How do I punctuate quotes?


            Correctly, right?  Here are some conventions:


            1.         Periods and commas always go inside the quotation marks.


                        e.g., She writes, "We need to remove his nose."



            2.         Semicolons, and dashes always go outside the quotation marks.  They are your additions.


                        e.g.,        He writes that England "is still a great power"; however, he provides no proof for his contention.



            3.         Question marks and exclamation marks can go either inside or outside of the quotation marks, depending on whether they are part of the original quote, or are something that you added.


                        e.g.,        She asks, "Who is really running America?"

                                      Who created the phrase, "A stitch in time saves nine"?


            4.         When the quote could stand alone as a sentence, the beginning of the quote should be capitalized and introduced with a comma, even though the quote comes in the middle of your sentence.  If the quoted material is a fragment (i.e., could not stand alone as the sentence), or if the quote is introduced by "that," you do not capitalize the first word:


                        e.g.,        She writes, "We need to remove his nose."  but

                                      She writes that they need eliminate "his shnoz."


            5.         When you follow a quote with an attributive tag (he said, Parker writes), then you end the quote with a comma (unless it's a question), even when the quote is a complete sentence.


                        e.g., "We need to remove his nose," she writes.


            6.         When the tag comes before the quote, use a comma at the end of the tag.


                        e.g., She writes, "We need to remove his nose."



Should I tell the reader where the quote came from?


     Normally, yes.  And not only for direct quotes; you’ll also want to do this for paraphrases and other info that you get from a source.  The reader might want to check on the context in which the quote or piece of information appeared, in order to check its credibility.  The easiest way is to follow the quote with the author and page number in parentheses.  If the source is a book other than your textbook, you'll need to add a Works Cited section or page to the end of your paper; in this section you'll give all the necessary bibliographic information. 


            "The typical suburban home is easy to leave behind as its occupants move to another," he argues (Oldenburg 43).         


Also, remember that you will often want to use the author's name, as part of a summary, as a lead-in to the quote.  In that case, you won't need to repeat her/his name in parentheses; just give the page number.


     Oldenburg believes that most Americans, unlike most Europeans, limit their everyday socializing to home and work:  "Americans do not make daily visits to sidewalk cafes or banquet halls.  We do not have that third realm of satisfaction and social cohesion beyond the portals of home and work that for others is an essential element of the good life" (112).


If you are using a source from the internet, you most likely won't be able to include a page number.  That’s because on the internet, you don’t really have fixed page numbers (page numbers will vary from computer to computer).  Even when the source was initially in print form before it went up on the internet, you generally lose the pagination of the original article.  So, normally, when your source is from the internet, the author's name will have to suffice.  If there is no author, use the first word(s) of the title, just as you've listed it in your Works Cited:


There is a trend to enhance linkages between one government entity and another.  As a recent editorial in The Oregonian states, "We can no longer afford to have agencies that do not speak to one another" ("Tighten Tri-Met").


Sometimes you will be quoting a source that is itself quoted by another source.  In this situation, it’s best to refer to the author by name as you introduce the quote, then in parentheses give the source where you found the quote.


            According to Yank D. Coble, Jr., President of the American Medical Association, “We face a crisis, and we need to act.  The good health of our patients—and our society as a nation—depends on it”(qtd. in Epstein).


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