quotations. Every word between quotation marks should be what the speaker or writer said. If a passage is awkwardly stated, it's best to paraphrase. Except for special effect with certain feature articles, every quotation needs attribution. If a quotation consists of several sentences, attribution should either precede the quotation or follow the first sentence: "Don't say the old lady screamed," Mark Twain said. "Bring her on and let her scream." A natural pause can allow for attribution midway: "In general," she said, "we prefer to take classes in the early aftrernoon." In quoting phrases, no comma is needed: She said she was "saddened by the closing of the newspaper." See attribution.

punctuation with quotation marks


Periods and commas always tuck inside quotation marks; colons and semicolons go outside of closing quotation marks. A quotation within a quotation takes single marks: "I do not know the meaning of 'egregious,' " she said.