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Teacher Tips and Answers

Editing Personal Narratives

After making big changes to improve your personal narrative, you need to make little changes (editing) to correct any remaining errors. You'll look for problems with sentences, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, usage, and spelling. The following activities will help you edit your narrative.

Editing to Punctuate Dialogue

Dialogue, or written conversation, works only when it is punctuated correctly. Use the examples that follow as a guide to punctuating dialogue.

Put quotation marks around spoken words.

Martha whispered, What page are we on?

Use a comma to separate the speaker from the spoken words.

Martha whispered, “What page are we on?”

If the comma comes after the quotation, put the comma inside the quotation marks.

“Pay attention,” Lupe said.

If a period comes after a quotation, put the period inside the quotation marks.

Martha insisted, “Just tell me.

If the speaker interrupts a spoken sentence, use two commas to show the interruption.

“Lupe,” Martha pressed, “I thought we were friends.”

If the speaker comes between two sentences, use a period to end one sentence before beginning another.

“We are friends,” said Lupe. “I just don't want to get in trouble for whispering.”

OR

“We are friends.” Lupe added, “I just don't want to get in trouble for whispering.”

This lesson is a part of the Writing Personal 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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