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Teacher Tips and Answers

Editing Nonfiction Reviews

After revising your nonfiction review, 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 review.

Editing for Comma Splices

A comma splice is a sentence error that happens when you join (splice) two sentences using a comma. A comma alone is not strong enough to join two sentences. You can correct the error in one of three ways: (1) replacing the comma with end punctuation, (2) replacing the comma with a semicolon, or (3) adding a coordinating conjunction after the comma.

Comma Splice

People used to believe that there were people on Mars, they made up stories about Martians.

Corrected with End Punctuation

People used to believe that there were people on Mars. They made up stories about Martians.

Corrected with a Semicolon

People used to believe that there were people on Mars; they made up stories about Martians.

Corrected with a Coordinating Conjunction

People used to believe that there were people on Mars, so they made up stories about Martians.

Correct comma splices.

Fix the comma splices in the following sentences. Make a copy of this Google doc or download a Word template.

  1. Mars shines with red and orange light, it is often called the Red Planet.

    (Answers will vary.) Mars shines with red and orange light; it is often called the Red Planet.

  2. The Romans named Mars after their god of war, its red color reminded them of blood and war.

    (Answers will vary.) The Romans named Mars after their god of war. Its red color reminded them of blood and war.

  3. Mars is only one-half the size of Earth, the Red Planet actually has more moons than Earth.

    (Answers will vary.) Mars is only one-half the size of Earth, but the Red Planet actually has more moons than Earth.

  4. Someday, astronauts will go to Mars, they will live on the planet for a while and check for signs of life.

    (Answers will vary.) Someday, astronauts will go to Mars; they will live on the planet for a while and check for signs of life.

  5. Mars is much colder than Earth, the astronauts will need food and heated suits.

    (Answers will vary.) Mars is much colder than Earth, so the astronauts will need food and heated suits.

Editing the Punctuation of Titles

Different types of titles need different types of punctuation. Titles of shorter pieces of writing—such as short stories, articles, and poems—should be placed in quotation marks. Titles of longer pieces—such as books and magazines—should be italicized. Can you recognize the difference in these examples?

Nonfiction book

The Diary of Ann Frank

Nonfiction article

“How Anne Frank's Diary Survived”

This lesson is a part of the Writing Nonfiction Reviews unit.

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

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