Punctuation is a challenging aspect of English writing, and many writers encounter problems using colons and semi-colons. However, there are a number of definite rules that can be followed to help ensure their correct usage in academic and formal writing.
When engaged with your academic writing, your first objective is to get those ideas down on paper. This is the creative phase where your main focus is on producing content that satisfies the objectives of your assignment brief or research proposal. Whether the content needs to shine at this point depends on the author. Some believe that content should be polished as you go, but most authors prefer to get the ideas down on paper first, and then later focus on enhancing the content to make it more scholarly and engaging.