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Teacher Tips and Answers

Editing Historical Narratives

After revising your narrative, you need to edit it to correct any remaining errors. You'll look closely at sentences, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and spelling. The following activities will help you edit your historical narrative.

Editing Dialogue for Quotation Marks

Dialogue uses quotation marks. These special marks go before and after the exact words of the speaker.

Let’s keep looking, I said.

A crewmember said, We should stay clear of the rocks.

Periods and commas that follow the speaker’s words always go inside the quotation marks.

“You have navigated us this far,” I responded. “I trust the south branch will keep us on the Missouri River.

Question marks and exclamation marks go inside the quotation marks when they punctuate the dialogue.

“Captain Lewis, might that be the Great Falls?” asked Manny.

“At last—the Great Falls!” exclaimed Lieutenant Clark.

Watch the video "Punctuating Dialogue."

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Teaching Tip

In one special case, punctuation should go outside the quotation marks. This occurs when a question mark or an exclamation point is used to punctuate the sentence, rather than the quotation. Note the difference in these examples:

“Will we have turkey and apples?” asked Trev.

Did you hear Mom say, “We’re out of pickles”?

This lesson is a part of the Writing Historical Narratives unit.

Click the title to view more information about this unit and a full list of lessons that are included.

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