Your complete guide on how to use quotation marks
The right usage of quotation marks is confusing to some people who don’t understand when to write them in their papers. Use them if you take interesting ideas or phrases from other sources of information and write them in the same words in your text. How to use quotation marks? Read this guide and follow important rules.
Their type and importance
Quotation marks are important for:
There are different types of quotes and their correct punctuation style depends on subject matters, style guides, and even countries (American rules may differ from rules in other countries):
- Using technical terms for the first time;
- Calling attention to an important phrase or work;
- Taking ideas from other sources of information.
How to use quotation marks? This knowledge is an important part of your academic success, and the following material will show you how to do that correctly.
- Separated by block texts;
- Run-in quote;
- Within others.
The basics that you should learn
How and when to use quotation marks? This question is often asked by students who need to know that it’s necessary to do that:
Remember that block quotes aren’t set off with them. Capitalize your quoted text when quoting a certain fragment. In American English:
- With the titles of specific works;
- With direct quotations;
- To imply alternate meanings;
- To write words as words.
- Periods and commas should be inside these punctuation marks;
- Their single type is appropriate for quotes within others;
- Semicolons, colons, and dashes should be outside them;
- Exclamation and question marks can be inside or stay outside.
Where to put quotation marks
Quotation marks are a must if you use the words of other authors in your written assignments. Apply them only with direct types. If writers quote their sources of information, they need to utilize them unless they’re planning to paraphrase the ideas they take.
Block and run-in quotes
Direct quotations have their two basic forms:
Block types don’t need any special quotation marks. They should appear as separate paragraphs with different fonts, wider margins, and changing in line spacing to separate them from the rest of your text. How long are the block ones? Everything depends on specific style guides, and it’s necessary to follow them for the best practices and to earn high grades. If teachers don’t assign any style guide, set your own rules. This also works great in case you want to make your paper longer.
- Block quotations are long and it’s necessary to separate them from the text;
- Run-in ones are short and authors need to format them as their surrounding text.
Important rules to follow
The main rule of using quotes in any format is that you should both open and close them to let other people realize where they start and end. What are tricky quotation mark rules?
Quotes and capitalization
Writers can capitalize the text inside them or not, and everything depends on a particular material:
- To quote a complete sentence, start it with a capital letter even if you put it in the middle;
- To split quotes in half and interject a parenthetical, don’t capitalize their second part;
- To quote a specific sentence part or phrase, don’t use capital letters to start yours.
Quotations and other punctuation marks
Should punctuation be outside or inside quotation marks? If punctuation marks introduce quotations, don’t place them inside and keep reading to find out more about sentence-ending punctuation rules because they’re a whole different story. What is the rule of thumb? Take into account that a comma or a period always goes inside quotation marks, while semicolons, dashes, and colons stay outside them. Exclamation points and questions have their unique rules. If they apply to the material you quote, put them inside. They are outside if you utilize them for the whole sentence, or you’ll make the mistake compromising the quality of your content.
Quotes within others
Once you understand how to deal with capitalization and punctuation, learn what to do with quotes within others. It often happens in academic writing. It’s necessary to use single quotation marks for them.
Besides setting off the ideas and words of other people, quotation marks serve a few other purposes:
You may require quotation marks to highlight the tiles of short or other compositions (chapters, poems, articles), while the titles of albums, books, newspapers, magazines, and other big works should be italicized. Use them to signify words as words. Look at your style guide because it may prescribe different rules (to italicize words), and you need to stick to them to write or copy edit good papers. Some authors utilize quotes around the words that need to distance from, and that’s why they use scare or shudder quotes for this purpose. They suggest that you use terms in their unusual ways. Their usage always requires moderation.
- Scare quotations;
- Titles of short works;
- Words as words.
Single quotation marks
They’re suitable for quotations within others or it’s possible to use them instead of parentheses when it comes to translations (don’t separate them with commas). They’re helpful to write highly specialized terms in specific fields and you should use them instead of double quotation marks to write deadlines in newspaper articles. Remember that these rules are a bit different in British English. Don’t overuse them because it’s important to apply quotation marks correctly and sparingly, whatever style guide rules you must follow. Stick to the most suitable style for your academic discipline. It’s not always necessary to apply them to highlight words. Follow all of the above-mentioned helpful guidelines to start using quotation marks correctly and improve your writing quality fast and easily. Turn to qualified professionals online and get their expert scientific assistance to avoid confusion.