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Editing Exercise - Semicolons
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The following editing exercise combines the use of the following punctuation marks: apostrophes, semicolons, colons, quotation marks, dashes, and parentheses. Please review topic as necessary before attempting this exercise. Note: You will find this same exercise also available under each of these punctuation topics.

Rewrite the following paragraphs to correct punctuation problems. Insert or delete semicolons, colons, quotation marks, dashes, parentheses, and apostrophes as needed.


1) One of the greatest Roman emperor's, Justinian was not born of the ruling class in fact, he was the only son of a poor farmer: from what is present-day Croatia. 2) Justinian rose through the ranks of the military to assume the leadership of a Roman Empire in decline, and he immediately began to restore it to its former glory. 3) His army reconquered lost territories' in Persia, North Africa, and Italy, including Rome itself, which had been lost to Germanic tribes in about 450 AD. 4) Famous for orchestrating the construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople it was one of the largest and perhaps most beautiful Christian churches ever built Justinian is also remembered for producing a comprehensive codification of Roman laws the Corpus Juris Civilis. 5) This important work has proven to be influential even to this day.


1) Why is the early 19th century in the United States called the Age of Reform? 2) This was a time when many leading American thinkers, politicians, and religious leaders envisioned an almost ideal society a society in which morals would be improved, human misery would be alleviated, and social inequality would be eliminated. 3) Actually, there were several reform movement's during this period however, they all shared the belief in the perfectibility of society. 4) Spurred by the need to maintain stability and moral order in a free society, the reformers sought to prohibit alcohol and gambling these were the two vices they believed caused great suffering and threatened the stability of the American family. 5) They also sought to provide for public education the source, they believed, of a truly enlightened nation and to rehabilitate criminals through prison reform. 6) Some reformers organized to address problems of people suffering from disease, disability, or poverty through the establishment of better facilities and procedures to handle the sick or mentally ill. 7) Radical reformers argued for two of the most important changes in American society the abolishment of slavery and womens suffrage. 8) The reform movement failed to achieve a perfect human society nonetheless, it did leave a lasting impact on the nation.


1) Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer and mathematician who studied and lectured at the Jagellonian University in Krakow, Poland, is famous for a major change in the way we think about the universe he developed the heliocentric theory, which places the sun at the centre of the universe. 2) In opposition to the theory promulgated by the Greek Ptolemy and his followers, Copernicus taught that all the planets including Earth itself revolve around the sun. 3) However, the real theme of the life of Copernicus is the struggle against prevailing wisdom and against that which seemed to be perfectly obvious that the sun, the planets, and all the other heavenly bodies revolved around Earth. 4) In fact, the heliocentric theory was first proposed in the third century BC by the Greek astronomer Aristarchus of Samos. 5) Nicolaus Kopernik, who was born in 1473 and who Latinized his name to Copernicus, revived Aristarchus theory in a book that was quickly suppressed by the Church as 'false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture.' 6) Despite the resistance to Copernicus work, the heliocentric theory did prevail.


1) By the time Mary Pickford signed her first motion picture contract she had begun her stage career at age six! she already had 10 years of acting experience. 2) Her new boss, D. W. Griffith, agreed to pay her an unheard of salary of 10 dollars a day. 3) Several years later, at the height of her career, she commanded million-dollar contracts. 4) Pickfords husband, Douglas Fairbanks, her good friend Charlie Chaplin, and her old boss, Griffith, eventually teamed up to start their own studio they gave it the very apt name United Artists. 5) In a 23-year career, Pickford made close to 200 films and, in 1929, won the first Oscar ever presented to an actress. 6) It is ironic that the public came to call her Americas Sweetheart, says one critic, for she was born in Canada. 7) Nonetheless, she is still known by that nickname, and she remains one of Americas most famous film stars.


1) One of the most celebrated writers in the English language, Joseph Conrad was born in Poland in 1857. 2) At age 16, he began his career as a merchant seaman the sea plays an important role in many of his novels apprenticing in the French merchant marine in Marseilles. 3) Eventually, he moved to England, where after more than two decades at sea he rose to the rank of ships master in the British merchant service. 4) In 1886, he became a British subject, changing his name from Jozef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski to Joseph Conrad. 5) With the publication of his third novel in 1897, Conrads skill as a writer was clear he left the sailors life for good. 6) While critical acclaim came early, popular acclaim for Conrads novels came only a short time before his death in 1924 the same was true of his financial success. 7) Four of his most important novels are still widely read Lord Jim, Nostromo, Heart of Darkness, and Victory. 8) Of this Polish-born virtuoso in English, one critic has said: A master at creating character and atmosphere, [he] acutely portrayed individuals suffering from isolation and moral disintegration, and the clash between...cultures.

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