Should I use the Oxford comma?

by Jude
(USA)

For publication do you recommend the use of the Oxford comma or not? I tend not to use a comma before a conjunction unless a group dictates it for clarity. What do editors want? I'd like to get in the practice of using what will not create an editing issue at a later point.

ANSWER:

Because all the styles I use frequently--MLA, APA, and Chicago use the serial comma, I tend to use it for clarity, but I'm not always consistent, and consistency is likely more important than whether you generally use it or not.

That said, whatever you decide will make no difference when you are published, as your style will be adjusted by a copy editor to conform to the style used by the publisher.

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