Is there a comma required after "In this paper" in the sentence: "In this paper I will review..."

See example:

In this paper I will review Watson's theory of caring, evaluate its strengths and weakness, and explain how I will incorporate this theory into practice.
asked Oct 24 '12 at 21:08 Jenise New member

1 answer


The various American style manuals in widespread use say that a comma should follow an introductory phrase except when the phrase is short and the meaning cannot be misconstrued.


Under these guidelines, a comma in your sentence would seem optional.


But many editors, teachers, and writers express concern -- what is a short introductory phrase? 5 words? 4 words? 3 words? 2 words?  And further, the writer is the last person who should decide whether a sentence can be misconstrued. After all, the intent was clear in the writer's mind. Now, whether or not it is on paper is another matter.


So many editors, teachers, and writers encourage the use of a comma with all introductory phrases -- just to be on the safe side.


I hope this helps.

link comment answered Oct 24 '12 at 21:18 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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