnist, Jimmy Breslin, delivered a mini-sermon on writing as he extolled the craft of tabloid journalist Steve Dunleavy in a Monday profile in the New York Times: “In a time of listless reporting, he climbed stairs. And he wrote simple declarative sentences that people could read, as opposed to these 52-word gems that moan, ‘I went to college! I went to graduate school college! Where do I put the period?”
At CUNY, let’s show Breslin and the world that we understand the power of the period.