• How to Edit!
    *  Use this information to help you with homework and projects!                            

    • Capitalize the first word of a sentence, and the first word of a direct quote.
    • Capitalize proper nouns: (special person, places, or things)
      • names given to people or animals (Robert, Snoopy)
      • names of actual places (Delaware Bay)
      • names of days, months, and holidays (not the seasons)
      • names of particular buildings and structures (Wallingford Elementary, Washington Monument)
      • names of organizations (Boy Scouts)
      • names of particular airlines, trains, airplanes, ships, and railroads
      • names of languages and nationalities (Spanish, Irish)
      • names of historical events (Revolutionary War)
      • Although directions are not capitalized, when they help to name part of a country or the world, they are. (Middle East, South-East Asia)

    Use commas:

    • to separate the city from the street with commas when an address is part of a sentence. (... 123 Street, Media ...)
    • to separate the day of the month from the year when writing a date. (November 11, 2011)
    • to separate the year from the rest of a sentence when a complete date is being used. (... month day, year, ... )
    • to separate the things in a list. ( .... Bob, Ted, and Alice ...)
    • to separate the name of someone being addressed. (Hey, Bob, are you ready?)
    • to separate an appositive from the rest of the sentence. An appositive is a group of words that follow a noun and tell something about it. It acts like an adjective phrase. (Brent, the boy down the street, is a very nice guy.)
    • to separate a direct quote from the rest of the sentence. (“Please come over here,” said Martin.)
    • to separate interrupters from the rest of a sentence. Interrupters are a group of words that help to explain something in the sentence, but the sentence is fine even if they are removed. ( The weather may be rainy or, on the other hand, it may be dry.)

    Quotation Marks (One Complete Quote):

    Use quotes to show the exact words somebody used. (“I’m not ready to go to Philadelphia,” said Peter.) Quotes surround the exact words and they always come in pairs. Don’t forget to use the comma to separate the quote from the rest of the sentence. If the quote comes first, the comma is inside the quote. If the quote is last, the comma comes first. ( Peter said, “I’m not ready to go to Philadelphia.”) Notice where the period goes in this last example.

    Quotation Marks (Divided Quote):

    Sometimes one quote can be “broken” by putting who is saying it in the middle of the quote. This is sometimes done just to give a variety to the type of sentences used. (“I’m not ready,” said Peter, “to go to Philadelphia.”) Since this is really only one quote, the second part of the quote is not capitalized. Notice where the commas go.

    Quotation Marks with Questions and Exclamations:

    Sometimes a question mark or exclamation mark takes the place of a comma or period. Examine the following quotes carefully. (Mother asked, “Peter, aren’t you ready yet?”) (“Peter, aren’t you ready yet?” asked Mother.) Remember that both the question mark and exclamation mark end up inside the quotation marks.

    Quotation Marks and Titles:

    Quotation marks are used around the titles of things like books, stories, poems, and magazine articles. (I really liked reading “The Wish Giver”.) Notice that the end punctuation is outside the quote.

    When the title of a book, story, poem, or article is inside a direct quote, then the title is surrounded by single quotes, so it doesn’t get confused with the quotation marks.
    (“Do you like ‘The Wish Giver’?” asked Michael.) Notice the punctuation!

    Quotations with Words Used in Unusual Ways:

    Sometimes a word is used in a sentence in a very unusual way. In some of those instances, it may be surrounded in quotes to show it’s being used in an unusual way. (The great march of "progress" has left millions impoverished and hungry.)


    The apostrophe is used:

    • to take the place of a missing letter or letters. (It’s not raining now so I’m not going to wear a jacket.)
    • to show the possessive form of a word. (... Brent’s jacket ...)
      • Remember that whether the word is singular or plural, if it ends in “s”, the only thing you do is add an appostrophe. (... Lois’ sweater ...) (... teachers’ parking lot ...)
      • If the word is singular and does not end in an “s”, add an apostrophe and an “s”. (... Michael’s jacket ...)
      • If the plural form of the word does not end in “s”, add an apostrophe and an “s”. (... the mice’s nest ...)
      • If you are listing a number of people who possess something, only make the final noun possessive. (Stephen, Kristin, and Jamie’s books were handed in.)


    Editing Practice!

    This is a great website to practice editing! Good for integrated theme test practice too!