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How to Punctuate Quotations - comma and quotations

How to Punctuate Quotations-comma and quotations

How to Punctuate SSTUDENT
Quotations www.csuchico.edu/slc I530-898-6839
................................. a practical handout
What are quotations?
Quotations or quotes refer to a single word, phrase, or series of sentences that are said or written by someone
who is not the original writer or speaker. If quotations and original writing are not separated, plagiarism
occurs, which means to claim someone else's work as your own.
In order to prevent plagiarism, quotation marks are used to show where someone else's work begins. Quotation
marks, like parentheses, must be at the beginning and end of a word, phrase, or series of sentences.
At first, Lucy Pevensie was afraid of Aslan. She hid her face in his mane, I"But there must have
been magic in his mane. She could feel lion-strength going into her.I"
There are a few different rules that describe how quotations should be punctuated and where quotation marks
should go. The following will describe the rules and how to use them in your own writing.
Commas and Periods
Rule #1
Commas are used to introduce and interrupt a quote.
Lizzie saidI, I"You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that
would have tempted me to accept it.I"
In the articleI, I"The Ophelia SyndromeI," the author discusses its application to the learning
experience in college.
Rule #2
When using dialogue tags (i.e. he said, they shouted, she responded, Larry whispered), a comma comes before
or after a quote.
I"The garden is beautifulI," Penelope responded.
I"You were the chosen oneI," he saidI, I"it was said that you were supposed to destroy the Sith, not
join them.I"
Rule #3
Commas and periods at the end of a quote should go inside the quotation marks. This rule applies to both
double and single quotation marks.
I"Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr. Darcy for many reasons, but Darcy's most insulting comment
referred to her family's I`inferiority.' I"
Rule #4
For research papers, it is important to cite where you found your quote at the end of the sentence. This is called
an in-text citation. There are different in-text citation formats depending on the type of citation style your
professor wants. No matter the citation style, periods should go at the end of the sentence after the in-text
Examples: 1" _(S_mith 2019)1.
I"Apples have the same consistency as potatoes
Exclamation Points/Question Marks
Rule #5
Question marks should go inside of the quotation marks if the quote is a question. If the quote is not a question,
but the sentence is, the question mark should be outside the quotation marks.
The caterpillar answered, I"Who are youI?"
Why did you say that I was I"ugly and annoyingI"?
Rule #6
If the quoted question ends in the middle of the sentence, the question marks takes the place of a comma.
She asked the question, I"Why is a raven like a writing deskI?" before jumping into the pool.
Rule #7
Similar to a question mark, when a quote has an exclamation mark, the quotation marks should go after the
exclamation point. If the sentence does have an exclamation point, but the quote does not, then the exclamation
point goes outside of the quotation marks.
I"Yes, I will marry youI!"
The police shouted at me, saying I"Stop right thereI"!
How to Punctuate Quotations 2
Block Quotations
Rule #8
Block quotations are used when a longer quote (refer to the citation style to determine the characteristics for a
longer quote) is included in your writing. Block quotations do not use quotation marks to determine the
beginning and end of the quote. End the quotation with a period, followed by the in-text citation.
Many of Agatha Christie's novels address morality and justice. Her book And Then There Were
None follows twelve people and their stay on an island. All twelve people are accused of
committing some crime. As the story progresses, people begin to be killed in unusual and staged
circumstances. Christie's genius emerges when she reveals that a majority of the crimes were
not punishable by the law1. _(T_avis 2018)
Rule #9
Brackets are most often used to add clarifying information to a quotation. This added information can be a
change in a verb tense, a noun, or a short phrase.
I"The shoe snagged on
-[Pearl's] dress and ripped a hole in the material.I"
Single Quotation Marks
Rule #10
Single quotation marks are used when there is a quote inside a quote. If the single quotation mark comes at the
end of a quotation, add a space between the single and double quotation marks.
I"The trial was considered a I`failureI' because it did not have the intended resultI" (Depp 2014).
I"Elizabeth Bennet refuses Mr. Darcy for many reasons, but Darcy's most insulting comment
referred to her family's I`inferiority.I'I"
Colons and Semicolons
Rule # 11
Colons and semicolons should go outside the quotation marks when at the end of a quote.
Austen did not I"agree with Gregerson's viewpointI"; nevertheless, Austen treated Gregerson
How to Punctuate Quotations 3

Is there a comma before or after a quote? There is only a choice between a comma and a colon when the quotation is being introduced. Only a comma can be used after a quotation. For example: Paul looked over the hedge and shouted: "You can keep half of the strawberries you pick."