I’m proud of this project.
In direct speech, you must use quotation marks, and you write exactly what was said.
The woman said, “I’m proud of this project.”
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.
Use a comma after the verb and punctuate the quotation normally.
The professor said, “The 1920s were known as the Jazz Age.”
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.
Use a comma after the verb, and punctuate the sentence as you would with a period.
The student asked, “When is my project due?”
Do not change the exclamation mark or question mark to a comma.
“When is my project due?” asked the student.
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.”
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.”
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.
BMCC Writing Center
Front Desk (General Information)
Franklin Winslow, Director
(212) 220-8000 x5167
BMCC Writing Center
Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
199 Chambers Street, Room S510
New York, NY 10007
Hours of Operation
The BMCC Writing Center will be closed Wednesday, 12/21/2017 – Monday, 1/1/2018. We will reopen on Tuesday, 1/2/2018. Happy Holidays!