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Properly Using Quotation Marks

USE QUOTATION MARKS FOR DIRECT SPEECH, BUT NOT FOR INDIRECT SPEECH

    I’m proud of this project.

    Direct Speech

    In direct speech, you must use quotation marks, and you write exactly what was said.

    The woman said, “I’m proud of this project.”

    Indirect Speech

    In indirect speech, you do not use quotation marks and you paraphrase what was said.

    The woman said that she took pride in her project.



QUOTING SENTENCES ENDING IN A PERIOD

    Speaker first in the sentence.

    Use a comma after the verb and punctuate the quotation normally.

    The professor said, “The 1920s were known as the Jazz Age.”

    Speaker last in the sentence.

    Change a period at the end of the quotation to a comma and continue the sentence.

    “The 1920s were known as the Jazz Age,” said the professor.



QUOTING SENTENCES ENDING IN AN EXCLAMATION MARK OR A QUESTION MARK

    Speaker first in the sentence.

    Use a comma after the verb, and punctuate the sentence as you would with a period.

    The student asked, “When is my project due?”

    Speaker last in the sentence.

    Do not change the exclamation mark or question mark to a comma.

    “When is my project due?” asked the student.



IN A STORY, START A NEW PARAGRAPH EACH TIME THE SPEAKER CHANGES

    Lila approached Sanjay. “Did you research the topic?” she asked. “I want to be sure we get an A on this paper,” she said. She set down her heavy books with a sigh.

    “I found a lot of great stuff!” Sanjay responded. “I worked with a research librarian, and she was super helpful.”

    “Excellent,” Lila said. “The library always comes through for me.”



USE QUOTATION MARKS FOR TITLES OF FULL LENGTH WORKS

    Quotation Marks indicate the titles of things that are part of something else. For example, the names of songs that are on a CD, short stories or poems that are in a book, or episodes of a television show. Full length works should be italicized. Quotation marks used with titles do not need commas the way quoted speech does.

    “The Gentlemen” is the best episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

    On Kanye West’s album Graduation, my favorite song is “Stronger.”



USE QUOTATION MARKS TO INDICATE SARCASM

    Quotation marks around a word can suggest that a word is inappropriate, misleading, or silly.

    Our “Prom” was just six of my friends dancing in my Dad’s basement.



QUOTATION MARKS ARE NEVER USED FOR EMPHASIS

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