Tips from the Writing Center: Apostrophes

As the new academic year moves to full throttle, this month's writing tip is the apostrophe. In Academic English, the apostrophe has three usages: 1) to form possessive nouns; 2) to show the omission of letters; and 3) to indicate plurals of letters, numbers, and symbols. For instance, “My professor’s watch keeps beeping. It’s driving me crazy. He better give me four 10’s on the work for today.” Do not use apostrophes for possessive pronouns or for noun plurals. For instance, “The doctors called a meeting with their staff to talk about the hospital’s new process for submitting the budget requests. It was obvious that the administration made its decision without discussing it with the doctors.” 

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